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Diet has a major influence on the composition and metabolic output of the gut microbiome. Higher-protein diets are often recommended for older consumers; however, the effect of high-protein diets on the gut microbiota and faecal volatile organic compounds (VOC) of elderly participants is unknown. The purpose of the study was to establish if the faecal microbiota composition and VOC in older men are different after a diet containing the recommended dietary intake (RDA) of protein compared with a diet containing twice the RDA (2RDA). Healthy males (74⋅2 (sd 3⋅6) years; n 28) were randomised to consume the RDA of protein (0⋅8 g protein/kg body weight per d) or 2RDA, for 10 weeks. Dietary protein was provided via whole foods rather than supplementation or fortification. The diets were matched for dietary fibre from fruit and vegetables. Faecal samples were collected pre- and post-intervention for microbiota profiling by 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing and VOC analysis by head space/solid-phase microextraction/GC-MS. After correcting for multiple comparisons, no significant differences in the abundance of faecal microbiota or VOC associated with protein fermentation were evident between the RDA and 2RDA diets. Therefore, in the present study, a twofold difference in dietary protein intake did not alter gut microbiota or VOC indicative of altered protein fermentation.
Dietary patterns describe the combination of foods and beverages in a diet and the frequency of habitual consumption. Better understanding of childhood dietary patterns and antenatal influences could inform intervention strategies to prevent childhood obesity. We derived empirical dietary patterns in 1142 children (average age 6·0 (sd 0·2) years) in New Zealand, whose mothers had participated in the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) cohort study and explored associations with measures of body composition. Participants (Children of SCOPE) had their diet assessed by FFQ, and dietary patterns were extracted using factor analysis. Three distinct dietary patterns were identified: ‘Healthy’, ‘Traditional’ and ‘Junk’. Associations between dietary patterns and measures of childhood body composition (waist, hip, arm circumferences, BMI, bioelectrical impedance analysis-derived body fat % and sum of skinfold thicknesses (SST)) were assessed by linear regression, with adjustment for maternal influences. Children who had higher ‘Junk’ dietary pattern scores had 0·24 (sd 0·08; 95 % CI 0·04, 0·13) cm greater arm and 0·44 (sd 0·05; 95 % CI 0·01, 0·10) cm greater hip circumferences and 1·13 (sd 0·07; 95 % CI 0·03, 0·12) cm greater SST and were more likely to be obese (OR 1·74; 95 % CI 1·07, 2·82); those with higher ‘Healthy’ pattern scores were less likely to be obese (OR 0·62; 95 % CI 0·39, 1·00). In a large mother–child cohort, a dietary pattern characterised by high-sugar and -fat foods was associated with greater adiposity and obesity risk in children aged 6 years, while a ‘Healthy’ dietary pattern offered some protection against obesity. Targeting unhealthy dietary patterns could inform public health strategies to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity.
The Murchison Widefield Array is a low-frequency Square Kilometre Array precursor located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. Primarily designed as an imaging telescope, but with a flexible signal path, the capabilities of this telescope have recently been extended to include off-line incoherent and tied-array beam formation using recorded antenna voltages. This has provided the capability for high-time and frequency resolution observations, including a pulsar science program. This paper describes the algorithms and pipeline that we have developed to form the tied-array beam products from the summation of calibrated signals of the antenna elements, and presents example polarimetric profiles for PSRs J0437-4715 and J1900-2600 at 185 MHz.
To evaluate the relationships between maternal fish consumption and pregnancy outcomes in a large, population-based sample of women in the USA.
We collected average fish consumption prior to pregnancy using a modified version of the semi-quantitative Willett FFQ. We estimated adjusted OR (aOR) and 95 % CI for associations between different levels of fish consumption and preterm birth (<37 weeks), early preterm birth (<32 and <35 weeks) and small-for-gestational-age infants (SGA; <10th percentile).
The National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS).
Control mother–infant pairs with estimated delivery dates between 1997 and 2011 (n 10 919).
No significant associations were observed between fish consumption and preterm birth or early preterm birth (aOR = 0·7–1·0 and 0·7–0·9, respectively). The odds of having an SGA infant were elevated (aOR = 2·1; 95 % CI 1·2, 3·4) among women with daily fish consumption compared with women consuming fish less than once per month. No associations were observed between other levels of fish consumption and SGA (aOR = 0·8–1·0).
High intake of fish was associated with twofold higher odds of having an SGA infant, while moderate fish consumption prior to pregnancy was not associated with preterm or SGA. Our study, like many other studies in this area, lacked information regarding preparation methods and the specific types of fish consumed. Future studies should incorporate information on nutrient and contaminant contents, preparation methods and biomarkers to assess these relationships.
Introduction: The ECG diagnosis of acute coronary occlusion (ACO) in the setting of ventricular paced rhythm (VPR) is purported to be impossible. However, VPR has a similar ECG morphology to LBBB. The validated Smith-modified Sgarbossa criteria (MSC) have high sensitivity (Sens) and specificity (Spec) for ACO in LBBB. MSC consist of 1 of the following in 1 lead: concordant ST Elevation (STE) 1 mm, concordant ST depression 1 mm in V1-V3, or ST/S ratio <−0.25 (in leads with 1 mm STE). We hypothesized that the MSC will have higher Sens for diagnosis of ACO in VPR when compared to the original Sgarbossa criteria. We report preliminary findings of the Paced Electrocardiogram Requiring Fast Emergency Coronary Therapy (PERFECT) study Methods: The PERFECT study is a retrospective, multicenter, international investigation of ED patients from 1/2008 - 12/2016 with VPR on the ECG and symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndrome (e.g. chest pain or shortness of breath). Data from four sites are presented. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was defined by the Third Universal Definition of AMI. A blinded cardiologist adjudicated ACO, defined as thrombolysis in myocardial infarction score 0 or 1 on coronary angiography; a pre-defined subgroup of ACO patients with peak cardiac troponin (cTn) >100 times the 99% upper reference limit (URL) of the cTn assay was also analyzed. Another blinded physician measured all ECGs. Statistics were by Mann Whitney U, Chi-square, and McNemars test. Results: The ACO and No-AMI groups consisted of 15 and 79 encounters, respectively. For the ACO and No-AMI groups, median age was 78 [IQR 72-82] vs. 70 [61-75] and 13 (86%) vs. 48 (61%) patients were male. The median peak cTn ratio (cTn/URL) was 260 [33-663] and 0.5 [0-1.3] for ACO vs. no-AMI. The Sens and Spec for the MSC and the original Sgarbossa criteria were 67% (95%CI 39-87) vs. 46% (22-72; p=0.25) and 99% (92-100) vs. 99% (92-100; p=0.5). In pre-defined subgroup analysis of ACO patients with peak cTn >100 times the URL (n=10), the Sens was 90% (54-100) for the MSC vs. 60% (27- 86) for original Sgarbossa criteria (p=0.25). Conclusion: ACO in VPR is an uncommon condition. The MSC showed good Sens for diagnosis of ACO in the presence of VPR, especially among patients with high peak cTn, and Spec was excellent. These methods and results are consistent with studies that have used the MSC to diagnose ACO in LBBB.
Many women experience both vasomotor menopausal symptoms (VMS) and depressed mood at midlife, but little is known regarding the prospective bi-directional relationships between VMS and depressed mood and the role of sleep difficulties in both directions.
A pooled analysis was conducted using data from 21 312 women (median: 50 years, interquartile range 49−51) in eight studies from the InterLACE consortium. The degree of VMS, sleep difficulties, and depressed mood was self-reported and categorised as never, rarely, sometimes, and often (if reporting frequency) or never, mild, moderate, and severe (if reporting severity). Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the bi-directional associations adjusted for within-study correlation.
At baseline, the prevalence of VMS (40%, range 13–62%) and depressed mood (26%, 8–41%) varied substantially across studies, and a strong dose-dependent association between VMS and likelihood of depressed mood was found. Over 3 years of follow-up, women with often/severe VMS at baseline were more likely to have subsequent depressed mood compared with those without VMS (odds ratios (OR) 1.56, 1.27–1.92). Women with often/severe depressed mood at baseline were also more likely to have subsequent VMS than those without depressed mood (OR 1.89, 1.47–2.44). With further adjustment for the degree of sleep difficulties at baseline, the OR of having a subsequent depressed mood associated with often/severe VMS was attenuated and no longer significant (OR 1.13, 0.90–1.40). Conversely, often/severe depressed mood remained significantly associated with subsequent VMS (OR 1.80, 1.38–2.34).
Difficulty in sleeping largely explained the relationship between VMS and subsequent depressed mood, but it had little impact on the relationship between depressed mood and subsequent VMS.
It has been shown that the visual acuity loss experienced by the deprived eye of kittens following an early period of monocular deprivation (MD) can be alleviated rapidly following 10 days of complete darkness when imposed even as late as 14 weeks of age. To examine whether 10 days of darkness conferred benefits at any age, we measured the extent of recovery of the visual acuity of the deprived eye following the darkness imposed on adult cats that had received the same early period of MD as used in prior experiments conducted on kittens. Parallel studies conducted on different animals examined the extent to which darkness changed the magnitude of the MD-induced laminar differences of the cell soma size and immunoreactivity for the neurofilament (NF) protein in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN). The results indicated that 10 days of darkness imposed at one year of age neither alleviated the acuity loss of the deprived eye induced by an earlier period of MD nor did it decrease the concurrent lamina differences of the soma size or NF loss in the dLGN.
We present techniques developed to calibrate and correct Murchison Widefield Array low-frequency (72–300 MHz) radio observations for polarimetry. The extremely wide field-of-view, excellent instantaneous (u, v)-coverage and sensitivity to degree-scale structure that the Murchison Widefield Array provides enable instrumental calibration, removal of instrumental artefacts, and correction for ionospheric Faraday rotation through imaging techniques. With the demonstrated polarimetric capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array, we discuss future directions for polarimetric science at low frequencies to answer outstanding questions relating to polarised source counts, source depolarisation, pulsar science, low-mass stars, exoplanets, the nature of the interstellar and intergalactic media, and the solar environment.
The current generation of experiments aiming to detect the neutral hydrogen signal from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) is likely to be limited by systematic effects associated with removing foreground sources from target fields. In this paper, we develop a model for the compact foreground sources in one of the target fields of the MWA’s EoR key science experiment: the ‘EoR1’ field. The model is based on both the MWA’s GLEAM survey and GMRT 150 MHz data from the TGSS survey, the latter providing higher angular resolution and better astrometric accuracy for compact sources than is available from the MWA alone. The model contains 5 049 sources, some of which have complicated morphology in MWA data, Fornax A being the most complex. The higher resolution data show that 13% of sources that appear point-like to the MWA have complicated morphology such as double and quad structure, with a typical separation of 33 arcsec. We derive an analytic expression for the error introduced into the EoR two-dimensional power spectrum due to peeling close double sources as single point sources and show that for the measured source properties, the error in the power spectrum is confined to high k⊥ modes that do not affect the overall result for the large-scale cosmological signal of interest. The brightest 10 mis-modelled sources in the field contribute 90% of the power bias in the data, suggesting that it is most critical to improve the models of the brightest sources. With this hybrid model, we reprocess data from the EoR1 field and show a maximum of 8% improved calibration accuracy and a factor of two reduction in residual power in k-space from peeling these sources. Implications for future EoR experiments including the SKA are discussed in relation to the improvements obtained.
Chronic suppurative otitis media is a neglected condition affecting up to 330 million people worldwide, with the burden of the disease in impoverished countries. The need for non-governmental organisations to hardwire training into their programmes has been highlighted. An ear surgery simulator appropriate for training in resource-poor settings was developed, and its effectiveness in facilitating the acquisition of headlight and microsurgical skills necessary to safely perform procedures via the ear canal was investigated.
Face validity was assessed via questionnaires. Six tasks were developed: a headlight foreign body removal task, and microscope tasks of foreign body removal, ventilation tube insertion, tympanomeatal flap raising, myringoplasty and middle-ear manipulation. Participants with varying ENT experience were video-recorded performing each task and scored by a blinded expert observer to assess construct validity.
Face validity results confirmed that our Ear Trainer was a realistic representation of the ear. Construct validity results showed a statistically significant trend, with experts performing the best and those with limited experience performing better than novices.
This study validates our Ear Trainer as a useful training tool for assessing headlight and microsurgical skills required to perform otological procedures.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
The yields of spring barley during a medium-term (7 years) compost and slurry addition experiment and the soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) contents, bacterial community structure, soil microbial biomass and soil respiration rates have been determined to assess the effects of repeated, and in some cases very large, organic amendments on soil and crop parameters. For compost, total additions were equivalent to up to 119 t C/ha and 1·7 t N/ha and for slurry they were 25 t C/ha and 0·35 t N/ha over 7 years, which represented very large additions compared to control soil C and N contents (69 t C/ha and 0·3 t N/ha in the 0–30 cm soil depth). There was an initial positive response to compost and slurry addition on barley yield, but over the experiment the yield differential between the amounts of compost addition declined, indicating that repeated addition of compost at a lower rate over several years had the same cumulative effect as a large single compost application. By the end of the experiment it was clear that the addition of compost and slurry increased soil C and N contents, especially towards the top of the soil profile, as well as soil respiration rates. However, the increases in soil C and N contents were not proportional to the amount of C and N added, suggesting either that: (i) a portion of the added C and N was more vulnerable to loss; (ii) that its addition rendered another C or N pool in the soil more susceptible to loss; or (iii) that the C inputs from additional crop productivity did not increase in line with the organic amendments. Soil microbial biomass was depressed at the highest rate of organic amendment, and whilst this may have been due to genuine toxic or inhibitory effects of large amounts of compost, it could also be due to the inaccuracy of the substrate-induced respiration approach used for determining soil biomass when there is a large supply of organic matter. At the highest compost addition, the bacterial community structure was significantly altered, suggesting that the amendments significantly altered soil community dynamics.
White matter (WM) impairments have been reported in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) and those at high familial risk of developing BD. However, the distribution of these impairments has not been well characterized. Few studies have examined WM integrity in young people early in the course of illness and in individuals at familial risk who have not yet passed the peak age of onset.
WM integrity was examined in 63 BD subjects, 150 high-risk (HR) individuals and 111 participants with no family history of mental illness (CON). All subjects were aged 12 to 30 years.
This young BD group had significantly lower fractional anisotropy within the genu of the corpus callosum (CC) compared with the CON and HR groups. Moreover, the abnormality in the genu of the CC was also present in HR participants with recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD) (n = 16) compared with CON participants.
Our findings provide important validation of interhemispheric abnormalities in BD patients. The novel finding in HR subjects with recurrent MDD – a group at particular risk of future hypo/manic episodes – suggests that this may potentially represent a trait marker for BD, though this will need to be confirmed in longitudinal follow-up studies.
We have compiled a catalogue of H ii regions detected with the Murchison Widefield Array between 72 and 231 MHz. The multiple frequency bands provided by the Murchison Widefield Array allow us identify the characteristic spectrum generated by the thermal Bremsstrahlung process in H ii regions. We detect 306 H ii regions between 260° < l < 340° and report on the positions, sizes, peak, integrated flux density, and spectral indices of these H ii regions. By identifying the point at which H ii regions transition from the optically thin to thick regime, we derive the physical properties including the electron density, ionised gas mass, and ionising photon flux, towards 61 H ii regions. This catalogue of H ii regions represents the most extensive and uniform low frequency survey of H ii regions in the Galaxy to date.
Apathy has been reported as a possible adverse effect of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS). We investigated the prevalence and severity of apathy in 22 patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who underwent STN-DBS, as well as the effects of apathy on quality of life (QOL).
All patients were assessed with the Lille Apathy Rating Scale (LARS), the Apathy Scale (AS), and the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire and were compared to a control group of 38 patients on pharmacotherapy alone.
There were no significant differences in the prevalence or severity of apathy between patients who had undergone STN-DBS and those on pharmacotherapy alone. Significant correlations were observed between poorer QOL and degree of apathy, as measured by the LARS (p<0.001) and the AS (p=0.021). PD-related disability also correlated with both apathy ratings (p<0.001 and p=0.017, respectively).
Our findings suggest that STN-DBS is not necessarily associated with apathy in the PD population; however, more severe apathy appears to be associated with a higher level of disability due to PD and worse QOL, but no other clinico-demographic characteristics.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with elevated risk for metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, the direction of this association is not yet established, as most prior studies employed cross-sectional designs. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate bidirectional associations between PTSD and MetS using a longitudinal design.
A total of 1355 male and female veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan underwent PTSD diagnostic assessments and their biometric profiles pertaining to MetS were extracted from the electronic medical record at two time points (spanning ~2.5 years, n = 971 at time 2).
The prevalence of MetS among veterans with PTSD was just under 40% at both time points and was significantly greater than that for veterans without PTSD; the prevalence of MetS among those with PTSD was also elevated relative to age-matched population estimates. Cross-lagged panel models revealed that PTSD severity predicted subsequent increases in MetS severity (β = 0.08, p = 0.002), after controlling for initial MetS severity, but MetS did not predict later PTSD symptoms. Logistic regression results suggested that for every 10 PTSD symptoms endorsed at time 1, the odds of a subsequent MetS diagnosis increased by 56%.
Results highlight the substantial cardiometabolic concerns of young veterans with PTSD and raise the possibility that PTSD may predispose individuals to accelerated aging, in part, manifested clinically as MetS. This demonstrates the need to identify those with PTSD at greatest risk for MetS and to develop interventions that improve both conditions.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.