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Imaging of cellular layers in a gut-on-a-chip system has been confined to two-dimensional (2D)-imaging through conventional light microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) yielding three-dimensional- and 2D-cross-sectional reconstructions. However, CLSM requires staining and is unsuitable for longitudinal visualization. Here, we compare merits of optical coherence tomography (OCT) with those of CLSM and light microscopy for visualization of intestinal epithelial layers during protection by a probiotic Bifidobacterium breve strain and a simultaneous pathogen challenge by an Escherichia coli strain. OCT cross-sectional images yielded film thicknesses that coincided with end-point thicknesses derived from cross-sectional CLSM images. Light microscopy on histological sections of epithelial layers at the end-point yielded smaller layer thicknesses than OCT and CLSM. Protective effects of B. breve adhering to an epithelial layer against an E. coli challenge included the preservation of layer thickness and membrane surface coverage by epithelial cells. OCT does not require staining or sectioning, making OCT suitable for longitudinal visualization of biological films, but as a drawback, OCT does not allow an epithelial layer to be distinguished from bacterial biofilms adhering to it. Thus, OCT is ideal to longitudinally evaluate epithelial layers under probiotic protection and pathogen challenges, but proper image interpretation requires the application of a second method at the end-point to distinguish bacterial and epithelial films.
An adequate and balanced intake of energy and nutrients is important for growth of children and prevention of diseases. The aim of this study was to get insight in the prevalence of low and high intakes of micronutrients and its association with overweight among Dutch children. This insight can contribute to the development of policy on healthy diet and specific nutritional information.
Materials and methods:
Food and supplement consumption data of children 1–18 years (n = 2.235) were collected in 2012–2016 with two independent 24-hr recalls. Body Mass Index (BMI) was based on measured body height and weight for 1–15 year-olds, and self-reported values for 16–18 year–olds. Using the Dutch food and supplement composition tables, the habitual nutrient and energy intake distribution were estimated and evaluated with the dietary reference values of the Dutch Health Council. Analyses were performed for the total group as well as for classes of BMI.
The intake of most micronutrients was sufficient for the children until the age of 13. No statement on this can be made for the intake of iron and vitamin D (girls). For the Dutch teenagers, low intakes of vitamin A (43%), iron (10% of the boys and 77% of the girls) and vitamin C (18%) were observed. For many other nutrients (calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B6, D, K1 and folate) the risk of low intakes among (subgroups of) teenagers were evaluated as ‘unknown’, as the median intakes were lower than the adequate intakes. In all age groups, the intakes of copper and vitamins B3 and B12 were sufficient.
At the same time, the majority of the children (72% of the boys and 50% of the girls) had a high intake of sodium and a small number of children had high intakes of zinc (7%), copper (3%) or vitamin A (4% of the boys).
17% of the children had overweight or obesity and for 9% the weight was evaluated as underweight. The prevalence of low intakes of vitamins A, D and iron was associated with BMI.
This study suggests that the food consumption of Dutch children can be improved with a more balanced intake of energy and nutrients to prevent obesity and low and high intakes. However, not for all nutrients the health impact is clear. So, more research on the nutrient requirements among children and the related health impact is necessary.
Watching videotaped personal compulsions together with a therapist might enhance the effect of cognitive–behavioural therapy in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) but little is known about how patients experience this.
To performed a qualitative study that describes how watching these videos influences motivation for treatment and whether patients report any adverse events.
In this qualitative study, data were gathered in semi-structured interviews with 24 patients with OCD. The transcripts were coded by two researchers. They used a combination of open and thematic coding and discrepancies in coding were discussed.
The experience of watching videos with personal compulsions helped patients to realise that these compulsions are aberrant and irrational. Patients report increased motivation to resist their OCD and to adhere to therapy. No adverse events were reported.
Videos with personal compulsions create more awareness in patients with OCD that compulsions are irrational, leading to enhanced motivation for treatment.
In the Netherlands, various FFQs have been administered in large cohort studies, which hampers comparison and pooling of dietary data. The present study aimed to describe the development of a standardized Dutch FFQ, FFQ-NL1.0, and assess its compatibility with existing Dutch FFQs.
Dutch FFQTOOLTM was used to develop the FFQ-NL1.0 by selecting food items with the largest contributions to total intake and explained variance in intake of energy and thirty-nine nutrients in adults aged 25–69 years from the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey (DNFCS) 2007–2010. Compatibility with the Maastricht-FFQ, Wageningen-FFQ and EPICNL-FFQ was assessed by comparing the number of food items, the covered energy and nutrient intake, and the covered variance in intake.
FFQ-NL1.0 comprised 160 food items, v. 253, 183 and 154 food items for the Maastricht-FFQ, Wageningen-FFQ and EPICNL-FFQ, respectively. FFQ-NL1.0 covered ≥85 % of energy and all nutrients reported in the DNFCS. Covered variance in intake ranged from 57 to 99 % for energy and macronutrients, and from 45 to 93 % for micronutrients. Differences between FFQ-NL1.0 and the other FFQs in covered nutrient intake and covered variance in intake were <5 % for energy and all macronutrients. For micronutrients, differences between FFQ-NL and other FFQs in covered level of intake were <15 %, but differences in covered variance were much larger, the maximum difference being 36 %.
The FFQ-NL1.0 was compatible with other FFQs regarding energy and macronutrient intake. However, compatibility for covered variance of intake was limited for some of the micronutrients. If implemented in existing cohorts, it is advised to administer the old and the new FFQ in combination to derive calibration factors.
The course of illness in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) varies significantly between patients. Little is known about factors predicting a chronic course of illness. The aim of this study is to identify factors involved in inducing and in maintaining chronicity in OCD.
The present study is embedded within the Netherlands Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Association (NOCDA) study, an ongoing multicenter naturalistic cohort study designed to identify predictors of long-term course and outcome in OCD. For this study, 270 subjects with a current diagnosis of OCD were included. Chronicity status at 2-year follow-up was regressed on a selection of baseline predictors related to OCD, to comorbidity and to stress and support.
Psychotrauma [odds ratio (OR) 1.98, confidence interval (CI) 1.22–3.22, p = 0.006], recent negative life events (OR 1.42, CI 1.01–2.01, p = 0.043), and presence of a partner (OR 0.28, CI 0.09–0.85, p = 0.025) influenced the risk of becoming chronic. Longer illness duration (OR 1.46, CI 1.08–1.96, p = 0.013) and higher illness severity (OR 1.09, CI 1.03–1.16, p = 0.003) increased the risk of remaining chronic.
External influences increase the risk of becoming chronic, whereas the factors involved in maintaining chronicity are illness-related. As the latter are potentially difficult to modify, treatment should be devoted to prevent chronicity from occurring in the first place. Therapeutic strategies aimed at alleviating stress and at boosting social support might aid in achieving this goal.
A dedicated hyperthermia (HT) system was designed for tumors in intact breast extending beyond the heating depth of our superficial 434 MHz antennas, consisting of a treatment bed fitted with a 50 cm × 40 cm × 16 cm temperature controlled open water bolus. The patient lies in prone position with the breast immersed in the water positioned in front of a 34 cm × 20 cm 70 MHz waveguide operating in the TE10 mode. E-field patterns were measured in a tissue-mimicking phantom. HT was applied once a week with the 70 MHz applicator for six patients treated with thermoradiotherapy for deep lesions of recurrent breast cancer or melanoma. Two 14-sensor thermocouple thermometry probes were placed in catheters to monitor the invasive temperature. Results: Phantom measurements showed sufficient penetration depth up to 10 cm depth. The combination of 300–900 W antenna power and a water temperature of 42°C was well tolerated for the entire session of 1 h and resulted in good tumor temperatures with T90 = 39.8°C, T50 = 41.1°C, and T10 = 42.2°C. No toxicity or complaints were associated with the heating. A water mattress and other measures were needed to assure a comfortable position throughout the treatment. Conclusion: the 70 MHz breast applicator system performed well and tumor temperatures were good.
A standardised, national, 160-item FFQ, the FFQ-NL 1.0, was recently developed for Dutch epidemiological studies. The objective was to validate the FFQ-NL 1.0 against multiple 24-h recalls (24hR) and recovery and concentration biomarkers. The FFQ-NL 1.0 was filled out by 383 participants (25–69 years) from the Nutrition Questionnaires plus study. For each participant, one to two urinary and blood samples and one to five (mean 2·7) telephone-based 24hR were available. Group-level bias, correlation coefficients, attenuation factors, de-attenuated correlation coefficients and ranking agreement were assessed. Compared with the 24hR, the FFQ-NL 1.0 estimated the intake of energy and macronutrients well. However, it underestimated intakes of SFA and trans-fatty acids and alcohol and overestimated intakes of most vitamins by >5 %. The median correlation coefficient was 0·39 for energy and macronutrients, 0·30 for micronutrients and 0·30 for food groups. The FFQ underestimated protein intake by an average of 16 % and K by 5 %, relative to their urinary recovery biomarkers. Attenuation factors were 0·44 and 0·46 for protein and K, respectively. Correlation coefficients were 0·43–0·47 between (fatty) fish intake and plasma EPA and DHA and 0·24–0·43 between fruit and vegetable intakes and plasma carotenoids. In conclusion, the overall validity of the newly developed FFQ-NL 1.0 was acceptable to good. The FFQ-NL 1.0 is well suited for future use within Dutch cohort studies among adults.
Bacterial biofilms relieve themselves from external stresses through internal rearrangement, as mathematically modeled in many studies, but never microscopically visualized for their underlying microbiological processes. The aim of this study was to visualize rearrangement processes occurring in mechanically deformed biofilms using confocal-laser-scanning-microscopy after SYTO9 (green-fluorescent) and calcofluor-white (blue-fluorescent) staining to visualize bacteria and extracellular-polymeric matrix substances, respectively. We apply 20% uniaxial deformation to Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms and fix deformed biofilms prior to staining, after allowing different time-periods for relaxation. Two isogenic P. aeruginosa strains with different abilities to produce extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) were used. By confocal-laser-scanning-microscopy all biofilms showed intensity distributions for fluorescence from which rearrangement of EPS and bacteria in deformed biofilms were derived. For the P. aeruginosa strain producing EPS, bacteria could not find new, stable positions within 100 s after deformation, while EPS moved toward deeper layers within 20 s. Bacterial rearrangement was not seen in P. aeruginosa biofilms deficient in production of EPS. Thus, EPS is required to stimulate bacterial rearrangement in mechanically deformed biofilms within the time-scale of our experiments, and the mere presence of water is insufficient to induce bacterial movement, likely due to its looser association with the bacteria.
In situ transmission electron microscopy was performed on the electromigration in platinum (Pt) nanowires (14 nm thick, 200 nm wide, and 300 nm long) with and without feedback control. Using the feedback control mode, symmetric electrodes are obtained and the gap usually forms at the center of the Pt nanowire. Without feedback control, asymmetric electrodes are formed, and the gap can occur at any position along the wire. The three-dimensional gap geometries of the electrodes in the Pt nanowire were determined using high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy; the thickness of the nanowire is reduced from 14 nm to only a few atoms at the edge with a gap of about 5–10 nm.
In this article, we present novel sample preparation methods using a helium ion microscope (HIM). We report the possibility of reshaping, at room temperature, thin metal lines on an electron-transparent membrane: A set of platinum bridges with standard geometry (300 × 200 × 15 nm) was modified at room temperature into different shapes using focused helium (He)-ion beam. Also the applicability of the HIM as a tool for precise modification of silicon (Si) and strontium titanate (SrTiO3) lamellae is shown and discussed. We demonstrated that in situ heating (e.g., at 600 °C) of the samples during He-beam illumination by use of a specially developed heating stage enables production of thin Si and SrTiO3 samples without significant artifacts. The quality of such cuts was inspected by transmission electron microscopy with high-resolution imaging, and the diffraction patterns were analyzed.
In this paper we propose a few helium ion microscope (HIM)-based methods for sample preparation and modification. In particular we report the use of the HIM to make thin wedge SrTiO3 samples without significant artifacts, the possibility to reshape thin metal lines on an electron transparent membrane and the new method of HIM sample preparation by in situ heating of the samples during He-beam illumination.
Systematic knowledge about factors affecting the willingness of societies to conserve biodiversity is still scarce. This study investigates the role of body size in national decisions on wild animal species by analysing the average body sizes of the animal species subject to species-specific legislation in the Netherlands over the period 1857–1995. Three legal objectives were distinguished, namely ‘control’, ‘use’ and ‘protection’. For most taxa, average body sizes of species were found to differ significantly between legal objectives within a substantial number of subperiods analysed. Throughout the entire period examined, protected bird, mammal, fish and mollusc species were of smaller average body size than those subject to use legislation and protected bird, mammal and mollusc species were also smaller than those subject to control legislation most of the time. Protected insects were generally larger than those subject to control or use. For vertebrate taxa, average sizes of protected species increased over the time period selected for examination, suggesting that legislation initially excluded larger vertebrates from protection, possibly partly owing to demands to maintain use of these species. The results emphasize that conservation context is important, as other studies suggest that conservation policy generally favours larger species.
Perspectives from 22 countries on aspects of the legal environment for selection are presented in this article. Issues addressed include (a) whether there are racial/ethnic/religious subgroups viewed as “disadvantaged,” (b) whether research documents mean differences between groups on individual difference measures relevant to job performance, (c) whether there are laws prohibiting discrimination against specific groups, (d) the evidence required to make and refute a claim of discrimination, (e) the consequences of violation of the laws, (f) whether particular selection methods are limited or banned, (g) whether preferential treatment of members of disadvantaged groups is permitted, and (h) whether the practice of industrial and organizational psychology has been affected by the legal environment.
Folate is required for 1-carbon metabolism and deficiency in folate leads to megaloblastic anemia. Low levels of folate have been associated with increased risk of vascular disease. To investigate whether RDA of folate are met, habitual folate intake needs to be assessed reliably. We developed a FFQ to specifically measure folate intake over the previous 3 months in elderly people in the Netherlands. Major sources of folate intake, i.e. foods contributing to at least 80 % of the average folate intake, were identified through an analysis of the second Dutch Food Consumption Survey for the sub-population of men and women aged 50–70. In 2000 and 2001, folate intake was estimated with this questionnaire in 1286 individuals aged 50–75 years. Concentrations of serum and erythrocyte folate served as biomarkers with which relative validity of the questionnaire was assessed. The same FFQ was repeated after 3 years in 803 subjects in order to assess long-term reproducibility. Mean folate intake was estimated to be 196 (sd 69) μg/d. Spearman correlation coefficients between folate intake and serum and erythrocyte concentrations were 0·14 (P < 0·01) and 0·05 (P = 0·06) respectively. Spearman correlations between folate intakes measured at baseline and after 3 years were 0·58 (P < 0·01). 47 % of the participants were classified in the same quartiles on the two occasions. Our FFQ showed a weak correlation between folate intake and blood folate concentrations and reproducibility was acceptable. This FFQ is able to rank subjects according to their folate intake.
Democracy and the adoption of a Bill of Rights for South Africa not only brought about political change, but it also created expectations of a better life for all. The Constitution guarantees equality before the law, access to a fair hearing and the right to legal representation in criminal matters, and the Legal Aid Board is one of the institutions tasked with giving effect to these pledges. In order to achieve its objectives and to fulfil its obligations, government embarked upon a process of transformation of existing structures and institutions and the creation of new ones. Although legal aid, and statutory provision therefore, are not new concepts in South Africa, constitutionalization resulted in the restructuring of the Legal Aid Board and changes in the method of delivery of its services. The focus is on rendering legal representation in criminal matters to the neglect of civil and non-legal problems that the poor often face, resulting in the impression that government is merely paying lip service to the promise of access to justice. This lends credence to the perception that the legal system exists in order to protect the interests of criminals. Being a developing country, it is comprehensible that priorities have to be set, but it is also true that optimum use should be made of existing structures and resources in order to deal with the needs for legal aid services as expressed by the recipients of those services. Involving students and local government are two methods that can be employed to address the multi-farious problems experienced by the less fortunate members of society.