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Phytosterols/phytostanols are bioactive compounds found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds and added to a range of commercial food products. Consumption of phytosterols/phytostanols reduces levels of circulating low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a causative biomarker of cardiovascular disease, and is linked to a reduced risk of some cancers. Individuals who consume phytosterols/phytostanols in their diet may do so for many years as part of a non-pharmacological route to lower cholesterol or as part of a healthy diet. However, the impact of long-term or high-intakes of dietary phytosterols/phytostanols has not been on whole-body epigenetic changes before. The aim of this systematic review was to identify all publications that have evaluated changes to epigenetic mechanisms (post-translation modification of histones, DNA methylation, and miRNA expression) in response to phytosterols/phytostanols. A systematic search was performed that returned 226 records, of which eleven were eligible for full text analysis. Multiple phytosterols were found to inhibit expression of histone deacetylase enzymes and were also predicted to directly bind and impair histone deacetylase activity. Phytosterols were found to inhibit the expression and activity of DNA methyl transferase enzyme 1 and reverse cancer associated gene silencing. Finally, phytosterols have been shown to regulate over 200 miRNAs, although only five of these were reported in multiple publications. Five tissue types (breast, prostate, macrophage, aortic epithelia, lung) were represented across the studies, and although phytosterols/phytostanols alter the molecular mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance in these mammalian cells, studies exploring mitotic or transgenerational inheritance were not found.
As the venues for professional training and education, universities have always shaped the future of the archaeological discipline—for better but also, in important ways, for worse. Historically, university structures promoted practitioner homogeneity and social inequity and, at the largest research-intensive universities, even managed to turn “service” into a dirty word. However, using the same structures that perpetuated damaging practices in the past, universities can just as readily transform archaeology into the inclusive, community-engaged discipline it should always have been—while serving communities in ways that matter to them. This article explains and illustrates how and why we have tried to do this through the founding and operation of the Oklahoma Public Archaeology Network (OKPAN) at the University of Oklahoma. OKPAN seeks to improve relationships among diverse Oklahoma communities by framing archaeology as a tool that that can serve communities’ interests while creating pathways within universities for members of historically excluded groups to join and help further transform the discipline.
Field studies were conducted in 2021 in Kibler and Augusta, AR, to determine the effect of winter cover crops and cultivar selection on weed suppression and sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] yield. The split-split-plot studies evaluated three cover crops [cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) + crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.)], [winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) + crimson clover], and fallow; weeding (with or without); and four sweetpotato cultivars (‘Heartogold’, ‘Bayou-Belle-6’, ‘Beauregard-14’, and ‘Orleans’). Heartogold had the tallest canopy, while Beauregard-14 and Bayou Belle-6 had the longest vines at 5 and 8 wk after sweetpotato transplanting. Sweetpotato canopy was about 20% taller in weedy plots compared with the hand-weeded treatment, and vines were shorter under weed interference. Canopy height and vine length of sweetpotato cultivars were not related to weed biomass suppression. However, vine length was positively correlated to all yield grades (r > 0.5). Weed biomass decreased 1-fold in plots with cover crops compared with bare soil at Augusta. Cover crop biomass was positively correlated with jumbo (r = 0.29), no. 1 (r = 0.33), and total sweetpotato yield (r = 0.34). Jumbo yield was affected the most by weed pressure. On average, sweetpotato total yield was reduced by 80% and 60% with weed interference in Augusta and Kibler, respectively. Bayou Belle-6 was the high-yielding cultivar without weed interference in both locations. Bayou Belle-6 and Heartogold were less affected by weed interference than Beauregard-14 and Orleans.
The recent Covid-19 pandemic highlighted stark social inequalities, notably around access to food, nutrition and to green or blue space (i.e. outdoor spaces with vegetation and water). Consequently, obesity is socio-economically patterned by this inequality; and while the environmental drivers of obesity are widely acknowledged, there is currently little upstream intervention. We know that living with obesity contributes to increasing health inequalities, and places healthcare systems under huge strain. Our environment could broadly be described obesogenic, in the sense of supporting unhealthful eating patterns and sedentary behaviour. Evidence points to the existence of nearly 700 UK obesity policies, all of which have had little success. Obesity prevention and treatment has focused on educational and behavioural interventions targeted at individual consumers. A more sustainable approach would be to try and change the environments that promote less healthy eating and high energy intake as well as sedentary behaviour. Approaches which modify the environment have the potential to assist in the prevention of this complex condition. This review paper focuses on the role of wider food environments or foodscapes. While there is an imperfect evidence base relating to the role of the foodscape in terms of the obesity crisis, policy, practice, civic society and industry must work together and take action now, in areas where current evidence suggests change is required. Despite the current cost-of-living crisis, shaping the foodscape to better support healthful eating decisions has the potential to be a key aspect of a successful obesity prevention intervention.
“Comprehensive Healthcare for America” is a largely single-payer reform proposal that, by applying the insights of behavioral economics, may be able to rally patients and clinicians sufficiently to overcome the opposition of politicians and vested interests to providing all Americans with less complicated and less costly access to needed healthcare.
Field studies were conducted to assess the efficacy of physical weed management of Palmer amaranth management in cucumber, peanut, and sweetpotato. Treatments were arranged in a 3 × 4 factorial in which the first factor included a treatment method of electrical, mechanical, or hand-roguing Palmer amaranth control and the second factor consisted of treatments applied when Palmer amaranth was approximately 0.3, 0.6, 0.9, or 1.2 m above the crop canopy. Four wk after treatment (WAT), the electrical applications controlled Palmer amaranth at least 27 percentage points more than the mechanical applications when applied at the 0.3- and 0.6-m timings. At the 0.9- and 1.2-m application timings 4 WAT, electrical and mechanical applications controlled Palmer amaranth by at most 87%. Though hand removal generally resulted in the greatest peanut pod count and total sweetpotato yield, mechanical and electrical control resulted in similar yield to the hand-rogued plots, depending on the treatment timing. With additional research to provide insight into the optimal applications, there is potential for electrical control and mechanical control to be used as alternatives to hand removal. Additional studies were conducted to determine the effects of electrical treatments on Palmer amaranth seed production and viability. Treatments consisted of electricity applied to Palmer amaranth at first visible inflorescence, 2 wk after first visible inflorescence (WAI) or 4 WAI. Treatments at varying reproductive maturities did not reduce the seed production immediately after treatment. However, after treatment, plants primarily died and ceased maturation, reducing seed production assessed at 4 WAI by 93% and 70% when treated at 0 and 2 WAI, respectively. Treatments did not have a negative effect on germination or seedling length.
Ergothioneine is a naturally occurring amino acid and thiol antioxidant found in high amounts in mushrooms and fermented foods. Humans and animals acquire ergothioneine from the diet through the pH-dependent activity of a membrane transporter, the large solute carrier 22A member 4 (SLC22A4), expressed on the apical membrane of the small intestine. The SLC22A4 transporter also functions in the renal reabsorption of ergothioneine in the kidney, with avid absorption and retention of ergothioneine from the diet observed in both animals and humans. Ergothioneine is capable of scavenging a diverse range of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, has metal chelation properties, and is predicted to directly regulate nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) activity. Although not lethal, the genetic knockout of the SLC22A4 gene in multiple organisms increases susceptibility to oxidative stress, damage and inflammation; in agreement with a large body of preclinical data suggesting the physiological function of ergothioneine is as a cellular antioxidant and cytoprotectant agent. In humans, blood levels of ergothioneine decline after the age of 60 years, and lower levels of ergothioneine are associated with more rapid cognitive decline. Conversely, high plasma ergothioneine levels have been associated with significantly reduced cardiovascular mortality and overall mortality risks. In this horizon’s manuscript, we review evidence suggesting critical roles for dietary ergothioneine in healthy ageing and the prevention of cardiometabolic disease. We comment on some of the outstanding research questions in the field and consider the question of whether or not ergothioneine should be considered a conditionally essential micronutrient.
Individuals are often ambiguity-averse when choosing among purely chance-based prospects (Ellsberg, 1961). However, they often prefer apparently ambiguous ability-based prospects to unambiguous chance-based prospects. According to the competence hypothesis (Heath & Tversky, 1991), this pattern derives from favorable perceptions of one’s competence. In most past tests of the competence hypothesis, ambiguity is confounded with personal controllability and the source of the ambiguity (e.g., chance vs. missing information). We unconfound these factors in three experiments and find strong evidence for independent effects of both ambiguity aversion and competence. In Experiment 1, participants preferred an unambiguous chance-based option to an ambiguous ability-based option when the ambiguity derived from chance rather than uncertainty about one’s own ability. In Experiments 2 and 3, which used different operationalizations of ambiguity in choice contexts with actual consequences, participants attempted to avoid both ambiguity and chance insofar as they could. These findings support and extend the competence hypothesis by demonstrating ambiguity aversion independent of personal controllability and source of ambiguity.
Each year, hundreds of international researchers enter Greenland to conduct scientific fieldwork. Historically, they have had little interaction with local communities and scientists at Greenland research institutes. Recognising that collaboration between Greenland and the United States can yield better research, consider more diverse perspectives, articulate the benefits of research to Greenland society, and train the next generation in a collaborative framework, representatives from both countries have been engaged in a series of events to cultivate bilateral relationships. Here, we describe the process of these events (workshops, conference sessions, and public dialogues), the findings, and the outcomes that have followed. Prior to this focused engagement, United States and Greenland scientists typically pursued their research independently. Since the engagement, more researchers from both countries have successfully partnered to obtain funding for collaborative research. Furthermore, development of a bilateral collaboration network is underway. The focused approach on bilateral engagement also proved essential for maintaining research and other activities during the global pandemic. When United States researchers were prevented from entering Greenland, their Greenland partners were able to continue the fieldwork, ensuring that progress was not lost. Future international projects can build on these successes to expand collaborative and interdisciplinary research in Greenland.
Some consider potatoes to be unhealthy vegetables that may contribute to adverse cardiometabolic health outcomes. We evaluated the association between potato consumption (including fried and non-fried types) and three key cardiometabolic outcomes among middle-aged and older adults in the Framingham Offspring Study. We included 2523 subjects ≥30 years of age with available dietary data from 3-d food records. Cox-proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) for hypertension, type 2 diabetes or impaired fasting glucose (T2DM/IFG), and elevated triglycerides, adjusting for anthropometric, demographic and lifestyle factors. In the present study, 36 % of potatoes consumed were baked, 28 % fried, 14 % mashed, 9 % boiled and the rest cooked in other ways. Overall, higher total potato intake (≥4 v. <1 cup-equivalents/week) was not associated with risks of T2DM/IFG (HR 0⋅97, 95 % CI 0⋅81, 1⋅15), hypertension (HR 0⋅95; 95 % CI 0⋅80, 1⋅12) or elevated triglycerides (HR 0⋅99, 95 % CI 0⋅86, 1⋅13). Stratified analyses were used to evaluate effect modification by physical activity levels and red meat consumption, and in those analyses, there were no adverse effects of potato intake. However, when combined with higher levels of physical activity, greater consumption of fried potatoes was associated with a 24 % lower risk (95 % CI 0⋅60, 0⋅96) of T2DM/IFG, and in combination with lower red meat consumption, higher fried potato intake was associated with a 26 % lower risk (95 % CI 0⋅56, 0⋅99) of elevated triglycerides. In this prospective cohort, there was no adverse association between fried or non-fried potato consumption and risks of T2DM/IFG, hypertension or elevated triglycerides.
To determine how engagement of the hospital and/or vendor with performance improvement strategies combined with an automated hand hygiene monitoring system (AHHMS) influence hand hygiene (HH) performance rates.
The study was conducted in 58 adult and pediatric inpatient units located in 10 hospitals.
HH performance rates were estimated using an AHHMS. Rates were expressed as the number of soap and alcohol-based hand rub portions dispensed divided by the number of room entries and exits. Each hospital self-assigned to one of the following intervention groups: AHHMS alone (control group), AHHMS plus clinician-based vendor support (vendor-only group), AHHMS plus hospital-led unit-based initiatives (hospital-only group), or AHHMS plus clinician-based vendor support and hospital-led unit-based initiatives (vendor-plus-hospital group). Each hospital unit produced 1–2 months of baseline HH performance data immediately after AHHMS installation before implementing initiatives.
Hospital units in the vendor-plus-hospital group had a statistically significant increase of at least 46% in HH performance compared with units in the other 3 groups (P ≤ .006). Units in the hospital only group achieved a 1.3% increase in HH performance compared with units that had AHHMS alone (P = .950). Units with AHHMS plus other initiatives each had a larger change in HH performance rates over their baseline than those in the AHHMS-alone group (P < 0.001).
AHHMS combined with clinician-based vendor support and hospital-led unit-based initiatives resulted in the greatest improvements in HH performance. These results illustrate the value of a collaborative partnership between the hospital and the AHHMS vendor.
Background: Immunoglobulin supplies are limited; we aimed to determine if the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with difficulty accessing immunoglobulin treatment for patients diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP). Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted with CIDP patients (n=16, 68.75% female, mean age 60.38 ± 11.32) recruited from three Montreal tertiary care institutions. Patients completed a questionnaire inquiring about changes in their immunoglobulin treatment during the pandemic and about their quality of life. We used weighted chi-squared statistical tests and Cramer’s V correlation ratios to measure associations with treatment change. Results: Eighteen months after the pandemic started, 25% of our population were receiving immunoglobulin treatment at a different frequency, 6.3% were receiving a different dose, 12.5% were receiving a different dose and frequency, and 6.3% were receiving a different treatment. Reasons associated with treatment change were worsening of neurological condition (18.8%; Cramer’s V=0.480; p-value=0.055), improvement of neurological condition (25%; Cramer’s V=0.577; p-value=0.021) and reduced availability of treatment (6.3%; Cramer’s V=0.258; p-value=0.302). There were no significant correlations between lower quality of life (p-value=0.323) or lower Rasch-built Overall Disability Scale score (p-value=0.574) and treatment change. Conclusions: Difficulty accessing immunoglobulin treatment was not significantly associated with treatment change for CIDP patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This chapter examines repatriation and indigenous meanings, values, and uses of their material cultural heritage. What is the legacy of conquest that postcolonial scholarship and advocacy are challenging, and how are they doing so? How and why are the perspectives, means, challenges, and accomplishments regarding indigenous populations reclaiming ownership of cultural heritage different around the world?