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The limitations of self-report measures of dietary intake are well-known. Novel, technology-based measures of dietary intake may provide a more accurate, less burdensome alternative to existing tools. The first objective of this study was to compare participant burden for two technology-based measures of dietary intake among school-age children: the Automated-Self-Administered 24-hour Dietary Assessment Tool-2018 (ASA24-2018) and the Remote Food Photography Method (RFPM). The second objective was to compare reported energy intake for each method to the Estimated Energy Requirement for each child, as a benchmark for actual intake. Forty parent–child dyads participated in two, 3-d dietary assessments: a parent proxy-reported version of the ASA24 and the RFPM. A parent survey was subsequently administered to compare satisfaction, ease of use and burden with each method. A linear mixed model examined differences in total daily energy intake between assessments, and between each assessment method and the Estimated Energy Requirement (EER). Reported energy intake was 379 kcal higher with the ASA24 than the RFPM (P = 0·0002). Reported energy intake with the ASA24 was 231 kcal higher than the EER (P = 0·008). Reported energy intake with the RFPM did not differ significantly from the EER (difference in predicted means = −148 kcal, P = 0·09). Median satisfaction and ease of use scores were five out of six for both methods. A higher proportion of parents reported that the ASA24 was more time-consuming than the RFPM (74·4 % v. 25·6 %, P = 0·002). Utilisation of both methods is warranted given their high satisfaction among parents.
Twin studies function as natural experiments that reveal political ideology’s substantial genetic roots, but how does that comport with research showing a largely nonideological public? This study integrates two important literatures and tests whether political sophistication – itself heritable – provides an “enriched environment” for genetic predispositions to actualize in political attitudes. Estimates from the Minnesota Twin Study show that sociopolitical conservatism is extraordinarily heritable (74%) for the most informed fifth of the public – much more so than population-level results (57%) – but with much lower heritability (29%) for the public’s bottom half. This heterogeneity is clearest in the Wilson–Patterson (W-P) index, with similar patterns for individual index items, an ideological constraint measure, and ideological identification. The results resolve tensions between two key fields by showing that political knowledge facilitates the expression of genetic predispositions in mass politics.
Studies suggest that alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders have distinct genetic backgrounds.
We examined whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) for consumption and problem subscales of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C, AUDIT-P) in the UK Biobank (UKB; N = 121 630) correlate with alcohol outcomes in four independent samples: an ascertained cohort, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA; N = 6850), and population-based cohorts: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; N = 5911), Generation Scotland (GS; N = 17 461), and an independent subset of UKB (N = 245 947). Regression models and survival analyses tested whether the PRS were associated with the alcohol-related outcomes.
In COGA, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with alcohol dependence, AUD symptom count, maximum drinks (R2 = 0.47–0.68%, p = 2.0 × 10−8–1.0 × 10−10), and increased likelihood of onset of alcohol dependence (hazard ratio = 1.15, p = 4.7 × 10−8); AUDIT-C PRS was not an independent predictor of any phenotype. In ALSPAC, the AUDIT-C PRS was associated with alcohol dependence (R2 = 0.96%, p = 4.8 × 10−6). In GS, AUDIT-C PRS was a better predictor of weekly alcohol use (R2 = 0.27%, p = 5.5 × 10−11), while AUDIT-P PRS was more associated with problem drinking (R2 = 0.40%, p = 9.0 × 10−7). Lastly, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with ICD-based alcohol-related disorders in the UKB subset (R2 = 0.18%, p < 2.0 × 10−16).
AUDIT-P PRS was associated with a range of alcohol-related phenotypes across population-based and ascertained cohorts, while AUDIT-C PRS showed less utility in the ascertained cohort. We show that AUDIT-P is genetically correlated with both use and misuse and demonstrate the influence of ascertainment schemes on PRS analyses.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Centenarians have survived into very late life, but whether they reach very old age in good health remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to compare the cardiovascular health status and cognitive functioning of centenarians in the United States with centenarians in Japan.
Design, Setting, and Participants:
This cross-national design compared centenarians from the United States and Japan. The sample of U.S. centenarians was recruited from the Georgia Centenarian Study and included 287 centenarians. The sample of Japanese centenarians was recruited from the Tokyo Centenarian Study and included 304 centenarians.
Cognitive functioning was assessed with a mental status questionnaire, and cardiovascular disease by a health history assessment, blood pressure, and selected blood parameters.
The results suggest that Tokyo centenarians had lower disease experiences and BMI values, when compared to Georgia centenarians, but blood pressure was higher among Japanese centenarians. Lower levels of hemoglobin in Japanese centenarians and higher levels of C-reactive protein in Georgia were also found. The positive association of hypertension and albumin levels with cognitive functioning and the negative association of stroke occurrence with cognitive functioning were replicated in both countries. Differential effects were obtained for heart problems, BMI, and C-reactive protein (with positive effects for Tokyo centenarians, except for C-reactive protein).
For extremely old individuals, some markers of cardiovascular disease are replicable across countries, whereas differential effects for cardiovascular health also need to be considered in cardiovascular health.
Regulating reproduction has involved far more than the law, but modern legal systems defined the bourgeois family and brought reproduction within an official framework, while disciplinary norms have operated in part through formal regulation. This chapter reviews some roles of law in reproduction since around 1800, mainly for the United Kingdom and the United States with their emphasis—influential through the British Empire—on common law rather than civil codes. With the focus on contraception, sterilization and abortion, on the one hand, and assisted conception, on the other, we review the expansion of the state and the medical profession into the market, especially through nineteenth-century anti-abortion and obscenity legislation, notably the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 and the Comstock laws; the reforms of the 1960s and 1970s, particularly those leading to the 1967 Abortion Act and Roe v. Wade (1973), that critiqued state control and medical authority, but also drew on agendas for change within the professions and sometimes strengthened medical power; and the rise of arms-length regulation of in vitro fertilization, donor insemination and other techniques of assisted conception, notably through the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority—in marked contrast to the largely unregulated US.
The goal of this study was to perform in situ electrochemical polymerization of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) in peripheral nerves to create a soft, precisely located injectable conductive polymer electrode for bi-directional communication. Intraneural PEDOT polymerization was performed to target both outer and inner fascicles via custom fabricated 3D printed cuff electrodes and monomer injection strategies using a combination electrode-cannula system. Electrochemistry, histology, and laser light sheet microscopy revealed the presence of PEDOT at specified locations inside of peripheral nerve. This work demonstrates the potential for using in situ PEDOT electrodeposition as an injectable electrode for recording and stimulation of peripheral nerves.
The ability to interface electronic materials with the peripheral nervous system is required for stimulation and monitoring of neural signals. Thus, the design and engineering of robust neural interfaces that maintain material-tissue contact in the presence of material or tissue micromotion offer the potential to conduct novel measurements and develop future therapies that require chronic interface with the peripheral nervous system. However, such remains an open challenge given the constraints of existing materials sets and manufacturing approaches for design and fabrication of neural interfaces. Here, we investigated the potential to leverage a rapid prototyping approach for the design and fabrication of nerve cuffs that contain supporting features to mechanically stabilize the interaction between cuff electrodes and peripheral nerve. A hybrid 3D printing and robotic-embedding (i.e., pick-and-place) system was used to design and fabricate silicone nerve cuffs (800 µm diameter) containing conforming platinum (Pt) electrodes. We demonstrate that the electrical impedance of the cuff electrodes can be reduced by deposition of the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) on cuff electrodes via a post-processing electropolymerization technique. The computer-aided design and manufacturing approach was also used to design and integrate supporting features to the cuff that mechanically stabilize the interface between the cuff electrodes and the peripheral nerve. Both ‘self-locking’ and suture-assisted locking mechanisms are demonstrated based on the principle of making geometric alterations to the cuff opening via 3D printing. Ultimately, this work shows 3D printing offers considerable opportunity to integrate supporting features, and potentially even novel electronic materials, into nerve cuffs that can support the design and engineering of next generation neural interfaces.
Healthy adults (n 30) participated in a placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blinded, cross-over study consisting of two 28 d treatments (β2-1 fructan or maltodextrin; 3×5 g/d) separated by a 14-d washout. Subjects provided 1 d faecal collections at days 0 and 28 of each treatment. The ability of faecal bacteria to metabolise β2-1 fructan was common; eighty-seven species (thirty genera, and four phyla) were isolated using anaerobic medium containing β2-1 fructan as the sole carbohydrate source. β2-1 fructan altered the faecal community as determined through analysis of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms and 16S rRNA genes. Supplementation with β2-1 fructan reduced faecal community richness, and two patterns of community change were observed. In most subjects, β2-1 fructan reduced the content of phylotypes aligning within the Bacteroides, whereas increasing those aligning within bifidobacteria, Faecalibacterium and the family Lachnospiraceae. In the remaining subjects, supplementation increased the abundance of Bacteroidetes and to a lesser extent bifidobacteria, accompanied by decreases within the Faecalibacterium and family Lachnospiraceae. β2-1 Fructan had no impact on the metagenome or glycoside hydrolase profiles in faeces from four subjects. Few relationships were found between the faecal bacterial community and various host parameters; Bacteroidetes content correlated with faecal propionate, subjects whose faecal community contained higher Bacteroidetes produced more caproic acid independent of treatment, and subjects having lower faecal Bacteroidetes exhibited increased concentrations of serum lipopolysaccharide and lipopolysaccharide binding protein independent of treatment. We found no evidence to support a defined health benefit for the use of β2-1 fructans in healthy subjects.
The ultimatum game is a standard instrument for laboratory experimentalists. It has been replicated in a large number of environments and points to special considerations for fairness. Although it has been popular in the experimental community, researchers have not harnessed all the statistical power they should to evaluate the dynamics at work in this type of a bargaining game. This research uses two planned treatments, the first involving a signaling condition concerning a subject's “type”, and the second a price effect built into the structure of the game. We find that there are no significant main effects as a result of the signaling condition of a subject's type, but that there are strong effects as a result of the different payoff parameters. Using a variety of multivariate models we find important, nonobvious interactions with the gender of the subjects. The lesson that we take away from this research is that experimentalists can learn more from data collected in the tightly controlled laboratory environment by using statistical techniques that complement their research designs.
The dynamic nature of sand dunes over relatively short spatial and temporal scales makes them an ideal phenomenon from which to obtain a better understanding of the interactions between the geosciences and biological sciences. Most early studies of sand dunes focused on classification of dune forms, plant species composition on various dune types, plant succession, and the morphological adaptation of plants to sand burial, salt spray, and xeric conditions. In this chapter, the interaction of ecology and geomorphology in the development of coastal sand dunes will be discussed, from the origin of ecology in the 1800s through to the present. Underlying this history is a struggle by both disciplines to move from a mainly descriptive approach toward an understanding of how sand dunes and plants influence each other. The difficulty has always been how to couple the physical processes of sand transport with the influence of plants and, in turn, how to connect plants with different life histories to sand transport. This undertaking is still in its infancy.
Physiography and Physiographic Ecology
At the end of the 1800s, both physiography (as geomorphology was called at the time) and biology adopted a neo-Lamarckian evolutionary viewpoint (Johnson, 1979; Inkpen and Collier, 2007). Evolution, at this time, incorporated ideas of directional development that could take place at scales above the individual or population (today this idea is called group selection and is mostly rejected as having no valid mechanism (Williams, 1966)). Stages in this directional development were believed to facilitate further evolution. The result was a belief that many forms in biology developed in a progressive, integrated manner with an end-stage that would be in equilibrium. Herbert Spencer, a prolific but now largely forgotten philosopher, was a popular exponent of these ideas, combining both “evolutionary” and “quasi-thermodynamic” ideas in Principles of Biology (1864). He is best remembered for the teleological term “survival of the fittest.”
These evolutionary viewpoints can be found in numerous scientific studies, such as the landscape cycles of Davis (1889; 1899) and in the ecology of communities and succession of Cowles (1899), Clements (1916), and Cooper (1926).