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This study investigated sex differences in Fe status, and associations between Fe status and endurance and musculoskeletal outcomes, in military training. In total, 2277 British Army trainees (581 women) participated. Fe markers and endurance performance (2·4 km run) were measured at the start (week 1) and end (week 13) of training. Whole-body areal body mineral density (aBMD) and markers of bone metabolism were measured at week 1. Injuries during training were recorded. Training decreased Hb in men and women (mean change (–0·1 (95 % CI –0·2, –0·0) and –0·7 (95 % CI –0·9, –0·6) g/dl, both P < 0·001) but more so in women (P < 0·001). Ferritin decreased in men and women (–27 (95 % CI –28, –23) and –5 (95 % CI –8, –1) µg/l, both P ≤ 0·001) but more so in men (P < 0·001). Soluble transferrin receptor increased in men and women (2·9 (95 % CI 2·3, 3·6) and 3·8 (95 % CI 2·7, 4·9) nmol/l, both P < 0·001), with no difference between sexes (P = 0·872). Erythrocyte distribution width increased in men (0·3 (95 % CI 0·2, 0·4)%, P < 0·001) but not in women (0·1 (95 % CI –0·1, 0·2)%, P = 0·956). Mean corpuscular volume decreased in men (–1·5 (95 % CI –1·8, –1·1) fL, P < 0·001) but not in women (0·4 (95 % CI –0·4, 1·3) fL, P = 0·087). Lower ferritin was associated with slower 2·4 km run time (P = 0·018), sustaining a lower limb overuse injury (P = 0·048), lower aBMD (P = 0·021) and higher beta C-telopeptide cross-links of type 1 collagen and procollagen type 1 N-terminal propeptide (both P < 0·001) controlling for sex. Improving Fe stores before training may protect Hb in women and improve endurance and protect against injury.
Environmental DNA is a powerful tool for monitoring biodiversity. Although environmental DNA surveys have successfully been implemented in various environments, protocol choice has been shown to affect results and inferences. Thus far, few method comparison studies for soil have been undertaken. Here, we optimized the workflow for soil metabarcoding through a comparative study encompassing variation in sampling strategy (individual and combined samples), DNA extraction (PowerSoil®, NucleoSpin® Soil, PowerSoil® + phosphate buffer and NucleoSpin® Soil + phosphate buffer) and library preparation (one-step and two-step quantitative polymerase chain reaction methods). Using a partial 18S rRNA marker, a total of 309 eukaryotic taxa across 21 phyla were identified from Antarctic soil from one site in the Larsemann Hills. Our optimized workflow was effective with no notable reduction in data quality for a considerable increase in time and cost efficiency. The NucleoSpin® Soil + phosphate buffer was the best-performing extraction method. Compared to similar studies in other regions, we obtained low taxonomic coverage, perhaps because of the paucity of Antarctic terrestrial organisms in genetic reference databases. Our findings provide useful methodological insights for maximizing efficiency in soil metabarcoding studies in Antarctica and other low-biomass environments.
The future is uncertain for Antarctica, with many possibilities – some more plausible, others more preferable. Indeed, the region and its governance regime may be reaching (or may have reached) a crossroads moment as a result of a series of challenges, including the changing Antarctic climate and environment, increasing human activity, shifting values among Antarctic states and a low-cost, somewhat benign governance regime (the Antarctic Treaty System). Within this context there are a number of interdependent drivers that are likely to influence Antarctica's future over, say, 25 years: global environmental and socio-economic developments; Antarctic governance; Antarctic research, including national Antarctic programme operations; and Antarctic tourism. The research presented here involved a thorough examination of Antarctic literature on current Antarctic developments and challenges, and an assessment of global trends. Scenarios were developed through a facilitated workshop process. From these, four future scenarios were developed based on interactions between these drivers. The resulting scenarios provide a dynamic, evolving possibility space to be explored as a means of understanding where Antarctic issues might evolve, depending on the growth or diminishing importance of drivers. In turn these suggest that more structured polar futures are needed based on formal quantitative and qualitative data.
To examine the use of vitamin D supplements during infancy among the participants in an international infant feeding trial.
Information about vitamin D supplementation was collected through a validated FFQ at the age of 2 weeks and monthly between the ages of 1 month and 6 months.
Infants (n 2159) with a biological family member affected by type 1 diabetes and with increased human leucocyte antigen-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes from twelve European countries, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Daily use of vitamin D supplements was common during the first 6 months of life in Northern and Central Europe (>80 % of the infants), with somewhat lower rates observed in Southern Europe (>60 %). In Canada, vitamin D supplementation was more common among exclusively breast-fed than other infants (e.g. 71 % v. 44 % at 6 months of age). Less than 2 % of infants in the USA and Australia received any vitamin D supplementation. Higher gestational age, older maternal age and longer maternal education were study-wide associated with greater use of vitamin D supplements.
Most of the infants received vitamin D supplements during the first 6 months of life in the European countries, whereas in Canada only half and in the USA and Australia very few were given supplementation.
The success of central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) prevention programs in intensive care units (ICUs) has led to the expansion of surveillance at many hospitals. We sought to compare non-ICU CLABSI (nCLABSI) rates with national reports and describe methods of surveillance at several participating US institutions.
Design and Setting.
An electronic survey of several medical centers about infection surveillance practices and rate data for non-ICU Patients.
Ten tertiary care hospitals.
In March 2011, a survey was sent to 10 medical centers. The survey consisted of 12 questions regarding demographics and CLABSI surveillance methodology for non-ICU patients at each center. Participants were also asked to provide available rate and device utilization data.
Hospitals ranged in size from 238 to 1,400 total beds (median, 815). All hospitals reported using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definitions. Denominators were collected by different means: counting patients with central lines every day (5 hospitals), indirectly estimating on the basis of electronic orders (n = 4), or another automated method (n = 1). Rates of nCLABSI ranged from 0.2 to 4.2 infections per 1,000 catheter-days (median, 2.5). The national rate reported by the CDC using 2009 data from the National Healthcare Surveillance Network was 1.14 infections per 1,000 catheter-days.
Only 2 hospitals were below the pooled CLABSI rate for inpatient wards; all others exceeded this rate. Possible explanations include differences in average central line utilization or hospital size in the impact of certain clinical risk factors notably absent from the definition and in interpretation and reporting practices. Further investigation is necessary to determine whether the national benchmarks are low or whether the hospitals surveyed here represent a selection of outliers.
Bacterial protein toxins are powerful biological poisons normally associated with impairment of cellular function and/or cellular death. The wide spectrum of physiological processes and cell types that are affected by bacterial products also includes bone tissue and bone cells. It has been known for many years that bacterial infection or exposure to certain toxins can lead to pathological bone disorders, most commonly, those associated with abnormal or excessive bone loss, such as periodontal disease (reviewed by Henderson and Nair, 2003). However, in most cases the bone-resorbing factors involved in these effects remain part of, or associated with, the bacterial surface. For example, the bone-resorbing effects of endotoxin, a component of lipopolysaccharide, are well established, although for the most part this action appears to be indirect, being dependent on the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1, TNFα) from other cell types (Nair et al., 1996; Henderson and Nair 2003). In contrast, the effects of bacterial protein toxins on the cellular constituents of bone remain largely unknown. For simplicity, this review will focus only on bacterial toxins, in particular, those toxins that interfere with key signalling processes that have direct relevance to bone cell differentiation and function. However, a brief overview of the general biology of bone cells is necessary before discussing the mechanisms of toxin action and specific signal transduction pathways in bone.
Throughout life the vertebrate skeleton is in a constant state of turnover.
USABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY OF DIGITAL LIBRARY SERVICES
Neil King, Researcher, Centre for HCI Design, City University, London, UK,
Terry Hoi-Yan Ma, Research Assistant, Centre for HCI Design, City University, London, UK,
Panayiotis Zaphiris, Lecturer, Centre for HCI Design, City University, London, UK,
Helen Petrie, Professor of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), City University, London, UK,
Fraser Hamilton, Senior Research Consultant, City University, London, UK
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are enabling a global audience to share knowledge and ideas with one another by the click of a button. One of the key tools of this revolution is the internet, which is replacing CD-ROMs with online databases, traditional hard copy books and journals with digital libraries and atlases with interactive geo-spatial data. The success of these services is maximized if end-users are well supported to easily accomplish their desired tasks.
The nature of digital libraries
In recent years the information superhighway, the internet, has become a global gateway for information dissemination. With the ability to share worldwide collections of information, digital libraries (DLs) have become one of the common mediums to store and disseminate information by individuals or groups that select, organize and catalogue large numbers of documents.
DLs, generally referred to as ‘collections of information that are both digitized and organized’ (Lesk, 1997), give us opportunities we never had with traditional libraries or even with the web. Current design of DLs contains complex facilities including text search, functionality relating to hypertext, multimedia, the internet and highly interactive interfaces.
According to Theng (1997), if we have problems producing good websites (as evidenced by much research done in addressing problems on the web), then because DLs are more than just websites, we can expect to have problems creating good DLs too. Also, Dix et al. (1995) suggested that even if the best methodologies and models are adopted in the design of a usable interactive system, it is still necessary to assess the design and test the system to ensure that it behaves as expected and meets the user's requirements. Therefore, there is a need for a usability and accessibility framework that supports the development of effective solutions for DLs in order to produce truly usable and accessible DLs.
A crucial factor for libraries is that the information they preserve and deliver must be effectively organized. With regards to DLs, Arms (2002) notes that a ‘(d)igital stream of data sent to earth from a satellite is not a library. [However, the] same data, when organized systematically, becomes a digital library collection.’ This is one of the key dimensions of a DL.