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Nucleobases are nitrogenous bases composed of monomers that are a major constituent of RNA and DNA, which are an essential part of any cellular life on the Earth. The search for nucleobases in the interstellar medium remains a major challenge, however, the recent detection of nucleobases in meteorite samples and laboratory synthesis in simulated analogue experiments have confirmed their abiotic origin and a possible route for their delivery to the Earth. Nevertheless, cellular life is based on the interacting network of complex structures, and there is substantial lack of information on the possible routes by which such ordered structures may be formed in the prebiotic environment. In the current study, we present the evidence for the synthesis of complex structures due to shock processing of nucleobases. The nucleobases were subjected to the reflected shock temperature of 3500–7000 K (estimated) and pressure of about 15–34 bar for over ~2 ms timescale. Under such extreme thermodynamic conditions, the nucleobases sample experiences superheating and subsequent cooling. Electron microscopic studies of shock processed residue show that nucleobases result in spontaneous formation of complex structures when subjected to extreme conditions of shock. These results suggest that impact shock processes might have contributed to the self-assembly of biologically relevant structures and the origin of life.
Early growth pattern is increasingly recognized as a determinant of later obesity. This study aimed to identify the association between weight gain in early life and anthropometry, adiposity, leptin, and fasting insulin levels in adolescence. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 366 school children aged 11–13 years. Weight, height, and waist circumference (WC) were measured. Fat mass (FM) was assessed using bioelectrical impedance analysis. Blood was drawn after a 12-h fast for insulin and leptin assay. Birth weight and weight at 6 months and at 18 months were extracted from Child Health Development Records. An increase in weight SD score (SDS) by ≥0.67 was defined as accelerated weight gain. Linear mixed-effects modeling was used to predict anthropometry, adiposity, and metabolic outcomes using sex, pubertal status, accelerated weight gain as fixed factors; age, birth weight, and family income as fixed covariates, and school as a random factor. Children with accelerated weight gain between birth and 18 months had significantly higher body mass index (BMI) SDS, WC SDS, height SDS, %FM, fat mass index (FMI), fat free mass index (FFMI), and serum leptin levels in adolescence. Accelerated weight gain between 6 and 18 months was associated with higher BMI SDS, WC SDS, %FM, and FMI, but not with height SDS or FFMI. Accelerated weight gain at 0–6 months, in children with low birth weight, was associated with higher height SDS, BMI SDS, WC SDS, %FM, and FMI; in children with normal birth weight, it was associated with BMI SDS, WC SDS, height SDS, and FFMI, but not with %FM or FMI. Effects of accelerated weight gain in early life on anthropometry and adiposity in adolescence varied in different growth windows. Accelerated weight gain during 6–18 months was associated with higher FM rather than linear growth. Effects of accelerated weight gain between 0 and 6 months varied with birth weight.
Salmonella enterica serovar Wangata (S. Wangata) is an important cause of endemic salmonellosis in Australia, with human infections occurring from undefined sources. This investigation sought to examine possible environmental and zoonotic sources for human infections with S. Wangata in north-eastern New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The investigation adopted a One Health approach and was comprised of three complimentary components: a case–control study examining human risk factors; environmental and animal sampling; and genomic analysis of human, animal and environmental isolates. Forty-eight human S. Wangata cases were interviewed during a 6-month period from November 2016 to April 2017, together with 55 Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) controls and 130 neighbourhood controls. Indirect contact with bats/flying foxes (S. Typhimurium controls (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–6.48)) (neighbourhood controls (aOR 8.33, 95% CI 2.58–26.83)), wild frogs (aOR 3.65, 95% CI 1.32–10.07) and wild birds (aOR 6.93, 95% CI 2.29–21.00) were statistically associated with illness in multivariable analyses. S. Wangata was detected in dog faeces, wildlife scats and a compost specimen collected from the outdoor environments of cases’ residences. In addition, S. Wangata was detected in the faeces of wild birds and sea turtles in the investigation area. Genomic analysis revealed that S. Wangata isolates were relatively clonal. Our findings suggest that S. Wangata is present in the environment and may have a reservoir in wildlife populations in north-eastern NSW. Further investigation is required to better understand the occurrence of Salmonella in wildlife groups and to identify possible transmission pathways for human infections.
This article explores the origins of youth engagement in school, community and democracy. Specifically, it considers the role of psychosocial or non-cognitive abilities, like grit or perseverance. Using a novel original large-scale longitudinal survey of students linked to school administrative records and a variety of modeling techniques – including sibling, twin and individual fixed effects – the study finds that psychosocial abilities are a strong predictor of youth civic engagement. Gritty students miss less class time and are more engaged in their schools, are more politically efficacious, are more likely to intend to vote when they become eligible, and volunteer more. Our work highlights the value of psychosocial attributes in the political socialization of young people.
Recent findings highlight that there are prenatal risks for affective disorders that are mediated by glucocorticoid mechanisms, and may be specific to females. There is also evidence of sex differences in prenatal programming mechanisms and developmental psychopathology, whereby effects are in opposite directions in males and females. As birth weight is a risk for affective disorders, we sought to investigate whether maternal prenatal cortisol may have sex-specific effects on fetal growth. Participants were 241 mothers selected from the Wirral Child Health and Development Study (WCHADS) cohort (n=1233) using a psychosocial risk stratifier, so that responses could be weighted back to the general population. Mothers provided saliva samples, which were assayed for cortisol, at home over 2 days at 32 weeks gestation (on waking, 30-min post-waking and during the evening). Measures of infant birth weight (corrected for gestational age) were taken from hospital records. General population estimates of associations between variables were obtained using inverse probability weights. Maternal log of the area under the curve cortisol predicted infant birth weight in a sex-dependent manner (interaction term P=0.029). There was a positive and statistically significant association between prenatal cortisol in males, and a negative association in females that was not statistically significant. A sex interaction in the same direction was evident when using the waking (P=0.015), and 30-min post-waking (P=0.013) cortisol, but not the evening measure. There was no interaction between prenatal cortisol and sex to predict gestational age. Our findings add to an emerging literature that suggests that there may be sex-specific mechanisms that underpin fetal programming.
Protohistoric Ancestral Apache Dismal River groups (A.D. 1600–1750)
participated in large exchange networks linking them to other peoples on the
Plains and U.S. Southwest. Ceramic vessels made from micaceous materials
appear at many Dismal River sites, and micaceous pottery recovered from the
Central High Plains is typically seen as evidence for interaction with
northern Rio Grande pueblos. However, few mineral or chemical
characterization analyses have been conducted on these ceramics, and the
term “micaceous” has been applied to a broad range of vessel types
regardless of the form, size, or amount of mica in their pastes. Our recent
analyses, including macroscopic evaluation combined with petrography and
neutron activation analyses (NAA), indicate that only a small subset of
Dismal River sherds are derived from New Mexico clays. The rest were likely
manufactured using materials from Colorado and Wyoming. Seasonal mobility
patterns may have given Dismal River potters the opportunity to collect mica
raw materials as they traveled between the Central Plains and Front Range,
and this has implications for the importance of internal Plains social
networks during the Protohistoric and Historic periods.
To determine if total lifetime physical activity (PA) is associated with better cognitive functioning with aging and if cerebrovascular function mediates this association. A sample of 226 (52.2% female) community dwelling middle-aged and older adults (66.5±6.4 years) in the Brain in Motion Study, completed the Lifetime Total Physical Activity Questionnaire and underwent neuropsychological and cerebrovascular blood flow testing. Multiple robust linear regressions were used to model the associations between lifetime PA and global cognition after adjusting for age, sex, North American Adult Reading Test results (i.e., an estimate of premorbid intellectual ability), maximal aerobic capacity, body mass index and interactions between age, sex, and lifetime PA. Mediation analysis assessed the effect of cerebrovascular measures on the association between lifetime PA and global cognition. Post hoc analyses assessed past year PA and current fitness levels relation to global cognition and cerebrovascular measures. Better global cognitive performance was associated with higher lifetime PA (p=.045), recreational PA (p=.021), and vigorous intensity PA (p=.004), PA between the ages of 0 and 20 years (p=.036), and between the ages of 21 and 35 years (p<.0001). Cerebrovascular measures did not mediate the association between PA and global cognition scores (p>.5), but partially mediated the relation between current fitness and global cognition. This study revealed significant associations between higher levels of PA (i.e., total lifetime, recreational, vigorous PA, and past year) and better cognitive function in later life. Current fitness levels relation to cognitive function may be partially mediated through current cerebrovascular function. (JINS, 2015, 21, 816–830)
Considerable research has documented that exposure to traumatic events has negative effects on physical and mental health. Much less research has examined the predictors of traumatic event exposure. Increased understanding of risk factors for exposure to traumatic events could be of considerable value in targeting preventive interventions and anticipating service needs.
General population surveys in 24 countries with a combined sample of 68 894 adult respondents across six continents assessed exposure to 29 traumatic event types. Differences in prevalence were examined with cross-tabulations. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to determine whether traumatic event types clustered into interpretable factors. Survival analysis was carried out to examine associations of sociodemographic characteristics and prior traumatic events with subsequent exposure.
Over 70% of respondents reported a traumatic event; 30.5% were exposed to four or more. Five types – witnessing death or serious injury, the unexpected death of a loved one, being mugged, being in a life-threatening automobile accident, and experiencing a life-threatening illness or injury – accounted for over half of all exposures. Exposure varied by country, sociodemographics and history of prior traumatic events. Being married was the most consistent protective factor. Exposure to interpersonal violence had the strongest associations with subsequent traumatic events.
Given the near ubiquity of exposure, limited resources may best be dedicated to those that are more likely to be further exposed such as victims of interpersonal violence. Identifying mechanisms that account for the associations of prior interpersonal violence with subsequent trauma is critical to develop interventions to prevent revictimization.
Cryptosporidium, a parasite known to cause large drinking and recreational water outbreaks, is tolerant of chlorine concentrations used for drinking water treatment. Human laboratory-based surveillance for enteric pathogens detected a cryptosporidiosis outbreak in Baker City, Oregon during July 2013 associated with municipal drinking water. Objectives of the investigation were to confirm the outbreak source and assess outbreak extent. The watershed was inspected and city water was tested for contamination. To determine the community attack rate, a standardized questionnaire was administered to randomly sampled households. Weighted attack rates and confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Water samples tested positive for Cryptosporidium species; a Cryptosporidium parvum subtype common in cattle was detected in human stool specimens. Cattle were observed grazing along watershed borders; cattle faeces were observed within watershed barriers. The city water treatment facility chlorinated, but did not filter, water. The community attack rate was 28·3% (95% CI 22·1–33·6), sickening an estimated 2780 persons. Watershed contamination by cattle probably caused this outbreak; water treatments effective against Cryptosporidium were not in place. This outbreak highlights vulnerability of drinking water systems to pathogen contamination and underscores the need for communities to invest in system improvements to maintain multiple barriers to drinking water contamination.
The incidence of recreational water-associated outbreaks in the United States has significantly increased, driven, at least in part, by outbreaks both caused by Cryptosporidium and associated with treated recreational water venues. Because of the parasite's extreme chlorine tolerance, transmission can occur even in well-maintained treated recreational water venues (e.g. pools) and a focal cryptosporidiosis outbreak can evolve into a community-wide outbreak associated with multiple recreational water venues and settings (e.g. childcare facilities). In August 2004 in Auglaize County, Ohio, multiple cryptosporidiosis cases were identified and anecdotally linked to pool A. Within 5 days of the first case being reported, pool A was hyperchlorinated to achieve 99·9% Cryptosporidium inactivition. A case-control study was launched to epidemiologically ascertain the outbreak source 11 days later. A total of 150 confirmed and probable cases were identified; the temporal distribution of illness onset was peaked, indicating a point-source exposure. Cryptosporidiosis was significantly associated with swimming in pool A (matched odds ratio 121·7, 95% confidence interval 27·4–∞) but not with another venue or setting. The findings of this investigation suggest that proactive implementation of control measures, when increased Cryptosporidium transmission is detected but before an outbreak source is epidemiologically ascertained, might prevent a focal cryptosporidiosis outbreak from evolving into a community-wide outbreak.
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and isotope dilution technique have been used as reference methods to validate the estimates of body composition by simple field techniques; however, very few studies have compared these two methods. We compared the estimates of body composition by DXA and isotope dilution (18O) technique in apparently healthy Indian men and women (aged 19–70 years, n 152, 48 % men) with a wide range of BMI (14–40 kg/m2). Isotopic enrichment was assessed by isotope ratio mass spectroscopy. The agreement between the estimates of body composition measured by the two techniques was assessed by the Bland–Altman method. The mean age and BMI were 37 (sd 15) years and 23·3 (sd 5·1) kg/m2, respectively, for men and 37 (sd 14) years and 24·1 (sd 5·8) kg/m2, respectively, for women. The estimates of fat-free mass were higher by about 7 (95 % CI 6, 9) %, those of fat mass were lower by about 21 (95 % CI − 18, − 23) %, and those of body fat percentage (BF%) were lower by about 7·4 (95 % CI − 8·2, − 6·6) % as obtained by DXA compared with the isotope dilution technique. The Bland–Altman analysis showed wide limits of agreement that indicated poor agreement between the methods. The bias in the estimates of BF% was higher at the lower values of BF%. Thus, the two commonly used reference methods showed substantial differences in the estimates of body composition with wide limits of agreement. As the estimates of body composition are method-dependent, the two methods cannot be used interchangeably.
Incidental findings arising from imaging research have important implications for patient safety. Magnetic resonance imaging is widespread in multiple sclerosis (MS) studies and care, yet the prevalence rate of incidental findings in MS is poorly defined. The absence of such reports in the MS literature suggests that such findings may be deemed inappropriate for documentation in research publications, or possibly, not fully reported at all.
We sought to document incidental findings from a study designed to detect features of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) in MS patients and control subjects.
Magnetic resonance images were obtained as part of a prospective study conducted between October 2010 and September 2012. Patients with MS (relapsing-remitting, primary progressive, secondary progressive), clinically isolated syndromes, and neuromyelitis optica and age/sex-matched healthy controls were included. All images were reviewed by neuro-radiologists for quality-control purposes.
Magnetic resonance imaging was successfully obtained in 166 participants (110 patients, 56 controls). Incidental abnormalities (n = 33) were detected in 15% of patients (n = 17) and 27% of controls (n = 15), comprising 19% overall (n = 32).
The prevalence of incidental findings from the MS population was not significantly different from the control population. However, the overall prevalence was high and warrants a careful management strategy for future imaging studies.
The Millimetre Astronomy Legacy Team 90 GHz (MALT90) survey aims to characterise the physical and chemical evolution of high-mass star-forming clumps. Exploiting the unique broad frequency range and on-the-fly mapping capabilities of the Australia Telescope National Facility Mopra 22 m single-dish telescope1, MALT90 has obtained 3′ × 3′ maps towards ~2 000 dense molecular clumps identified in the ATLASGAL 870 μm Galactic plane survey. The clumps were selected to host the early stages of high-mass star formation and to span the complete range in their evolutionary states (from prestellar, to protostellar, and on to
regions and photodissociation regions). Because MALT90 mapped 16 lines simultaneously with excellent spatial (38 arcsec) and spectral (0.11 km s−1) resolution, the data reveal a wealth of information about the clumps’ morphologies, chemistry, and kinematics. In this paper we outline the survey strategy, observing mode, data reduction procedure, and highlight some early science results. All MALT90 raw and processed data products are available to the community. With its unprecedented large sample of clumps, MALT90 is the largest survey of its type ever conducted and an excellent resource for identifying interesting candidates for high-resolution studies with ALMA.
In June 2011, a cluster of suspected cases of Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS), which can follow Campylobacter jejuni infection, was identified in San Luis Río Colorado (SLRC), Sonora, Mexico and Yuma County, Arizona, USA. An outbreak investigation identified 26 patients (18 from Sonora, eight from Arizona) with onset of GBS 4 May–21 July 2011, exceeding the expected number of cases (n = 1–2). Twenty-one (81%) patients reported antecedent diarrhoea, and 61% of 18 patients tested were seropositive for C. jejuni IgM antibodies. In a case-control study matched on age group, sex, ethnicity, and neighbourhood of residence, all Arizona GBS patients travelled to SLRC during the exposure period vs. 45% of matched controls (matched odds ratio 8·1, 95% confidence interval 1·5–∞). Exposure information and an environmental assessment suggested that GBS cases resulted from a large outbreak of C. jejuni infection from inadequately disinfected tap water in SLRC. Binational collaboration was essential in investigating this cross-border GBS outbreak, the first in mainland North America since 1976.
We have developed a method allowing to extract DIBs from cool star spectra, based on combinations of stellar synthetic, telluric transmission (when necessary), and DIB profile models. It is applicable when the star temperature, surface gravity and metallicity have been previously estimated. Such a method aims at extracting extensive data from stellar spectroscopic surveys such as the Gaia-ESO Survey in progress at the VLT. The method has been applied to several strong DIBs detected towards stars from various programs and located at various distances from the solar neighborhood to the Galactic Bulge. Here we illustrate the extraction of the 8620 Å DIB, and compare its strength to the one of the 6284 Å band, both for nearby and bulge stars.
Medium to high-resolution stellar spectroscopic surveys can potentially be used to build DIB databases by means of automated methods of analysis. Multiplex spectrographs increase strongly those potentialities and allow small-scale variability studies. Because measurements of the stellar parameters are generally the primary goal of the surveys, synthetic spectra can be computed and used to extract DIBs from late-type star data. Large datasets should allow deeper investigations on the DIB variability in response to stellar radiation fields, DIB reddening relationships, and help localizing interstellar clouds. Here we describe our attempts to build and test automated methods adapted to both early and late type stars.