VCU Scholars Compass

    Chrysalis: Shamanic Discovery

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    Student perspectives on worship services from Instructor Jennifer Garvin-Sanchez\u27s Religious Studies 108 Human Spirituality course at Virginia Commonwealth University

    A Brief Analysis of Suicide Methods and Trends in Virginia from 2003 to 2012

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    Background. The objective is to analyze and compare Virginia suicide data from 2003 to 2012 to US suicide data. Methods. Suicide trends by method, age, gender, and race were obtained from Virginia’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s annual reports. Results. Similar to US suicide rates, suicide rates in Virginia increased between 2003 and 2012 from 10.9/100,000 people to 12.9/100,000 people. The most common methods were firearm, asphyxia, and intentional drug overdose, respectively. The increase in asphyxia ( = 0.77, ≤ 0.01) and decrease in CO poisoning ( = −0.89, ≤ 0.01) were significant. Unlike national trends, intentional drug overdoses decreased ( = −0.55, = 0.10). Handgun suicides increased ( = 0.61, = 0.06) and are the most common method of firearm suicide. Hanging was the most common method of asphyxia. Helium suicides also increased ( = 0.75, = 0.05). Middle age females and males comprise the largest percentage of suicide. Unlike national data, the increase in middle age male suicides occurred only in the 55–64-year-old age group ( = 0.79, ≤ 0.01) and decreased in the 35–44-year-old age group ( = −0.60, = 0.07) and 10–14-year-old age group ( = −0.73, = 0.02). Suicide in all female age ranges remained stable. Caucasians represent the highest percentage of suicide. Conclusion. There has been a rise in suicide in Virginia and suicide rates and trends have closely resembled the national average albeit some differences. Suicide prevention needs to be enhanced

    Dysregulated Hepatic Methionine Metabolism Drives Homocysteine Elevation in Diet-Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

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    Methionine metabolism plays a central role in methylation reactions, production of glutathione and methylarginines, and modulating homocysteine levels. The mechanisms by which these are affected in NAFLD are not fully understood. The aim is to perform a metabolomic, molecular and epigenetic analyses of hepatic methionine metabolism in diet-induced NAFLD. Female 129S1/SvlmJ;C57Bl/6J mice were fed a chow (n = 6) or high-fat high-cholesterol (HFHC) diet (n = 8) for 52 weeks. Metabolomic study, enzymatic expression and DNA methylation analyses were performed. HFHC diet led to weight gain, marked steatosis and extensive fibrosis. In the methionine cycle, hepatic methionine was depleted (30%, p\u3c 0.01) while s-adenosylmethionine (SAM)/methionine ratio (p\u3c 0.05), s-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) (35%, p\u3c 0.01) and homocysteine (25%, p\u3c 0.01) were increased significantly. SAH hydrolase protein levels decreased significantly (

    24R,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Protects against Articular Cartilage Damage following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Transection in Male Rats

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    Osteoarthritis (OA) in humans is associated with low circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25 (OH)D3]. In vitamin D replete rats, radiolabeled 24R,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [24R,25 (OH)2D3] accumulates in articular cartilage following injection of [3 H]-25(OH)D3. Previously, we showed that 24R,25(OH)2D3 blocks chondrocyte apoptosis via phospholipase D and p53, suggesting a role for 24R,25(OH)2D3 in maintaining cartilage health. We examined the ability of 24R,25(OH)2D3 to prevent degenerative changes in articular cartilage in an OAlike environment and the potential mechanisms involved. In vitro, rat articular chondrocytes were treated with IL-1β with and without 24R,25(OH)2D3 or 1α,25(OH)2D3. 24R,25(OH)2D3 but not 1α,25(OH)2D3 blocked the effects of IL-1β in a dose-dependent manner, and its effect was partially mediated through the TGF-β1 signaling pathway. In vivo, unilateral anterior cruciate ligament transections were performed in immunocompetent rats followed by intra-articular injections of 24R,25(OH)2D3 or vehicle (t = 0, 7, 14, 21 days). Tissues were harvested on day 28. Joints treated with vehicle had changes typical of OA whereas joints treated with 24R,25(OH)2D3 had less articular cartilage damage and levels of inflammatory mediators. These results indicate that 24R,25(OH)2D3 protects against OA, and suggest that it may be a therapeutic approach for preventing trauma-induced osteoarthritis

    Pelvic trauma: WSES classification and guidelines

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    Complex pelvic injuries are among the most dangerous and deadly trauma related lesions. Different classification systems exist, some are based on the mechanism of injury, some on anatomic patterns and some are focusing on the resulting instability requiring operative fixation. The optimal treatment strategy, however, should keep into consideration the hemodynamic status, the anatomic impairment of pelvic ring function and the associated injuries. The management of pelvic trauma patients aims definitively to restore the homeostasis and the normal physiopathology associated to the mechanical stability of the pelvic ring. Thus the management of pelvic trauma must be multidisciplinary and should be ultimately based on the physiology of the patient and the anatomy of the injury. This paper presents the World Society of Emergency Surgery (WSES) classification of pelvic trauma and the management Guidelines

    Postpartum Visit Attendance Increases the Use of Modern Contraceptives

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    Background. Delays in postpartum contraceptive use may increase risk for unintended or rapid repeat pregnancies. The postpartum care visit (PPCV) is a good opportunity for women to discuss family planning options with their health care providers. This study examined the association between PPCV attendance and modern contraceptive use using data from a managed care organization. Methods. Claims and demographic and administrative data came from a nonprofit managed care organization in Virginia (2008–2012). Information on the most recent delivery for mothers with singleton births was analyzed (N = 24,619). Routine PPCV (yes, no) and modern contraceptive use were both dichotomized. Descriptive analyses provided percentages, frequencies, and means. Multiple logistic regression was conducted and ORs and 95% CIs were calculated. Results. More than half of the women did not attend their PPCV (50.8%) and 86.9% had no modern contraceptive use. After controlling for the effects of confounders, women with PPCV were 50% more likely to use modern contraceptive methods than women with no PPCV (OR = 1.50, 95% CI = 1.31, 1.72). Conclusions. These findings highlight the importance of PPCV in improving modern contraceptive use and guide health care policy in the effort of reducing unintended pregnancy rates

    [Review of] Lydio F. Tomasi, ed. Italian Americans: New Perspectives in Italian Immigration and Ethnicity

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    There are those who have heralded the 1980s as The Decade of the Italian American as many of the 20 million Americans of Italian descent achieve increasing prominence in politics, business, education and the arts. This new role assumed by Americans of immigrant stock has necessitated revised patterns of investigation addressing the impact of socio-economic mobility, the effects of transmigration and the growing phenomenon of exogenous marriage. For example, of the Italian American women born since 1950, between two-thirds and three-quarters have married outside the ethnic group. Finally, the size and multigenerational sampling provided by the Italian American population invites careful study of rural versus urban assimilation patterns, analysis of the relationship of sojourner settlement patterns to politico-economic conditions in the homeland, and an investigation of the myriad variations of acculturation affected by class, age and extent of social support network

    [Review of] C. Peter Ripley, ed. The Black Abolitionist Papers, Vol. 1: The British Isles, 1830-1865

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    From 1830 until 1865, hundreds of American, Canadian, and West Indian blacks went to the British Isles and became active in the antislavery movement, which in 1833 reached a peak there with abolition of slavery in the Empire but was only beginning to gain momentum in the United States. They represented the full spectrum of free or fugitive Western Hemisphere blacks: some were well-known antislavery speakers and writers such as Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany; others were originally unknowns such as John Andrew Jackson, who spoke in the peculiar broken dialect of the negro, and John Brown, whose language was of the rudest but most impressive character. A few, as for example William Nixon, resorted to fraud and were imprisoned, or, like Alexander Duval, were reduced to begging in the streets of London. Several were women, most notably Ellen Craft and Sarah Remond

    [Review of] William H. Tucker. The Science and Politics of Racial Research

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    Since there is usually a two year period of time that elapses between the acceptance of a manuscript by a university press and its publication, we must commend William H. Tucker, who is an associate professor of psychology at Rutgers University, in his anticipation of contemporary controversies in reference to the relative abilities of races. Tucker argues that there is continuity in the thought of racists, which over the past two centuries include anthropometricians, eugenicists, and segregationists. ”The imprimatur of science,“ Tucker argues cogently, ”has been offered to justify, first slavery and, later, segregation, nativism, socio-political inequality, class subordination, poverty, and the general futility of social and economic reform. For Tucker, the attempt to demonstrate that one race is genetically less intelligent than others has been scientifically valueless and socially harmful. Scientific research into racial differences has, in essence, resulted in the “legitimation” of racist ideology. Nevertheless, Tucker is not pessimistic about winning the battle with racists. ”America\u27s democratic political traditions, he writes, ”have prevailed, and today universal suffrage, equal rights under law, and the guarantee of other civil liberties to all citizens are no longer up for debate; where demonstrable infringement has occurred, there is generally outrage and prompt redress

    [Review of] Crawford Young, ed. The Rising Tide of Cultural Pluralism: The Nation-State at Bay. And, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The State of the World\u27s Refugees: The Challenge of Protection

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    Interest in ethnic conflict and identity politics has led to an increase in the number of works attempting to understand this phenomena. The two works examined here follow in the same tradition
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