42 research outputs found

    What Do We Know About Contracting Out in the United States? Evidence from Household and Establishment Surveys

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    A variety of evidence points to significant growth in domestic contracting out over the last two decades, yet the phenomenon is not well documented. In this paper, we pull together data from various sources to shed light on the extent of and trends in domestic outsourcing, the occupations in which it has grown, and the industries engaging in outsourcing for the employment services sector, which has been a particularly important area of domestic outsourcing. In addition, we examine evidence of contracting out of selected occupations to other sectors. We point to many gaps in our knowledge on trends in domestic outsourcing and its implications for employment patterns and to inconsistencies across data sets in the information that is available. We recommend steps to improve data in this area

    Bioinformatic and Genetic Association Analysis of MicroRNA Target Sites in One-Carbon Metabolism Genes

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    One-carbon metabolism (OCM) is linked to DNA synthesis and methylation, amino acid metabolism and cell proliferation. OCM dysfunction has been associated with increased risk for various diseases, including cancer and neural tube defects. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are ∼22 nt RNA regulators that have been implicated in a wide array of basic cellular processes, such as differentiation and metabolism. Accordingly, mis-regulation of miRNA expression and/or activity can underlie complex disease etiology. We examined the possibility of OCM regulation by miRNAs. Using computational miRNA target prediction methods and Monte-Carlo based statistical analyses, we identified two candidate miRNA “master regulators” (miR-22 and miR-125) and one candidate pair of “master co-regulators” (miR-344-5p/484 and miR-488) that may influence the expression of a significant number of genes involved in OCM. Interestingly, miR-22 and miR-125 are significantly up-regulated in cells grown under low-folate conditions. In a complementary analysis, we identified 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are located within predicted miRNA target sites in OCM genes. We genotyped these 15 SNPs in a population of healthy individuals (age 18–28, n = 2,506) that was previously phenotyped for various serum metabolites related to OCM. Prior to correction for multiple testing, we detected significant associations between TCblR rs9426 and methylmalonic acid (p  =  0.045), total homocysteine levels (tHcy) (p  =  0.033), serum B12 (p < 0.0001), holo transcobalamin (p < 0.0001) and total transcobalamin (p < 0.0001); and between MTHFR rs1537514 and red blood cell folate (p < 0.0001). However, upon further genetic analysis, we determined that in each case, a linked missense SNP is the more likely causative variant. Nonetheless, our Monte-Carlo based in silico simulations suggest that miRNAs could play an important role in the regulation of OCM

    Thrombospondin-2 and SPARC/osteonectin are critical regulators of bone remodeling

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    Thrombospondin-2 (TSP2) and osteonectin/BM-40/SPARC are matricellular proteins that are highly expressed by bone cells. Mice deficient in either of these proteins show phenotypic alterations in the skeleton, and these phenotypes are most pronounced under conditions of altered bone remodeling. For example, TSP2-null mice have higher cortical bone volume and are resistant to bone loss associated with ovariectomy, whereas SPARC-null mice have decreased trabecular bone volume and fail to demonstrate an increase in bone mineral density in response to a bone-anabolic parathyroid hormone treatment regimen. In vitro, marrow stromal cell (MSC) osteoprogenitors from TSP2-null mice have increased proliferation but delayed formation of mineralized matrix. Similarly, in cultures of SPARC-null MSCs, osteoblastic differentiation and mineralized matrix formation are decreased. Overall, both TSP2 and SPARC positively influence osteoblastic differentiation. Intriguingly, both of these matricellular proteins appear to impact MSC fate through mechanisms that could involve the Notch signaling system. This review provides an overview of the role of TSP2 and SPARC in regulating bone structure, function, and remodeling, as determined by both in vitro and in vivo studies