741 research outputs found

    Efficacy of a family practice-based lifestyle intervention program to increase physical activity and reduce clinical and physiological markers of vascular health in patients with high normal blood pressure and/or high normal blood glucose (SNAC): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Previous interventions to increase physical activity and reduce cardiovascular risk factors have been targeted at individuals with established disease; less attention has been given to intervention among individuals with high risk for disease nor has there been determination of the influence of setting in which the intervention is provided. In particular, family practice represents an ideal setting for the provision and long-term maintenance of lifestyle interventions for patients at risk (ie high-normal blood pressure or impaired glucose tolerance).</p> <p>Methods/design</p> <p>The Staged Nutrition and Activity Counseling (SNAC) study is a randomized clustered design clinical trial that will investigate the effectiveness and efficacy of a multi-component lifestyle intervention on cardiovascular disease risk factors and vascular function in patients at risk in primary care. Patients will be randomized by practice to either a standard of care lifestyle intervention or a behaviourally-based, matched prescriptive physical activity and diet change program. The primary goal is to increase physical activity and improve dietary intake according to Canada's Guides to Physical Activity Healthy Eating over 24 months. The primary intention to treat analysis will compare behavioral, physiological and metabolic outcomes at 6, 12 and 24 months post-randomization including estimation of incident hypertension and/or diabetes.</p> <p>Discussion</p> <p>The design features of our trial, and the practical problems (and solutions) associated with implementing these design features, particularly those that result in potential delay between recruitment, baseline data collection, randomization, intervention, and assessment will be discussed. Results of the SNAC trial will provide scientific rationale for the implementation of this lifestyle intervention in primary care.</p> <p>Trial registration</p> <p>ISRCTN: <a href="http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN:42921300">ISRCTN:42921300</a></p

    Intraspecfic variation in cold-temperature metabolic phenotypes of Arabidopsis lyrata ssp petraea

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    Atmospheric temperature is a key factor in determining the distribution of a plant species. Alongside this, plant populations growing at the margin of their range may exhibit traits that indicate genetic differentiation and adaptation to their local abiotic environment. We investigated whether geographically separated marginal populations of Arabidopsis lyrata ssp. petraea have distinct metabolic phenotypes associated with exposure to cold temperatures. Seeds of A. petraea were obtained from populations along a latitudinal gradient, namely Wales, Sweden and Iceland and grown in a controlled cabinet environment. Mannose, glucose, fructose, sucrose and raffinose concentrations were different between cold treatments and populations, especially in the Welsh population, but polyhydric alcohol concentrations were not. The free amino acid compositions were population specific, with fold differences in most amino acids, especially in the Icelandic populations, with gross changes in amino acids, particularly those associated with glutamine metabolism. Metabolic fingerprints and profiles were obtained. Principal component analysis (PCA) of metabolite fingerprints revealed metabolic characteristic phenotypes for each population and temperature. It is suggested that amino acids and carbohydrates were responsible for discriminating populations within the PCA. Metabolite fingerprinting and profiling has proved to be sufficiently sensitive to identify metabolic differences between plant populations at different atmospheric temperatures. These findings show that there is significant natural variation in cold metabolism among populations of A. l. petraea which may signify plant adaptation to local climates

    An Inducer of VGF Protects Cells against ER Stress-Induced Cell Death and Prolongs Survival in the Mutant SOD1 Animal Models of Familial ALS

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    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most frequent adult-onset motor neuron disease, and recent evidence has suggested that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress signaling is involved in the pathogenesis of ALS. Here we identified a small molecule, SUN N8075, which has a marked protective effect on ER stress-induced cell death, in an in vitro cell-based screening, and its protective mechanism was mediated by an induction of VGF nerve growth factor inducible (VGF): VGF knockdown with siRNA completely abolished the protective effect of SUN N8075 against ER-induced cell death, and overexpression of VGF inhibited ER-stress-induced cell death. VGF level was lower in the spinal cords of sporadic ALS patients than in the control patients. Furthermore, SUN N8075 slowed disease progression and prolonged survival in mutant SOD1 transgenic mouse and rat models of ALS, preventing the decrease of VGF expression in the spinal cords of ALS mice. These data suggest that VGF plays a critical role in motor neuron survival and may be a potential new therapeutic target for ALS, and SUN N8075 may become a potential therapeutic candidate for treatment of ALS

    Colorectal cancer screening using the faecal occult blood test (FOBt): a survey of GP attitudes and practices in the UK

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in the UK. Five-year survival rates are less than 50%, largely because of late diagnosis. Screening using faecal occult blood tests (FOBt) can detect bowel cancer at an earlier stage than symptomatic presentation, and has the potential to significantly decrease colorectal cancer mortality. However, uptake of screening is currently low, despite the introduction of the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (NHSBCSP), and it has been suggested that GP recommendations of screening can improve patient compliance. GP recommendation of CRC screening is argued to be affected by attitudes towards it, along with perceptions of its efficacy.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>This paper presents the findings of a cross-sectional postal survey of GPs in the UK which aimed to investigate GPs' attitudes in relation to colorectal cancer screening and the use of FOBt in routine practice. An 'attitude' score was calculated, and binary logistic regression used to evaluate the association of socio-demographic and general practice attributes with attitudes towards CRC screening and FOBt.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Of 3,191 GPs surveyed, 960 returned usable responses (response rate 30.7%). Positive attitudes were associated with personal experience of CRC screening and Asian or Asian British ethnicity. GPs from practices located in more deprived locations were also more likely to have positive attitudes towards FOBt and its recommendation to patients.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>The success of population-based screening for CRC will largely be determined by GP attitudes and support, particularly with regard to FOBt. Previous research has implied that South Asian GPs are more likely to have negative attitudes towards FOBt screening, however, our research suggests that this is not a group requiring targeted interventions to increase their support for the NHSBCSP. Of the available CRC screening tests, GPs perceived FOBt to be the most appropriate for population-based screening.</p

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Multiprotein Biomarkers in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells

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    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal progressive motor neuron disease, for which there are still no diagnostic/prognostic test and therapy. Specific molecular biomarkers are urgently needed to facilitate clinical studies and speed up the development of effective treatments.We used a two-dimensional difference in gel electrophoresis approach to identify in easily accessible clinical samples, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), a panel of protein biomarkers that are closely associated with ALS. Validations and a longitudinal study were performed by immunoassays on a selected number of proteins. The same proteins were also measured in PBMC and spinal cord of a G93A SOD1 transgenic rat model. We identified combinations of protein biomarkers that can distinguish, with high discriminatory power, ALS patients from healthy controls (98%), and from patients with neurological disorders that may resemble ALS (91%), between two levels of disease severity (90%), and a number of translational biomarkers, that link responses between human and animal model. We demonstrated that TDP-43, cyclophilin A and ERp57 associate with disease progression in a longitudinal study. Moreover, the protein profile changes detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of ALS patients are suggestive of possible intracellular pathogenic mechanisms such as endoplasmic reticulum stress, nitrative stress, disturbances in redox regulation and RNA processing.Our results indicate that PBMC multiprotein biomarkers could contribute to determine amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diagnosis, differential diagnosis, disease severity and progression, and may help to elucidate pathogenic mechanisms

    TRY plant trait database - enhanced coverage and open access

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    Plant traits-the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants-determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, and influence ecosystem properties and their benefits and detriments to people. Plant trait data thus represent the basis for a vast area of research spanning from evolutionary biology, community and functional ecology, to biodiversity conservation, ecosystem and landscape management, restoration, biogeography and earth system modelling. Since its foundation in 2007, the TRY database of plant traits has grown continuously. It now provides unprecedented data coverage under an open access data policy and is the main plant trait database used by the research community worldwide. Increasingly, the TRY database also supports new frontiers of trait-based plant research, including the identification of data gaps and the subsequent mobilization or measurement of new data. To support this development, in this article we evaluate the extent of the trait data compiled in TRY and analyse emerging patterns of data coverage and representativeness. Best species coverage is achieved for categorical traits-almost complete coverage for 'plant growth form'. However, most traits relevant for ecology and vegetation modelling are characterized by continuous intraspecific variation and trait-environmental relationships. These traits have to be measured on individual plants in their respective environment. Despite unprecedented data coverage, we observe a humbling lack of completeness and representativeness of these continuous traits in many aspects. We, therefore, conclude that reducing data gaps and biases in the TRY database remains a key challenge and requires a coordinated approach to data mobilization and trait measurements. This can only be achieved in collaboration with other initiatives

    Search for new phenomena in final states with an energetic jet and large missing transverse momentum in pp collisions at ‚ąö s = 8 TeV with the ATLAS detector

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    Results of a search for new phenomena in final states with an energetic jet and large missing transverse momentum are reported. The search uses 20.3 fb‚ąí1 of ‚ąö s = 8 TeV data collected in 2012 with the ATLAS detector at the LHC. Events are required to have at least one jet with pT > 120 GeV and no leptons. Nine signal regions are considered with increasing missing transverse momentum requirements between Emiss T > 150 GeV and Emiss T > 700 GeV. Good agreement is observed between the number of events in data and Standard Model expectations. The results are translated into exclusion limits on models with either large extra spatial dimensions, pair production of weakly interacting dark matter candidates, or production of very light gravitinos in a gauge-mediated supersymmetric model. In addition, limits on the production of an invisibly decaying Higgs-like boson leading to similar topologies in the final state are presente