496 research outputs found

    Menstrual irregularity and bone mass in premenopausal women: Cross-sectional associations with testosterone and SHBG

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    Background. There have been few studies examining the associations between menstrual irregularity, androgens and bone mass in population-based samples of premenopausal women. This study aimed to describe the associations between menstrual pattern, testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and bone mass in a population-based sample of premenopausal women. Methods. Cross-sectional study (N = 382, mean age 31.5 years). Menstrual pattern was assessed by questionnaire, bone mass measured by quantitative ultrasound (QUS) and androgen status was assessed by levels of serum testosterone, SHBG and the free androgen index (FAI). Results. Women with irregular cycles (n = 41, 11%) had higher free androgen index (FAI, P = 0.01) and higher QUS measurements including speed of sound (SOS, 1%, P < 0.05), quantitative ultrasound index (QUI, 7%, p < 0.05), and broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA, 7%, p = 0.10). These associations persisted after adjustment for age and body mass index (BMI). After further adjustment for hormonal factors (either testosterone, SHBG or FAI), the strength of the associations was moderately attenuated, however, women with irregular cycles still had a 6% increase in mean QUS. Total testosterone, FAI and SHBG were also associated with QUS measures (testosterone and FAI, r +0.11 to +0.21, all p < 0.05; SHBG r -0.14 to -0.16, all p < 0.05) and the associations remained significant after adjustment. Conclusion. Irregular menstrual cycles were associated with higher bone mass in this population-based sample of premenopausal women suggesting menstrual disturbance should continue to be evaluated but may be less harmful for bone mass. The association between menstrual irregularity and bone mass was partially mediated by markers of androgen status especially free testosterone

    Impact of adiposity on cardiac structure in adult life: the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health (CDAH) study.

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    BACKGROUND: We have examined the association between adiposity and cardiac structure in adulthood, using a life course approach that takes account of the contribution of adiposity in both childhood and adulthood. METHODS: The Childhood Determinants of Adult Health study (CDAH) is a follow-up study of 8,498 children who participated in the 1985 Australian Schools Health and Fitness Survey (ASHFS). The CDAH follow-up study included 2,410 participants who attended a clinic examination. Of these, 181 underwent cardiac imaging and provided complete data. The measures were taken once when the children were aged 9 to 15 years, and once in adult life, aged 26 to 36 years. RESULTS: There was a positive association between adult left ventricular mass (LVM) and childhood body mass index (BMI) in males (regression coefficient (β) 0.41; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.14 to 0.67; p = 0.003), and females (β = 0.53; 95% CI: 0.34 to 0.72; p < 0.001), and with change in BMI from childhood to adulthood (males: β = 0.27; 95% CI: 0.04 to 0.51; p < 0.001, females: β = 0.39; 95% CI: 0.20 to 0.58; p < 0.001), after adjustment for confounding factors (age, fitness, triglyceride levels and total cholesterol in adulthood). After further adjustment for known potential mediating factors (systolic BP and fasting plasma glucose in adulthood) the relationship of LVM with childhood BMI (males: β = 0.45; 95% CI: 0.19 to 0.71; p = 0.001, females: β = 0.49; 95% CI: 0.29 to 0.68; p < 0.001) and change in BMI (males: β = 0.26; 95% CI: 0.04 to 0.49; p = 0.02, females: β = 0.40; 95% CI: 0.20 to 0.59; p < 0.001) did not change markedly. CONCLUSIONS: Adiposity and increased adiposity from childhood to adulthood appear to have a detrimental effect on cardiac structure

    The effectiveness of surgical correction of uterine prolapse: cervical amputation with uterosacral ligament plication (modified Manchester) versus vaginal hysterectomy with high uterosacral ligament plication

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    Item does not contain fulltextINTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: The objective of this study is to evaluate cervical amputation with uterosacral ligament plication (modified Manchester) and compare it to vaginal hysterectomy with high uterosacral ligament plication procedure with special regard to the middle compartment. METHODS: Consecutive women with pelvic organ prolapse who underwent either vaginal hysterectomy or a modified Manchester procedure were included. Assessments were made preoperatively and at 1-year follow-up, including physical examination with pelvic organ prolapse quantification standardised questionnaires (incontinence impact questionnaire, urogenital distress inventory, and defaecatory distress inventory). RESULTS: Between 2002 and 2007, 156 patients were included. Ninety-eight patients returned for a 1-year follow-up. In the modified Manchester group, we found no middle compartment recurrence versus two (4%) in the vaginal hysterectomy group. Anterior and posterior compartment prolapse recurrences (stage >or=2) were similar (approximately 50%). Considering operating time and blood loss, modified Manchester was more favourable. There was no difference in the pre- and postoperative subjective scores. The overall functional outcome was acceptable. CONCLUSIONS: We found an excellent performance of both procedures regarding middle compartment recurrences

    Programmable Ligand Detection System in Plants through a Synthetic Signal Transduction Pathway

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    There is an unmet need to monitor human and natural environments for substances that are intentionally or unintentionally introduced. A long-sought goal is to adapt plants to sense and respond to specific substances for use as environmental monitors. Computationally re-designed periplasmic binding proteins (PBPs) provide a means to design highly sensitive and specific ligand sensing capabilities in receptors. Input from these proteins can be linked to gene expression through histidine kinase (HK) mediated signaling. Components of HK signaling systems are evolutionarily conserved between bacteria and plants. We previously reported that in response to cytokinin-mediated HK activation in plants, the bacterial response regulator PhoB translocates to the nucleus and activates transcription. Also, we previously described a plant visual response system, the de-greening circuit, a threshold sensitive reporter system that produces a visual response which is remotely detectable and quantifiable.We describe assembly and function of a complete synthetic signal transduction pathway in plants that links input from computationally re-designed PBPs to a visual response. To sense extracellular ligands, we targeted the computational re-designed PBPs to the apoplast. PBPs bind the ligand and develop affinity for the extracellular domain of a chemotactic protein, Trg. We experimentally developed Trg fusions proteins, which bind the ligand-PBP complex, and activate intracellular PhoR, the HK cognate of PhoB. We then adapted Trg-PhoR fusions for function in plants showing that in the presence of an external ligand PhoB translocates to the nucleus and activates transcription. We linked this input to the de-greening circuit creating a detector plant.Our system is modular and PBPs can theoretically be designed to bind most small molecules. Hence our system, with improvements, may allow plants to serve as a simple and inexpensive means to monitor human surroundings for substances such as pollutants, explosives, or chemical agents

    Observational analytic studies in multiple sclerosis: controlling bias through study design and conduct. The Australian Multicentre Study of Environment and Immune Function

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    Rising multiple sclerosis incidence over the last 50 years and geographic patterns of occurrence suggest an environmental role in the causation of this multifactorial disease. Design options for epidemiological studies of environmental causes of multiple sclerosis are limited by the low incidence of the disease, possible diagnostic delay and budgetary constraints. We describe scientific and methodological issues considered in the development of the Australian Multicentre Study of Environment and Immune Function (the Ausimmune Study), which seeks, in particular, to better understand the causes of the well-known MS positive latitudinal gradient. A multicentre, case-control design down the eastern seaboard of Australia allows the recruitment of sufficient cases for adequate study power and provides data on environmental exposures that vary by latitude. Cases are persons with an incident first demyelinating event (rather than prevalent multiple sclerosis), sourced from a population base using a two tier notification system. Controls, matched on sex, age (within two years) and region of residence, are recruited from the general population. Biases common in case-control studies, eg, prevalence-incidence bias, admission-rate bias, non-respondent bias, observer bias and recall bias, as well as confounding have been carefully considered in the study design and conduct of the Ausimmune Study

    Impact of short-term dietary modification on postprandial oxidative stress

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>We have recently reported that short-term (21-day) dietary modification in accordance with a stringent vegan diet (i.e., a Daniel Fast) lowers blood lipids as well as biomarkers of oxidative stress. However, this work only involved measurements obtained in a fasted state. In the present study, we determined the postprandial response to a high-fat milkshake with regards to blood triglycerides (TAG), biomarkers of oxidative stress, and hemodynamic variables before and following a 21-day Daniel Fast.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Twenty-two subjects (10 men and 12 women; aged 35 ± 3 years) completed a 21-day Daniel Fast. To induce oxidative stress, a milkshake (fat = 0.8 g·kg<sup>-1</sup>; carbohydrate = 1.0 g·kg<sup>-1</sup>; protein = 0.25 g·kg<sup>-1</sup>) was consumed by subjects on day one and day 22 in a rested and 12-hour fasted state. Before and at 2 and 4 h after consumption of the milkshake, heart rate (HR) and blood pressure were measured. Blood samples were also collected at these times and analyzed for TAG, malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>), advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP), nitrate/nitrite (NOx), and Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC).</p> <p>Results</p> <p>A time effect was noted for HR (<it>p </it>= 0.006), with values higher at 2 hr post intake of the milkshake as compared to pre intake (<it>p </it>< 0.05). Diastolic blood pressure was lower post fast as compared to pre fast (<it>p </it>= 0.02), and a trend for lower systolic blood pressure was noted (<it>p </it>= 0.07). Time effects were noted for TAG (<it>p </it>= 0.001), MDA (<it>p </it>< 0.0001), H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2 </sub>(<it>p </it>< 0.0001), AOPP (<it>p </it>< 0.0001), and TEAC (<it>p </it>< 0.0001); all concentrations were higher at 2 h and 4 h post intake compared to pre intake, except for TEAC, which was lower at these times (<it>p </it>< 0.05). A condition effect was noted for NOx (<it>p </it>= 0.02), which was higher post fast as compared to pre fast. No pre/post fast × time interactions were noted (<it>p </it>> 0.05), with the area under the curve from pre to post fast reduced only slightly for TAG (11%), MDA (11%), H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2 </sub>(8%), and AOPP (12%), with a 37% increase noted for NOx.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Partaking in a 21-day Daniel Fast does not result in a statistically significant reduction in postprandial oxidative stress. It is possible that a longer time course of adherence to the Daniel Fast eating plan may be needed to observe significant findings.</p

    Temporal and Spatial Profiling of Root Growth Revealed Novel Response of Maize Roots under Various Nitrogen Supplies in the Field

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    A challenge for Chinese agriculture is to limit the overapplication of nitrogen (N) without reducing grain yield. Roots take up N and participate in N assimilation, facilitating dry matter accumulation in grains. However, little is known about how the root system in soil profile responds to various N supplies. In the present study, N uptake, temporal and spatial distributions of maize roots, and soil mineral N (Nmin) were thoroughly studied under field conditions in three consecutive years. The results showed that in spite of transient stimulation of growth of early initiated nodal roots, N deficiency completely suppressed growth of the later-initiated nodal roots and accelerated root death, causing an early decrease in the total root length at the rapid vegetative growth stage of maize plants. Early N excess, deficiency, or delayed N topdressing reduced plant N content, resulting in a significant decrease in dry matter accumulation and grain yield. Notably, N overapplication led to N leaching that stimulated root growth in the 40–50 cm soil layer. It was concluded that the temporal and spatial growth patterns of maize roots were controlled by shoot growth and local soil Nmin, respectively. Improving N management involves not only controlling the total amount of chemical N fertilizer applied, but also synchronizing crop N demand and soil N supply by split N applications

    Predicting Protein Phenotypes Based on Protein-Protein Interaction Network

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    BACKGROUND: Identifying associated phenotypes of proteins is a challenge of the modern genetics since the multifactorial trait often results from contributions of many proteins. Besides the high-through phenotype assays, the computational methods are alternative ways to identify the phenotypes of proteins. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we proposed a new method for predicting protein phenotypes in yeast based on protein-protein interaction network. Instead of only the most likely phenotype, a series of possible phenotypes for the query protein were generated and ranked according to the tethering potential score. As a result, the first order prediction accuracy of our method achieved 65.4% evaluated by Jackknife test of 1,267 proteins in budding yeast, much higher than the success rate (15.4%) of a random guess. And the likelihood of the first 3 predicted phenotypes including all the real phenotypes of the proteins was 70.6%. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The candidate phenotypes predicted by our method provided useful clues for the further validation. In addition, the method can be easily applied to the prediction of protein associated phenotypes in other organisms

    Adolescent self-harm in Ghana: a qualitative interview-based study of first-hand accounts

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    Background: Recent prevalence studies suggest that self-harm among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa is as common as it is in high income countries. However, very few qualitative studies exploring first-person accounts of adolescent self-harm are available from sub-Saharan Africa. We sought to explore the experiences and first-person perspectives of Ghanaian adolescents reporting self-harm - for deeper reflections on the interpretive repertoires available in their cultural context for making sense of self-harm in adolescents. Methods: Guided by a semi-structured interview protocol, we interviewed one-to-one 36 adolescents (24 in-school adolescents and 12 street-connected adolescents) on their experiences of self-harm. We applied experiential thematic analysis to the data. Results: Adolescents’ description of the background to their self-harm identified powerlessness in the family context and unwanted adultification in the family as key factors leading up to self-harm among both in-school and street-connected adolescents. Adolescents’ explanatory accounts identified the contradictory role of adultification as a protective factor against self-harm among street-connected adolescents. Self-harm among in-school adolescents was identified as a means of “enactment of tabooed emotions and contestations”, as a “selfish act and social injury”, as “religious transgression”, while it was also seen as improving social relations. Conclusions: The first-person accounts of adolescents in this study implicate familial relational problems and interpersonal difficulties as proximally leading to self-harm in adolescents. Self-harm in adolescents is interpreted as an understandable response, and as a strong communicative signal in response to powerlessness and family relationship difficulties. These findings need to be taken into consideration in the planning of services in Ghana and are likely to be generalisable to many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa
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