10 research outputs found

    Maternal Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Patterns and Congenital Heart Defects

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    The majority of congenital heart defects (CHDs) are thought to result from the interaction between multiple genetic, epigenetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Epigenetic mechanisms are attractive targets in the study of complex diseases because they may be altered by environmental factors and dietary interventions. We conducted a population based, case-control study of genome-wide maternal DNA methylation to determine if alterations in gene-specific methylation were associated with CHDs. Using the Illumina Infinium Human Methylation27 BeadChip, we assessed maternal gene-specific methylation in over 27,000 CpG sites from DNA isolated from peripheral blood lymphocytes. Our study sample included 180 mothers with non-syndromic CHD-affected pregnancies (cases) and 187 mothers with unaffected pregnancies (controls). Using a multi-factorial statistical model, we observed differential methylation between cases and controls at multiple CpG sites, although no CpG site reached the most stringent level of genome-wide statistical significance. The majority of differentially methylated CpG sites were hypermethylated in cases and located within CpG islands. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) revealed that the genes of interest were enriched in multiple biological processes involved in fetal development. Associations with canonical pathways previously shown to be involved in fetal organogenesis were also observed. We present preliminary evidence that alterations in maternal DNA methylation may be associated with CHDs. Our results suggest that further studies involving maternal epigenetic patterns and CHDs are warranted. Multiple candidate processes and pathways for future study have been identified

    Reflections on the delivery of online postgraduate specialty membership examinations in orthodontics

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    Highlights the need for remote specialist examinations in orthodontics during the pandemic. Discusses the modifications required to the existing assessment for remote delivery. Candidate and examiner feedback metrics are presented

    Costly Signaling and the Economics of Sexual Modesty

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    Intraligand Charge-Transfer Excited States in Re(I) Complexes with Donor-Substituted Dipyridophenazine Ligands

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    Risk of COVID-19 after natural infection or vaccinationResearch in context

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    Summary: Background: While vaccines have established utility against COVID-19, phase 3 efficacy studies have generally not comprehensively evaluated protection provided by previous infection or hybrid immunity (previous infection plus vaccination). Individual patient data from US government-supported harmonized vaccine trials provide an unprecedented sample population to address this issue. We characterized the protective efficacy of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and hybrid immunity against COVID-19 early in the pandemic over three-to six-month follow-up and compared with vaccine-associated protection. Methods: In this post-hoc cross-protocol analysis of the Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, and Novavax COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, we allocated participants into four groups based on previous-infection status at enrolment and treatment: no previous infection/placebo; previous infection/placebo; no previous infection/vaccine; and previous infection/vaccine. The main outcome was RT-PCR-confirmed COVID-19 >7–15 days (per original protocols) after final study injection. We calculated crude and adjusted efficacy measures. Findings: Previous infection/placebo participants had a 92% decreased risk of future COVID-19 compared to no previous infection/placebo participants (overall hazard ratio [HR] ratio: 0.08; 95% CI: 0.05–0.13). Among single-dose Janssen participants, hybrid immunity conferred greater protection than vaccine alone (HR: 0.03; 95% CI: 0.01–0.10). Too few infections were observed to draw statistical inferences comparing hybrid immunity to vaccine alone for other trials. Vaccination, previous infection, and hybrid immunity all provided near-complete protection against severe disease. Interpretation: Previous infection, any hybrid immunity, and two-dose vaccination all provided substantial protection against symptomatic and severe COVID-19 through the early Delta period. Thus, as a surrogate for natural infection, vaccination remains the safest approach to protection. Funding: National Institutes of Health

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