103 research outputs found

    The efficacy of bariatric surgery performed in the public sector for obese patients with comorbid conditions

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    Objective: To determine the effi cacy of bariatric surgery in the public sector for the treatment of complicated obesity. Design, setting and participants: A longitudinal observational study of obese participants with comorbid conditions, aged 21-73 years, who underwent publicly funded bariatric surgery. Data were extracted from clinical databases (1 October 2009 to 1 September 2013) and recorded at seven time points. Participants are from an ongoing public obesity program. Main outcome measures: Postoperative weight loss and partial or full resolution of: type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), hypertension (HTN), dyslipidaemia and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Results: The 65 participants in the cohort lost a mean weight of 22.6 kg (SD, 9.5 kg) by 3 months, 34.2.kg (SD, 20.1 kg) by 12 months and 39.9 kg (SD, 31.4 kg) by 24 months (P < 0.001). Body mass index (BMI) decreased from a preoperative mean of 48.2 kg/m<sup>2</sup> (SD, 9.5 kg/m<sup>2</sup>) to 35.7 kg/m<sup>2</sup> (SD, 7.7 kg/m<sup>2</sup>) by 24 months (P < 0.001). Full resolution of comorbid conditions by 18 months (P < 0.001) was achieved by almost half of those with baseline T2DM, nearly two-thirds with HTN and three-quarters of those with OSA, with continued improvements beyond 24 months. Conclusions: Bariatric surgery performed in the public sector is efficacious in the treatment of obese patients with comorbid conditions. Our findings parallel similar studies suggesting that there is equal benefit in publicly funded and privately performed procedures. This study highlights that obese patients reliant on public health care maintain sufficient intrinsic motivation in the absence of payment and supposed value-driven incentive. Improved access to bariatric surgery in the public sector can justifiably reduce the health inequities for those most in need

    Exposure to dairy manure leads to greater antibiotic resistance and increased mass-specific respiration in soil microbial communities

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    Intensifying livestock production to meet the demands of a growing global population coincides with increases in both the administration of veterinary antibiotics and manure inputs to soils. These trends have the potential to increase antibiotic resistance in soil microbial communities. The effect of maintaining increased antibiotic resistance on soil microbial communities and the ecosystem processes they regulate is unknown. We compare soil microbial communities from paired reference and dairy manure-exposed sites across the US. Given that manure exposure has been shown to elicit increased antibiotic resistance in soil microbial communities, we expect that manure-exposed sites will exhibit 1) compositionally different soil microbial communities, with shifts toward taxa known to exhibit resistance; 2) greater abundance of antibiotic resistance genes; and 3) corresponding maintenance of antibiotic resistance would lead to decreased microbial efficiency. We found that bacterial and fungal communities differed between reference and manure-exposed sites. Additionally, β-lactam resistance gene ampC was 5.2-fold greater under manure exposure, potentially due to the use of cephalosporin antibiotics in dairy herds. Finally, ampC abundance was positively correlated with indicators of microbial stress, and microbial mass-specific respiration, which increased 2.1-fold under manure exposure. These findings demonstrate that the maintenance of antibiotic resistance associated with manure inputs alters soil microbial communities and ecosystem function

    Using the Schmahmann Syndrome Scale to Assess Cognitive Impairment in Young Adults with Metabolic Syndrome: A Hypothesis-Generating Report

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    The posterior cerebellum is the most significantly compromised brain structure in individuals with metabolic syndrome (MetS) (Kotkowski et al., 2019). In light of this, we hypothesized that cognitive decline reported in patients with MetS is likely related to posterior cerebellar atrophy. In this study, we performed a post-hoc analyses using T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in the form of voxel-wise tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS), biometric, and psychometric data from young participants with (n = 52, aged 18–35 years) and without MetS (n = 52, aged 18–35 years). To test the predictive value of components of the Schmahmann Syndrome scale (SSS), also known as the cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome scale, we used structural equation modeling to adapt available psychometric scores in our participant sample to the SSS and compare them to the composite score of all psychometric data available. Our key findings point to a statistically significant correlation between TBSS fractional anisotropy (FA) values from DTI and adapted SSS psychometric scores in individuals with MetS (r2 = .139, 95% CI = 0.009, .345). This suggests that the SSS could be applied to assess cognitive and likely neuroanatomical effects associated with MetS. We strongly suggest that future work aimed at investigating the neurocognitive effects of MetS and related comorbidities (i.e. dyslipidemia, diabetes, obesity) would benefit from implementing and further exploring the validity of the SSS scale in this patient population

    Metabolic syndrome predictors of brain gray matter volume in an age-stratified community sample of 776 Mexican- American adults: Results from the genetics of brain structure image archive

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    Introduction: This project aimed to investigate the association between biometric components of metabolic syndrome (MetS) with gray matter volume (GMV) obtained with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from a large cohort of community-based adults (n = 776) subdivided by age and sex and employing brain regions of interest defined previously as the “Neural Signature of MetS” (NS-MetS). Methods: Lipid profiles, biometrics, and regional brain GMV were obtained from the Genetics of Brain Structure (GOBS) image archive. Participants underwent T1-weighted MR imaging. MetS components (waist circumference, fasting plasma glucose, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and blood pressure) were defined using the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III. Subjects were grouped by age: early adult (18–25 years), young adult (26–45 years), and middle-aged adult (46–65 years). Linear regression modeling was used to investigate associations between MetS components and GMV in five brain regions comprising the NS-MetS: cerebellum, brainstem, orbitofrontal cortex, right insular/limbic cluster and caudate. Results: In both men and women of each age group, waist circumference was the single component most strongly correlated with decreased GMV across all NS-MetS regions. The brain region most strongly correlated to all MetS components was the posterior cerebellum. Conclusion: The posterior cerebellum emerged as the region most significantly associated with MetS individual components, as the only region to show decreased GMV in young adults, and the region with the greatest variance between men and women. We propose that future studies investigating neurological effects of MetS and its comorbidities—namely diabetes and obesity—should consider the NS-MetS and the differential effects of age and sex

    Substantiating a political public sphere in the Scottish press : a comparative analysis

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    This article uses content analysis to characterize the performance of the media in a national public sphere, by setting apart those qualities that typify internal press coverage of a political event. The article looks at the coverage of the 1999 devolved Scottish election from the day before the election until the day after. It uses a word count to measure the election material in Scottish newspapers the Herald, the Press and Journal and the Scotsman, and United Kingdom newspapers the Guardian, the Independent and The Times, and categorizes that material according to discourse type, day and page selection. The article finds a number of qualities that typify the Scottish sample in particular, and might be broadly indicative of a political public sphere in action. Firstly, and not unexpectedly, it finds that the Scottish newspapers carry significantly more election coverage. Just as tellingly, though, the article finds that the Scottish papers offer a greater proportion of advice and background information, in the form of opinion columns and feature articles. It also finds that the Scottish papers place a greater concentration of both informative and evaluative material in the period before the vote, consistent with their making a contribution to informed political action. Lastly, the article finds that the Scottish sample situates coverage nearer the front of the paper and places a greater proportion on recto pages. The article therefore argues that the Scottish papers display features that distinguish them from the UK papers, and are broadly consistent with their forming part of a deliberative public sphere, and suggests that these qualities might be explored as a means of judging future media performance

    Between the Post and the Com-Post:Examining the Postdigital ‘Work’ of a Prefix

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    In examining the work of the prefix ‘post’, we aim to contribute to the current postdigital dialogue. Our paper does not provide a rationale for the use of ‘postdigital’ in the title of this journal: that has been thoroughly explored elsewhere. We want instead to consider the work the prefix might do. We look at ‘post’, as it appears to ‘act’ in the terms of ‘postmodernism’ and ‘posthumanism’, suggesting that modernism and humanism are in need of questioning and reworking. We also examine what gets ‘post-ed’, or sometimes ‘com-posted’. (Com- is another interesting prefix, meaning ‘with’.) We then consider how these inquiries inform our understanding of a ‘postdigital reality’ that humans now inhabit. We understand this as a space of learning, struggle, and hope, where ‘old’ and ‘new’ media are now ‘cohabiting artefacts’ that enmesh with the economy, politics and culture. In entering this postdigital age, there really is no turning back from a convergence of the traditional and the digital. However, this is not simply a debate about technological and non-technological media. The postdigital throws up new challenges and possibilities across all aspects of social life. We believe this opens up new avenues too, for considering ways that discourse (language-in-use) shapes how we experience the postdigital

    Actively forming Kuroko-type volcanic-hosted massive sulfide (VHMS) mineralization at Iheya North, Okinawa Trough, Japan

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    Modern seafloor hydrothermal systems provide important insights into the formation and discovery of ancient volcanic-hosted massive sulfide (VHMS) deposits. In 2010, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 331 drilled five sites in the Iheya North hydrothermal field in the middle Okinawa Trough back-arc basin, Japan. Hydrothermal alteration and sulfide mineralization is hosted in a geologically complex, mixed sequence of coarse pumiceous volcaniclastic and fine hemipelagic sediments, overlying a dacitic to rhyolitic volcanic substrate. At site C0016, located adjacent to the foot of the actively venting North Big Chimney massive sulfide mound, massive sphalerite-(pyrite-chalcopyrite ± galena)-rich sulfides were intersected (to 30.2% Zn, 12.3% Pb, 2.68% Cu, 33.1 ppm Ag and 0.07 ppm Au) that strongly resemble the black ore of the Miocene-age Kuroko deposits of Japan. Sulfide mineralization shows clear evidence of formation through a combination of surface detrital and subsurface chemical processes, with at least some sphalerite precipitating into void space in the rock. Volcanic rocks beneath massive sulfides exhibit quartz-muscovite/illite and quartz-Mg-chlorite alteration reminiscent of VHMS proximal footwall alteration associated with Kuroko-type deposits, characterized by increasing MgO, Fe/Zn and Cu/Zn with depth. Recovered felsic footwall rocks are of FII to FIII affinity with well-developed negative Eu anomalies, consistent with VHMS-hosting felsic rocks in Phanerozoic ensialic arc/back-arc settings worldwide. Site C0013, ∼100 m east of North Big Chimney, represents a likely location of recent high temperature discharge, preserved as surficial coarse-grained sulfidic sediments (43.2% Zn, 4.4% Pb, 5.4% Cu, 42 ppm Ag and 0.02 ppm Au) containing high concentrations of As, Cd, Mo, Sb, and W. Near surface hydrothermal alteration is dominated by kaolinite and muscovite with locally abundant native sulfur, indicative of acidic hydrothermal fluids. Alteration grades to Mg-chlorite dominated assemblages at depths of >5 mbsf (metres below sea floor). Late coarse-grained anhydrite veining overprints earlier alteration and is interpreted to have precipitated from down welling seawater as hydrothermal activity waned. At site C0014, ∼350 m farther east, hydrothermal assemblages are characterized by illite/montmorillonite, with Mg-chlorite present at depths below ∼30 mbsf. Recovered lithologies from distal, recharge site C0017 are unaltered, with low MgO, FeO and base metal concentrations. Mineralization and alteration assemblages are consistent with the Iheya North system representing a modern analogue for Kuroko-type VHMS mineralization. Fluid flow is focussed laterally along pumiceous volcaniclastic strata (compartmentalized between impermeable hemipelagic sediments), and vertically along faults. The abundance of Fe-poor sphalerite and Mg-rich chlorite (clinochlore/penninite) is consistent with the lower Fe budget, temperature and higher oxidation state of felsic volcanic-hosted hydrothermal systems worldwide compared to Mid Ocean Ridge black smoker systems

    Noncanonical SQSTM1/p62-Nrf2 pathway activation mediates proteasome inhibitor resistance in multiple myeloma cells via redox, metabolic and translational reprogramming.

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    Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a B-cell malignancy characterized by the accumulation of clonal plasma cells in the bone marrow, with drug resistance being a major cause of therapeutic failure. We established a carfilzomib-resistant derivative of the LP-1 MM cell line (LP-1/Cfz) and found that the transcription factor NF-E2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2; gene symbol NFE2L2) contributes to carfilzomib resistance. The mechanism of Nrf2 activation involved enhanced translation of Nrf2 as well as its positive regulator, the autophagy receptor sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1)/p62. The eukaryotic translation initiation factor gene EIF4E3 was among the Nrf2 target genes upregulated in LP-1/Cfz cells, suggesting existence of a positive feedback loop. In line with this, we found that siRNA knockdown of eIF4E3 decreased Nrf2 protein levels. On the other hand, elevated SQSTM1/p62 levels were due at least in part to activation of the PERK-eIF2α pathway. LP-1/Cfz cells had decreased levels of reactive oxygen species as well as elevated levels of fatty acid oxidation and prosurvival autophagy. Genetic and pharmacologic inhibition of the Nrf2-EIF4E3 axis or the PERK-eIF2α pathway, disruption of redox homeostasis or inhibition of fatty acid oxidation or autophagy conferred sensitivity to carfilzomib. Our findings were supported by clinical data where increased EIF4E3 expression was predictive of Nrf2 target gene upregulation in a subgroup of patients with chemoresistant minimal residual disease and relapsed/refractory MM. Thus, our data offer a preclinical rationale for including inhibitors of the SQSTM1/p62-Nrf2 pathway to the treatment regimens for certain advanced stage MM patients

    ‘I think it's absolutely exorbitant!’: how UK television news reported the shareholder vote on executive remuneration at Barclays in 2012

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    The most publicised rebellion during the so-called ‘Shareholder Spring’ of 2012 was at Barclays PLC. Using multi-modal and critical discourse analysis, this paper examines how three UK television channels with different public service obligations covered this story on 27 April 2012. It finds that broadcasters’ regulatory obligations do not obviously impact content and that, for example, simple reporting routines contain judgemental phrases. Generally, the multi-dimensional nature of executive pay is simplified and the real balance between private and individual shareholders is obscured. Analysis also reveals that editing and the use of images can subtly construct discourses that may not reflect the reality of the dissent. The paper concludes that established criticisms that business journalism is indolent and that corporate discourses are privileged are not supported, but also that the coverage contributes little to promote wider understanding of executive pay debates

    31st Annual Meeting and Associated Programs of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC 2016) : part two

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    Background The immunological escape of tumors represents one of the main ob- stacles to the treatment of malignancies. The blockade of PD-1 or CTLA-4 receptors represented a milestone in the history of immunotherapy. However, immune checkpoint inhibitors seem to be effective in specific cohorts of patients. It has been proposed that their efficacy relies on the presence of an immunological response. Thus, we hypothesized that disruption of the PD-L1/PD-1 axis would synergize with our oncolytic vaccine platform PeptiCRAd. Methods We used murine B16OVA in vivo tumor models and flow cytometry analysis to investigate the immunological background. Results First, we found that high-burden B16OVA tumors were refractory to combination immunotherapy. However, with a more aggressive schedule, tumors with a lower burden were more susceptible to the combination of PeptiCRAd and PD-L1 blockade. The therapy signifi- cantly increased the median survival of mice (Fig. 7). Interestingly, the reduced growth of contralaterally injected B16F10 cells sug- gested the presence of a long lasting immunological memory also against non-targeted antigens. Concerning the functional state of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), we found that all the immune therapies would enhance the percentage of activated (PD-1pos TIM- 3neg) T lymphocytes and reduce the amount of exhausted (PD-1pos TIM-3pos) cells compared to placebo. As expected, we found that PeptiCRAd monotherapy could increase the number of antigen spe- cific CD8+ T cells compared to other treatments. However, only the combination with PD-L1 blockade could significantly increase the ra- tio between activated and exhausted pentamer positive cells (p= 0.0058), suggesting that by disrupting the PD-1/PD-L1 axis we could decrease the amount of dysfunctional antigen specific T cells. We ob- served that the anatomical location deeply influenced the state of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes. In fact, TIM-3 expression was in- creased by 2 fold on TILs compared to splenic and lymphoid T cells. In the CD8+ compartment, the expression of PD-1 on the surface seemed to be restricted to the tumor micro-environment, while CD4 + T cells had a high expression of PD-1 also in lymphoid organs. Interestingly, we found that the levels of PD-1 were significantly higher on CD8+ T cells than on CD4+ T cells into the tumor micro- environment (p < 0.0001). Conclusions In conclusion, we demonstrated that the efficacy of immune check- point inhibitors might be strongly enhanced by their combination with cancer vaccines. PeptiCRAd was able to increase the number of antigen-specific T cells and PD-L1 blockade prevented their exhaus- tion, resulting in long-lasting immunological memory and increased median survival
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