222 research outputs found

    The contribution of dance to daily physical activity among adolescent girls

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Structured physical activity (PA) programs are well positioned to promote PA among youth, however, little is known about these programs, particularly dance classes. The aims of this study were to: 1) describe PA levels of girls enrolled in dance classes, 2) determine the contribution of dance classes to total moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and 3) compare PA between days with a dance class (program days) and days without a dance class (non-program days).</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Participants were 149 girls (11-18 years) enrolled in dance classes in 11 dance studios. Overall PA was assessed with accelerometry for 8 consecutive days, and girls reported when they attended dance classes during those days. The percent contribution of dance classes to total MVPA was calculated, and data were reduced to compare PA on program days to non-program days. Data were analyzed using mixed models, adjusting for total monitoring time.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Girls engaged in 25.0 ± 0.9 minutes/day of MVPA. Dance classes contributed 28.7% (95% CI: 25.9%-31.6%) to girls' total MVPA. Girls accumulated more MVPA on program (28.7 ± 1.4 minutes/day) than non-program days (16.4 ± 1.5 minutes/day) (p < 0.001). Girls had less sedentary behavior on program (554.0 ± 8.1 minutes/day) than non-program days (600.2 ± 8.7 minutes/day) (p < 0.001).</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Dance classes contributed a substantial proportion (29%) to girls' total MVPA, and girls accumulated 70% more MVPA and 8% less sedentary behavior on program days than on non-program days. Dance classes can make an important contribution to girls' total physical activity.</p

    Elevated glutamatergic compounds in pregenual anterior cingulate in pediatric autism spectrum disorder demonstrated by 1H MRS and 1H MRSI.

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    Recent research in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has aroused interest in anterior cingulate cortex and in the neurometabolite glutamate. We report two studies of pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC) in pediatric ASD. First, we acquired in vivo single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H MRS) in 8 children with ASD and 10 typically developing controls who were well matched for age, but with fewer males and higher IQ. In the ASD group in midline pACC, we found mean 17.7% elevation of glutamate + glutamine (Glx) (p&lt;0.05) and 21.2% (p&lt;0.001) decrement in creatine + phosphocreatine (Cr). We then performed a larger (26 subjects with ASD, 16 controls) follow-up study in samples now matched for age, gender, and IQ using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging ((1)H MRSI). Higher spatial resolution enabled bilateral pACC acquisition. Significant effects were restricted to right pACC where Glx (9.5%, p&lt;0.05), Cr (6.7%, p&lt;0.05), and N-acetyl-aspartate + N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate (10.2%, p&lt;0.01) in the ASD sample were elevated above control. These two independent studies suggest hyperglutamatergia and other neurometabolic abnormalities in pACC in ASD, with possible right-lateralization. The hyperglutamatergic state may reflect an imbalance of excitation over inhibition in the brain as proposed in recent neurodevelopmental models of ASD

    Aberrant Neuronal Dynamics during Working Memory Operations in the Aging HIV-Infected Brain

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    Impairments in working memory are among the most prevalent features of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), yet their origins are unknown, with some studies arguing that encoding operations are disturbed and others supporting deficits in memory maintenance. The current investigation directly addresses this issue by using a dynamic mapping approach to identify when and where processing in working memory circuits degrades. HIV-infected older adults and a demographically-matched group of uninfected controls performed a verbal working memory task during magnetoencephalography (MEG). Significant oscillatory neural responses were imaged using a beamforming approach to illuminate the spatiotemporal dynamics of neuronal activity. HIV-infected patients were significantly less accurate on the working memory task and their neuronal dynamics indicated that encoding operations were preserved, while memory maintenance processes were abnormal. Specifically, no group differences were detected during the encoding period, yet dysfunction in occipital, fronto-temporal, hippocampal, and cerebellar cortices emerged during memory maintenance. In addition, task performance in the controls covaried with occipital alpha synchronization and activity in right prefrontal cortices. In conclusion, working memory impairments are common and significantly impact the daily functioning and independence of HIV-infected patients. These impairments likely reflect deficits in the maintenance of memory representations, not failures to adequately encode stimuli

    Identification of novel pesticides for use against glasshouse invertebrate pests in UK tomatoes and peppers

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    To inform current and future pesticide availability to glasshouse vegetable growers, the current project trialled more than twenty products, including existing industry standards, against four key pests of glasshouse tomatoes and bell peppers. These included experimental conventional chemical pesticides as well as alternative biopesticide and biorational products based on phytochemicals, microbials and physically-acting substances. The results suggest that certain biopesticide products, particularly botanicals, provide good levels of pest control, with the same being true of experimental conventional chemical pesticides not yet recommended for use against these pests on these crops. Efforts are on-going to ensure that results of the current project translate to industry benefit via new pesticide approvals

    Medical student attitudes to patient involvement in healthcare decision-making and research

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    Objective: Patient involvement is used to describe the inclusion of patients as active participants in healthcare decision-making and research. This study aimed to investigate incoming year 1 medical (MBChB) students’ attitudes and opinions regarding patient involvement in this context. Methods: We established a staff–student partnership to formulate the design of an online research survey, which included Likert scale questions and three short vignette scenarios designed to probe student attitudes towards patient involvement linked to existing legal precedent. Incoming year 1 medical students (n=333) were invited to participate in the survey before formal teaching commenced. Results: Survey data (49 participants) indicate that students were broadly familiar with, and supportive of, patient involvement in medical treatment. There was least support for patient involvement in conducting (23.9%), contributing to (37.0%) or communicating research (32.6%), whereas there was unanimous support for patients choosing treatment from a selection of options (100%). Conclusion: Incoming members of the medical profession demonstrate awareness of the need to actively involve patients in healthcare decision-making but are unfamiliar with the utility and value of such involvement in research. Further empirical studies are required to examine attitudes to patient involvement in healthcare

    Ecological and Genomic Attributes of Novel Bacterial Taxa That Thrive in Subsurface Soil Horizons.

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    While most bacterial and archaeal taxa living in surface soils remain undescribed, this problem is exacerbated in deeper soils, owing to the unique oligotrophic conditions found in the subsurface. Additionally, previous studies of soil microbiomes have focused almost exclusively on surface soils, even though the microbes living in deeper soils also play critical roles in a wide range of biogeochemical processes. We examined soils collected from 20 distinct profiles across the United States to characterize the bacterial and archaeal communities that live in subsurface soils and to determine whether there are consistent changes in soil microbial communities with depth across a wide range of soil and environmental conditions. We found that bacterial and archaeal diversity generally decreased with depth, as did the degree of similarity of microbial communities to those found in surface horizons. We observed five phyla that consistently increased in relative abundance with depth across our soil profiles: Chloroflexi, Nitrospirae, Euryarchaeota, and candidate phyla GAL15 and Dormibacteraeota (formerly AD3). Leveraging the unusually high abundance of Dormibacteraeota at depth, we assembled genomes representative of this candidate phylum and identified traits that are likely to be beneficial in low-nutrient environments, including the synthesis and storage of carbohydrates, the potential to use carbon monoxide (CO) as a supplemental energy source, and the ability to form spores. Together these attributes likely allow members of the candidate phylum Dormibacteraeota to flourish in deeper soils and provide insight into the survival and growth strategies employed by the microbes that thrive in oligotrophic soil environments.IMPORTANCE Soil profiles are rarely homogeneous. Resource availability and microbial abundances typically decrease with soil depth, but microbes found in deeper horizons are still important components of terrestrial ecosystems. By studying 20 soil profiles across the United States, we documented consistent changes in soil bacterial and archaeal communities with depth. Deeper soils harbored communities distinct from those of the more commonly studied surface horizons. Most notably, we found that the candidate phylum Dormibacteraeota (formerly AD3) was often dominant in subsurface soils, and we used genomes from uncultivated members of this group to identify why these taxa are able to thrive in such resource-limited environments. Simply digging deeper into soil can reveal a surprising number of novel microbes with unique adaptations to oligotrophic subsurface conditions

    Genome sequence of an Australian kangaroo, Macropus eugenii, provides insight into the evolution of mammalian reproduction and development.

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    BACKGROUND: We present the genome sequence of the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, which is a member of the kangaroo family and the first representative of the iconic hopping mammals that symbolize Australia to be sequenced. The tammar has many unusual biological characteristics, including the longest period of embryonic diapause of any mammal, extremely synchronized seasonal breeding and prolonged and sophisticated lactation within a well-defined pouch. Like other marsupials, it gives birth to highly altricial young, and has a small number of very large chromosomes, making it a valuable model for genomics, reproduction and development. RESULTS: The genome has been sequenced to 2 × coverage using Sanger sequencing, enhanced with additional next generation sequencing and the integration of extensive physical and linkage maps to build the genome assembly. We also sequenced the tammar transcriptome across many tissues and developmental time points. Our analyses of these data shed light on mammalian reproduction, development and genome evolution: there is innovation in reproductive and lactational genes, rapid evolution of germ cell genes, and incomplete, locus-specific X inactivation. We also observe novel retrotransposons and a highly rearranged major histocompatibility complex, with many class I genes located outside the complex. Novel microRNAs in the tammar HOX clusters uncover new potential mammalian HOX regulatory elements. CONCLUSIONS: Analyses of these resources enhance our understanding of marsupial gene evolution, identify marsupial-specific conserved non-coding elements and critical genes across a range of biological systems, including reproduction, development and immunity, and provide new insight into marsupial and mammalian biology and genome evolution

    Identification of features of electronic prescribing systems to support quality and safety in primary care using a modified Delphi process

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Electronic prescribing is increasingly being used in primary care and in hospitals. Studies on the effects of e-prescribing systems have found evidence for both benefit and harm. The aim of this study was to identify features of e-prescribing software systems that support patient safety and quality of care and that are useful to the clinician and the patient, with a focus on improving the quality use of medicines.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Software features were identified by a literature review, key informants and an expert group. A modified Delphi process was used with a 12-member multidisciplinary expert group to reach consensus on the expected impact of the features in four domains: patient safety, quality of care, usefulness to the clinician and usefulness to the patient. The setting was electronic prescribing in general practice in Australia.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>A list of 114 software features was developed. Most of the features relate to the recording and use of patient data, the medication selection process, prescribing decision support, monitoring drug therapy and clinical reports. The expert group rated 78 of the features (68%) as likely to have a high positive impact in at least one domain, 36 features (32%) as medium impact, and none as low or negative impact. Twenty seven features were rated as high positive impact across 3 or 4 domains including patient safety and quality of care. Ten features were considered "aspirational" because of a lack of agreed standards and/or suitable knowledge bases.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>This study defines features of e-prescribing software systems that are expected to support safety and quality, especially in relation to prescribing and use of medicines in general practice. The features could be used to develop software standards, and could be adapted if necessary for use in other settings and countries.</p
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