12,042 research outputs found

    Update on pathology laboratory development and research in advancing regional cancer care in Malawi

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    The pathology laboratory at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe, Malawi was established in 2011. We published our initial experiences in laboratory development and telepathology in 2013 and 2016, respectively. The purpose of this paper is to provide an update on our work by highlighting the positive role laboratory development has played in improving regional cancer care and research. In addition, we provide a summary of the adult pathology data from specimens received between July 1, 2011, and May 31, 2019, with an emphasis on malignant diagnoses. We compare these summaries to estimates of cancer incidence in this region to identify gaps and future needs

    From bioassays to Drosophila genetics: Strategies for characterizing an essential insect neurohormone, bursicon

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    We describe the molecular analysis and cellular expression of the insect peptide neurohormone, bursicon. Bursicon triggers the sclerotization of the soft insect cuticle after ecdysis. Using protein elution analyses from SDS gels, we determined the molecular weight of bursicon from different insects to be approximately 30 kDa. Four partial peptide sequences of Periplaneta americana bursicon were obtained from purified nerve cord homogenates separated on two-dimensional gels. Antibodies produced against one of the sequences identified the cellular location of bursicon in different insects and showed that bursicon is co-produced with crustacean cardioactive peptide (CCAP) in the same neurons in all insects tested so far. Additionally, using the partial peptide sequences, we successfully searched the Drosophila genome project for the gene encoding bursicon. With Drosophila as a tool, we can now verify the function of the sequence using transgenic flies. Sequence comparisons also allowed us to verify that bursicon is conserved, corroborating the older data from bioassays and immunohistochemical analyses. The sequence of bursicon will enable further analysis of its function, release, and evolution

    Relating Molecular Properties to the Persistence of Marine Dissolved Organic Matter with Liquid Chromatography–Ultrahigh-Resolution Mass Spectrometry

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    Marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) contains a complex mixture of small molecules that eludes rapid biological degradation. Spatial and temporal variations in the abundance of DOM reflect the existence of fractions that are removed from the ocean over different time scales, ranging from seconds to millennia. However, it remains unknown whether the intrinsic chemical properties of these organic components relate to their persistence. Here, we elucidate and compare the molecular compositions of distinct DOM fractions with different lability along a water column in the North Atlantic Gyre. Our analysis utilized ultrahigh-resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry at 21 T coupled to liquid chromatography and a novel data pipeline developed in CoreMS that generates molecular formula assignments and metrics of isomeric complexity. Clustering analysis binned 14 857 distinct molecular components into groups that correspond to the depth distribution of semilabile, semirefractory, and refractory fractions of DOM. The more labile fractions were concentrated near the ocean surface and contained more aliphatic, hydrophobic, and reduced molecules than the refractory fraction, which occurred uniformly throughout the water column. These findings suggest that processes that selectively remove hydrophobic compounds, such as aggregation and particle sorption, contribute to variable removal rates of marine DOM

    Relating Molecular Properties to the Persistence of Marine Dissolved Organic Matter with Liquid Chromatography–Ultrahigh-Resolution Mass Spectrometry

    No full text
    Marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) contains a complex mixture of small molecules that eludes rapid biological degradation. Spatial and temporal variations in the abundance of DOM reflect the existence of fractions that are removed from the ocean over different time scales, ranging from seconds to millennia. However, it remains unknown whether the intrinsic chemical properties of these organic components relate to their persistence. Here, we elucidate and compare the molecular compositions of distinct DOM fractions with different lability along a water column in the North Atlantic Gyre. Our analysis utilized ultrahigh-resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry at 21 T coupled to liquid chromatography and a novel data pipeline developed in CoreMS that generates molecular formula assignments and metrics of isomeric complexity. Clustering analysis binned 14 857 distinct molecular components into groups that correspond to the depth distribution of semilabile, semirefractory, and refractory fractions of DOM. The more labile fractions were concentrated near the ocean surface and contained more aliphatic, hydrophobic, and reduced molecules than the refractory fraction, which occurred uniformly throughout the water column. These findings suggest that processes that selectively remove hydrophobic compounds, such as aggregation and particle sorption, contribute to variable removal rates of marine DOM

    What more can be done? Prioritizing the most promising antenatal interventions to improve birth weight

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    Background: Low birth weight (LBW) is associated with neonatal mortality and sequelae of lifelong health problems; prioritizing the most promising antenatal interventions may guide resource allocation and improve health outcomes. Objective: We sought to identify the most promising interventions that are not yet included in the policy recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) but could complement antenatal care and reduce the prevalence of LBW and related adverse birth outcomes in low- and middle-income settings. Methods: We utilized an adapted Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) prioritization method. Results: In addition to procedures already recommended by WHO for the prevention of LBW, we identified six promising antenatal interventions that are not currently recommended by WHO with an indication for LBW prevention, namely: (1) provision of multiple micronutrients; (2) low-dose aspirin; (3) high-dose calcium; (4) prophylactic cervical cerclage; (5) psychosocial support for smoking cessation; and (6) other psychosocial support for targeted populations and settings. We also identified seven interventions for further implementation research and six interventions for efficacy research. Conclusion: These promising interventions, coupled with increasing coverage of currently recommended antenatal care, could accelerate progress toward the global target of a 30% reduction in the number of LBW infants born in 2025 compared to 2006-1

    Maternal co-exposure to mercury and perfluoroalkyl acid isomers and their associations with child neurodevelopment in a Canadian birth cohort

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    Background: Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) within the broader class of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are present in human serum as isomer mixtures, but epidemiological studies have yet to address isomer-specific associations with child development and behavior. Objectives: To examine associations between prenatal exposure to 25 PFAAs, including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) isomers, and child neurodevelopment among 490 mother–child pairs in a prospective Canadian birth cohort, the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON) study. To consider the influence of a classic neurotoxicant, total mercury (THg), based on its likelihood of co-exposure with PFAAs from common dietary sources. Methods: Maternal blood samples were collected in the second trimester and child neurodevelopment was assessed at 2 years of age using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, 3rd Edition (Bayley-III). Linear or curvilinear multiple regression models were used to examine associations between exposures and neurodevelopment outcomes. Results: Select PFAAs were associated with lower Cognitive composite scores, including perfluoroheptanoate (PFHpA) (β = −0.88, 95% confidence interval (CI): −1.7, −0.06) and perfluorododecanoate (PFDoA) (β = −2.0, 95% CI: −3.9, −0.01). Non-linear relationships revealed associations of total PFOS (β = −4.4, 95% CI: −8.3, −0.43), and linear-PFOS (β = −4.0, 95% CI: −7.5, −0.57) and 1m-PFOS (β = −1.8, 95% CI: −3.3, −0.24) isomers with lower Language composite scores. Although there was no effect modification, including THg interaction terms in PFAA models revealed negative associations between perfluorononanoate (PFNA) and Motor (β = −3.3, 95% CI: −6.2, −0.33) and Social-Emotional (β = −3.0, 95% CI: −5.6, −0.40) composite scores. Discussion: These findings reinforce previous reports of adverse effects of maternal PFAA exposure during pregnancy on child neurodevelopment. The unique hazards posed from isomers of PFOS justify isomer-specific analysis in future studies. To control for possible confounding, mercury co-exposure may be considered in studies of PFAAs

    The case for studying other planetary magnetospheres and atmospheres in Heliophysics

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    Heliophysics is the field that "studies the nature of the Sun, and how it influences the very nature of space - and, in turn, the atmospheres of planetary bodies and the technology that exists there." However, NASA's Heliophysics Division tends to limit study of planetary magnetospheres and atmospheres to only those of Earth. This leaves exploration and understanding of space plasma physics at other worlds to the purview of the Planetary Science and Astrophysics Divisions. This is detrimental to the study of space plasma physics in general since, although some cross-divisional funding opportunities do exist, vital elements of space plasma physics can be best addressed by extending the expertise of Heliophysics scientists to other stellar and planetary magnetospheres. However, the diverse worlds within the solar system provide crucial environmental conditions that are not replicated at Earth but can provide deep insight into fundamental space plasma physics processes. Studying planetary systems with Heliophysics objectives, comprehensive instrumentation, and new grant opportunities for analysis and modeling would enable a novel understanding of fundamental and universal processes of space plasma physics. As such, the Heliophysics community should be prepared to consider, prioritize, and fund dedicated Heliophysics efforts to planetary targets to specifically study space physics and aeronomy objectives

    What more can be done? Prioritizing the most promising antenatal interventions to improve birth weight.

    No full text
    BACKGROUND: Low birth weight (LBW) is associated with neonatal mortality and sequelae of lifelong health problems; prioritizing the most promising antenatal interventions may guide resource allocation and improve health outcomes. OBJECTIVE: We sought to identify the most promising interventions that are not yet included in the policy recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) but could complement antenatal care and reduce the prevalence of LBW and related adverse birth outcomes in low- and middle-income settings. METHODS: We utilized an adapted Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) prioritization method. RESULTS: In addition to procedures already recommended by WHO for the prevention of LBW, we identified six promising antenatal interventions that are not currently recommended by WHO with an indication for LBW prevention, namely: (1) provision of multiple micronutrients; (2) low-dose aspirin; (3) high-dose calcium; (4) prophylactic cervical cerclage; (5) psychosocial support for smoking cessation; and (6) other psychosocial support for targeted populations and settings. We also identified seven interventions for further implementation research and six interventions for efficacy research. CONCLUSION: These promising interventions, coupled with increasing coverage of currently recommended antenatal care, could accelerate progress toward the global target of a 30% reduction in the number of LBW infants born in 2025 compared to 2006-10

    Vulnerable newborn types: analysis of subnational, population‐based birth cohorts for 541 285 live births in 23 countries, 2000–2021

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    Setting: Subnational, population-based birth cohort studies (n = 45) in 23 low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) spanning 2000–2021. Population: Liveborn infants. Methods: Subnational, population-based studies with high-quality birth outcome data from LMICs were invited to join the Vulnerable Newborn Measurement Collaboration. We defined distinct newborn types using gestational age (preterm [PT], term [T]), birthweight for gestational age using INTERGROWTH-21st standards (small for gestational age [SGA], appropriate for gestational age [AGA] or large for gestational age [LGA]), and birthweight (low birthweight, LBW [<2500 g], non- LBW) as ten types (using all three outcomes), six types (by excluding the birthweight categorisation), and four types (by collapsing the AGA and LGA categories). We defined small types as those with at least one classification of LBW, PT or SGA. We presented study characteristics, participant characteristics, data missingness, and prevalence of newborn types by region and study. Results: Among 541 285 live births, 476 939 (88.1%) had non-missing and plausible values for gestational age, birthweight and sex required to construct the newborn types. The median prevalences of ten types across studies were T+AGA+nonLBW (58.0%), T+LGA+nonLBW (3.3%), T+AGA+LBW (0.5%), T+SGA+nonLBW (14.2%), T+SGA+LBW (7.1%), PT+LGA+nonLBW (1.6%), PT+LGA+LBW (0.2%), PT+AGA+nonLBW (3.7%), PT+AGA+LBW (3.6%) and PT+SGA+LBW (1.0%). The median prevalence of small types (six types, 37.6%) varied across studies and within regions and was higher in Southern Asia (52.4%) than in Sub-Saharan Africa (34.9%). Conclusions: Further investigation is needed to describe the mortality risks associated with newborn types and understand the implications of this framework for local targeting of interventions to prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes in LMICs

    Neonatal mortality risk of vulnerable newborns : a descriptive analysis of subnational, population‐based birth cohorts for 238 143 live births in low‐ and middle‐income settings from 2000 to 2017

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    Objective: We aimed to understand the mortality risks of vulnerable newborns (defined as preterm and/or born weighing smaller or larger compared to a standard population), in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). Design: Descriptive multi-country, secondary analysis of individual-level study data of babies born since 2000. Setting: Sixteen subnational, population-based studies from nine LMICs in sub-Saharan Africa, Southern and Eastern Asia, and Latin America. Population: Live birth neonates. Methods: We categorically defined five vulnerable newborn types based on size (large-or appropriate-or small-for-gestational age [LGA, AGA, SGA]), and term (T) and preterm (PT): T + LGA, T + SGA, PT + LGA, PT + AGA, and PT + SGA, with T + AGA (reference). A 10-type definition included low birthweight (LBW) and non-LBW, and a four-type definition collapsed AGA/LGA into one category. We performed imputation for missing birthweights in 13 of the studies. Main Outcome Measures: Median and interquartile ranges by study for the prevalence, mortality rates and relative mortality risks for the four, six and ten type classification. Results: There were 238 143 live births with known neonatal status. Four of the six types had higher mortality risk: T + SGA (median relative risk [RR] 2.8, interquartile range [IQR] 2.0–3.2), PT + LGA (median RR 7.3, IQR 2.3–10.4), PT + AGA (median RR 6.0, IQR 4.4–13.2) and PT + SGA (median RR 10.4, IQR 8.6–13.9). T + SGA, PT + LGA and PT + AGA babies who were LBW, had higher risk compared with non-LBW babies. Conclusions: Small and/or preterm babies in LIMCs have a considerably increased mortality risk compared with babies born at term and larger. This classification system may advance the understanding of the social determinants and biomedical risk factors along with improved treatment that is critical for newborn health
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