Y. E. Willems, O. Laceulle, M. Bartels, C. Finkenauer
Published: Feb 2020
Family connectedness is key for the development of self-control in early and middle childhood. But is family connectedness still important during the transitional phase of adolescence, when adolescents demand more independence from their parents and rely more on their peers? The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between family connectedness and self-control, and whether it still holds in adolescence using a genetically sensitive design. Data were used from a large sample of twins aged 14 ( N = 11,260) and aged 16 ( N = 8175), all enrolled in the Netherlands Twin Register. We applied bivariate twin models and monozygotic twin difference models to investigate the association between family connectedness and self-control and to unravel to what extent genetic and environmental factors explain this association. The results showed that more family connectedness is significantly related to better self-control in adolescence, albeit with a small effect size. Twin analyses revealed that this association was mainly explained by common genetic factors and that the effects of environmental factors were small. The current findings confirm the role of family connectedness in adolescent self-control. Importantly, however, the results demonstrate that phenomena we see within families seem the product of parent and children sharing the same genes rather than being exclusively attributable to environmental processes.
Many have stridently recommended banning markets like the one where COVID-19 originally spread. We highlight that millions of people around the world depend on markets for subsistence and the diverse use of animals globally defies uniform bans. We argue that the immediate and fair priority is critical scrutiny of wildlife trade.
University Research Institute of Maternal and Child Health and Precision Medicine, and UNESCO Chair on Adolescent Health Care, “Aghia Sophia” Children’s Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece, 2 Public Health Laboratories, Hellenic Pasteur Institute, Athens, Greece, Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University Hospital of Larissa, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University Hospital of Larissa, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece
Aileen Oeberst, Ina von der Beck, U. Cress, S. Nestler
Published: Mar 2019
Hindsight bias—the tendency to overestimate in hindsight what one knew in foresight—is a robust and pervasive human error. A recent study with Wikipedia articles, however, found evidence for a hindsight bias only for disasters but not for any other event category (e.g., elections). Although this might suggest Wikipedia articles to be less biased than individuals, alternative explanations had not been ruled out. The present study set out to answer this question by comparing individuals’ and Wikipedia’s representation of the very same event in foresight and hindsight. In particular, we made use of a state election and surveyed one part of participants before and after the outcome and had other participants rate the corresponding Wikipedia article versions with regard to the extent to which the article was suggestive of a particular outcome and presented it as foreseeable and inevitable. In line with prior research and our hypotheses, we found a hindsight bias at the individual level but not in Wikipedia articles. Applying Bayesian statistics, there was substantial support for the null hypothesis (i.e., no hindsight bias) in Wikipedia. By controlling for the potential impact of participants’ own hindsight bias on their article ratings we can rule out alternative explanations of our findings. Therefore, our findings are the first to demonstrate Wikipedia’s superiority over individuals when it comes to hindsight bias.
To optimize plasmid containment, we have systematically investigated the factors that limit the killing efficiency of a suicide system based on the relF gene from Escherichia coli controlled by inducible lac promoters and placed on plasmids. In induction experiments with this suicide system, killing efficiency was unaffected by temperature and growth medium; there was no requirement for great promoter strength or high plasmid copy number. We could demonstrate that the factors limiting killing were the mutation rate of the suicide function and the reduced growth rate caused by a basal level of expression of the suicide gene during normal growth, which can give a selective growth advantage to cells with mutated suicide functions. The capacity of the plasmid-carried killing system to contain the plasmid was tested in transformation, transduction, and conjugational mobilization. The rate of plasmid transfer detected in these experiments seemed too high to provide adequate biological containment. As expected from the induction experiments, plasmids that escaped containment in these transfer experiments turned out to be mutated in the suicide function. With lac-induced suicide as a test, the efficiency of the system was improved by tightening the repression of the suicide gene, thereby preventing selection of cells mutated in the killing function. Reduction of the mutational inactivation rate of the suicide system by duplication of the suicide function augmented the efficiency of the suicide dramatically. These results permit the construction of extremely efficient biological containment systems.
Nehal Adel Abdelsalam, Ahmed Ramadan, Marwa T Elrakaiby, Ramy Karam Aziz
Published: Apr 2020
The harmful impact of xenobiotics on the environment and human health is being more widely recognized; yet, inter- and intraindividual genetic variations among humans modulate the extent of harm, mostly through modulating the outcome of xenobiotic metabolism and detoxification. As the Human Genome Project revealed that host genetic, epigenetic, and regulatory variations could not sufficiently explain the complexity of interindividual variability in xenobiotics metabolism, its sequel, the Human Microbiome Project, is investigating how this variability may be influenced by human-associated microbial communities. Xenobiotic-microbiome relationships are mutual and dynamic. Not only does the human microbiome have a direct metabolizing potential on xenobiotics, but it can also influence the expression of the host metabolizing genes and the activity of host enzymes. On the other hand, xenobiotics may alter the microbiome composition, leading to a state of dysbiosis, which is linked to multiple diseases and adverse health outcomes, including increased toxicity of some xenobiotics. Toxicomicrobiomics studies these mutual influences between the ever-changing microbiome cloud and xenobiotics of various origins, with emphasis on their fate and toxicity, as well the various classes of microbial xenobiotic-modifying enzymes. This review article discusses classic and recent findings in toxicomicrobiomics, with examples of interactions between gut, skin, urogenital, and oral microbiomes with pharmaceutical, food-derived, and environmental xenobiotics. The current state and future prospects of toxicomicrobiomic research are discussed, and the tools and strategies for performing such studies are thoroughly and critically compared.
Background Hypertension remains a leading global cause for premature death and disease. Most treatment guidelines emphasize the importance of risk factors, but not all are known, modifiable, or easily avoided. Population blood pressure correlates with latitude and is lower in summer than winter. Seasonal variations in sunlight exposure account for these differences, with temperature believed to be the main contributor. Recent research indicates that UV light enhances nitric oxide availability by mobilizing storage forms in the skin, suggesting incident solar UV radiation may lower blood pressure. We tested this hypothesis by exploring the association between environmental UV exposure and systolic blood pressure (SBP) in a large cohort of chronic hemodialysis patients in whom SBP is determined regularly. Methods and Results We studied 342 457 patients (36% black, 64% white) at 2178 US dialysis centers over 3 years. Incident UV radiation and temperature data for each clinic location were retrieved from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration database. Linear mixed effects models with adjustment for ambient temperature, sex/age, body mass index, serum Na+/K+ and other covariates were fitted to each location and combined estimates of associations calculated using the DerSimonian and Laird procedure. Pre‐dialysis SBP varied by season and was ≈4 mm Hg higher in black patients. Temperature, UVA and UVB were all linearly and inversely associated with SBP. This relationship remained statistically significant after correcting for temperature. Conclusions In hemodialysis patients, in addition to environmental temperature, incident solar UV radiation is associated with lower SBP. This raises the possibility that insufficient sunlight is a new risk factor for hypertension, perhaps even in the general population.
BackgroundTriacylglycerols (TAGs) are the main composition of plant seed oil. Long-chain acyl-coenzyme A synthetases (LACSs) catalyze the synthesis of long-chain acyl-coenzyme A, which is one of the primary substrates for TAG synthesis. In Arabidopsis, the LACS gene family contains nine members, among which LACS1 and LACS9 have overlapping functions in TAG biosynthesis. However, functional characterization of LACS proteins in rapeseed have been rarely reported.ResultsAn orthologue of the Arabidopsis LACS2 gene (BnLACS2) that is highly expressed in developing seeds was identified in rapeseed (Brassica napus). The BnLACS2-GFP fusion protein was mainly localized to the endoplasmic reticulum, where TAG biosynthesis occurs. Interestingly, overexpression of the BnLACS2 gene resulted in significantly higher oil contents in transgenic rapeseed plants compared to wild type, while BnLACS2-RNAi transgenic rapeseed plants had decreased oil contents. Furthermore, quantitative real-time PCR expression data revealed that the expression of several genes involved in glycolysis, as well as fatty acid (FA) and lipid biosynthesis, was also affected in transgenic plants.ConclusionsA long chain acyl-CoA synthetase, BnLACS2, located in the endoplasmic reticulum was identified in B. napus. Overexpression of BnLACS2 in yeast and rapeseed could increase oil content, while BnLACS2-RNAi transgenic rapeseed plants exhibited decreased oil content. Furthermore, BnLACS2 transcription increased the expression of genes involved in glycolysis, and FA and lipid synthesis in developing seeds. These results suggested that BnLACS2 is an important factor for seed oil production in B. napus.
BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE
Xerosis cutis (also referred to as xeroderma, dry skin, asteatosis) affects more than 10 million individuals in Germany. It is among the most common dermatological diagnoses and a cardinal symptom of many dermatological, internal and neurological diseases. Even though it has been established that basic skin care plays a significant role in the management of patients with xerosis cutis, there are as yet no evidence-based algorithms for diagnosis and treatment.
The present position paper provides physicians across all specialties with a practical, symptom-based approach to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of xerosis cutis.
Within a structured decision-making process, a panel of experienced dermatologists first defined questions relevant to everyday clinical practice, which were then addressed by a systematic review of the literature. Based on the evidence available as well as expert consensus, diagnostic and treatment algorithms were subsequently developed and agreed upon.
Xerosis cutis is generally diagnosed on clinical grounds. Possible trigger factors must be avoided, and comorbidities should be adequately and specifically treated. Suitable skin care products should be chosen with a view to improving skin hydration and restoring its barrier function. They should therefore contain both rehydrating and lipid-replenishing components. The "drier" the skin appears, the greater the lipid content should be (preferably using water-in-oil formulations). The choice of ingredients is based on a patient's individual symptoms, such as scaling (e.g., urea), fissures/rhagades (e.g., urea or dexpanthenol), erythema (e.g., licochalcone A) and pruritus (e.g., polidocanol). Other factors to be considered include the site affected and patient age. Ingredients or rather combinations thereof for which there is good clinical evidence should be preferentially used. The best evidence by far is available for urea, whose efficacy in the treatment of xerosis is further enhanced by combining it with other natural moisturizing components and ceramides. The "xerosimeter" is a tool developed in an effort to facilitate patient management and for training purposes. It not only includes practical tools for diagnosis and follow-up but also a classification of ingredients and a structured treatment algorithm.
The structured symptom- and evidence-based approach proposed herein contains a road map for diagnosis and treatment of xerosis cutis. It aims to raise awareness in terms of prevention and early treatment of this condition and may thus improve quality of life and prevent potential sequelae.
Adventitious root formation is a process in which roots are induced, from determined or differentiated cells that have not been specified to develop a root, at positions where they do not normally occur during development. In forest tree species, a decline in the capacity to form adventitious roots from similar cell types in stem cuttings is associated with tree age and maturity. This decline limits the success of vegetative propagation of selected adult trees. The joint action of local signals and a dynamic cascade of regulatory changes in gene expression, resulting in stereotypical cell division patterns, regulate cell fate changes that enable a somatic differentiated cell to reactivate meristem programs toward the induction of an adventitious root meristem.