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Food deserts

Joana Damas, Rebecca O'Connor, Marta Farré, Vasileios Panagiotis E Lenis, Henry J Martell, Anjali Mandawala, Katie Fowler, Sunitha Joseph, Martin T Swain, Darren K Griffin, Denis M Larkin
Most recent initiatives to sequence and assemble new species' genomes de-novo fail to achieve the ultimate endpoint to produce contigs, each representing one whole chromosome. Even the best-assembled genomes (using contemporary technologies) consist of sub-chromosomal sized scaffolds. To circumvent this problem, we developed a novel approach that combines computational algorithms to merge scaffolds into chromosomal fragments, PCR-based scaffold verification and physical mapping to chromosomes. Multi-genome-alignment-guided probe selection led to the development of a set of universal avian BAC clones that permit rapid anchoring of multiple scaffolds to chromosomes on all avian genomes...
November 30, 2016: Genome Research
Wayne C Miller, Denver Rogalla, Dustin Spencer, Nida Zia, Brian N Griffith, Haylee B Heinsberg
INTRODUCTION: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) describes a food desert as an urban neighborhood or rural town without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. An estimated 2.3 million rural Americans live in food deserts. One goal of the USDA is to eliminate food deserts. However, at a time when some food deserts are being eliminated, hundreds of grocery stores are closing, causing other food deserts to arise. The literature is scarce on how a community adapts to an impending food desert...
October 2016: Rural and Remote Health
Rajae Talbi, Marie-Pierre Laran-Chich, Rabia Magoul, Seloua El Ouezzani, Valérie Simonneaux
Jerboas are wild rodents exhibiting exceptional adaptation to their desert environment. Under harsh autumn conditions, they shut down reproduction, increase body weight and hibernate, while during spring they become sexually active even under negative energy-balance. We recently reported that these rhythms are associated with synchronized changes in genes expressing reproductive (Kiss1, Rfrp) and metabolic (Npy and Pomc) peptides, raising the hypothesis of coordinated seasonal regulation of both functions. Here we analyzed whether kisspeptin and RFRP-3 regulate food-intake in parallel to their established reproductive functions...
November 2, 2016: Scientific Reports
Kathrine Lynn Barnes, Casper G Bendixsen
Farmers are growing older, and fewer new agriculturists are rising to take their place. Concurrently, women and minorities are entering agriculture at an increasing rate. These rates are particularly curious viewed in light of the racialized and gendered nature of agriculture. Slavery and agriculture share strong historical roots with many male slaves performing agricultural labor. So then, why would African American women choose to engage in agriculture in any form? Participant-observation and in-depth interviews with a group of African American women urban farmers in the southeastern United States were asked this question...
October 26, 2016: Journal of Agromedicine
Leyla Ismayilova, Eleni Gaveras, Austin Blum, Alexice Tô-Camier, Rachel Nanema
OBJECTIVES: Research about the mental health of children in Francophone West Africa is scarce. This paper examines the relationships between adverse childhood experiences, including exposure to violence and exploitation, and mental health outcomes among children living in ultra-poverty in rural Burkina Faso. METHODS: This paper utilizes baseline data collected from 360 children ages 10-15 and 360 of their mothers recruited from twelve impoverished villages in the Nord Region of Burkina, located near the Sahel Desert and affected by extreme food insecurity...
2016: PloS One
Mustafa Arici
Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, east of the Mediterranean Sea and the Egypt. The whole area has almost 20 countries with an approximate population of 400 million with different ethnicities. The whole area has basically a hot and dry climate. In some parts of the Middle East, there is a desert climate.Cardiovascular diseases were the leading causes of death in the Middle East, similar to the many other territories of the World. Beyond that, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized this region as a hotspot for cardiovascular disease, where disease projections will exceed those of other regions...
September 2016: Journal of Hypertension
Christine A Vaughan, Deborah A Cohen, Madhumita Ghosh-Dastidar, Gerald P Hunter, Tamara Dubowitz
OBJECTIVE: To examine where residents in an area with limited access to healthy foods (an urban food desert) purchased healthier and less healthy foods. DESIGN: Food shopping receipts were collected over a one-week period in 2013. These were analysed to describe where residents shopped for food and what types of food they bought. SETTING: Two low-income, predominantly African-American neighbourhoods with limited access to healthy foods in Pittsburgh, PA, USA...
October 5, 2016: Public Health Nutrition
Dohyeong Kim, Chang Kil Lee, Dong Yeon Seo
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The concept of "food deserts" has been widely used in Western countries as a framework to identify areas with constrained access to fresh and nutritious foods, providing guidelines for targeted nutrition and public health programs. Unlike the vast amount of literature on food deserts in a Western context, only a few studies have addressed the concept in an East Asian context, and none of them have investigated spatial patterns of unhealthy food consumption from a South Korean perspective...
October 2016: Nutrition Research and Practice
Mustafa Arici
Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, east of the Mediterranean Sea and the Egypt. The whole area has almost 20 countries with an approximate population of 400 million with different ethnicities. The whole area has basically a hot and dry climate. In some parts of the Middle East, there is a desert climate.Cardiovascular diseases were the leading causes of death in the Middle East, similar to the many other territories of the World. Beyond that, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized this region as a hotspot for cardiovascular disease, where disease projections will exceed those of other regions...
September 2016: Journal of Hypertension
Almut Ellinor Schlaich, Raymond H G Klaassen, Willem Bouten, Vincent Bretagnolle, Ben Johannes Koks, Alexandre Villers, Christiaan Both
Hundreds of millions of Afro-Palaearctic migrants winter in the Sahel, a semi-arid belt south of the Sahara desert, where they experience deteriorating ecological conditions during their overwintering stay and have to prepare for spring migration when conditions are worst. This well-known phenomenon was first described by R.E. Moreau and is known ever since as Moreau's Paradox. However, empirical evidence of the deteriorating seasonal ecological conditions is limited and little is known on how birds respond...
September 19, 2016: Journal of Animal Ecology
Yang Wang, Zhi-Gao Zeng, Shu-Ran Li, Jun-Huai Bi, Wei-Guo Du
Extreme high temperatures are occurring more frequently with ongoing anthropogenic climate warming, but the experimental tests of the effects of high temperatures on terrestrial vertebrates in natural conditions are rare. In this study, we investigated the effects of extreme high temperatures on female reproduction and offspring traits of multi-ocellated racerunners (Eremias multiocellata) kept in field enclosures in the desert steppe of Inner Mongolia. Our studies indicate that high temperatures significantly affect the gestation period and reproductive output of females and the offspring sex ratio, but have little impact on offspring body size and mass...
December 2016: Oecologia
Natali Hernández-Becerra, Yunuen Tapia-Torres, Ofelia Beltrán-Paz, Jazmín Blaz, Valeria Souza, Felipe García-Oliva
BACKGROUND: Global demand for food has led to increased land-use change, particularly in dry land ecosystems, which has caused several environmental problems due to the soil degradation. In the Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB), alfalfa production irrigated by flooding impacts strongly on the soil. METHODS: In order to analyze the effect of such agricultural land-use change on soil nutrient dynamics and soil bacterial community composition, this work examined an agricultural gradient within the CCB which was comprised of a native desert grassland, a plot currently cultivated with alfalfa and a former agricultural field that had been abandoned for over 30 years...
2016: PeerJ
Eddie T T Tan, Rafat Al Jassim, Bruce R D'Arcy, Mary T Fletcher
Camel meat production for human consumption and pet food manufacture accounts for a relatively small part of overall red meat production in Australia. Reliable statistical data for the Australian production and consumption of camel meat are not available; however, it is estimated that 300,000 feral camels roam within the desert of central Australia, with an annual usage of more than 3000 camels for human consumption, 2000 for pet food manufacture and a smaller number for live export. Despite a small Australian camel meat production level, the usage of camel meat for pet food has been restricted in recent years due to reports of serious liver disease and death in dogs consuming camel meat...
October 2016: Food Additives & Contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure & Risk Assessment
Patrício M V Simões, Swidbert R Ott, Jeremy E Niven
The ability to learn and store information should be adapted to the environment in which animals operate to confer a selective advantage. Yet the relationship between learning, memory, and the environment is poorly understood, and further complicated by phenotypic plasticity caused by the very environment in which learning and memory need to operate. Many insect species show polyphenism, an extreme form of phenotypic plasticity, allowing them to occupy distinct environments by producing two or more alternative phenotypes...
November 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Heather M Brandt, Darcy A Freedman, Daniela B Friedman, Seul Ki Choi, Jessica S Seel, M Aaron Guest, Leepao Khang
Documentary filmmaking approaches incorporating community engagement and awareness raising strategies may be a promising approach to evaluate community-based participatory research. The study purpose was 2-fold: (1) to evaluate a documentary film featuring the formation and implementation of a farmers' market and (2) to assess whether the film affected awareness regarding food access issues in a food-desert community with high rates of obesity. The coalition model of filmmaking, a model consistent with a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, and personal stories, community profiles, and expert interviews were used to develop a documentary film (Planting Healthy Roots)...
October 2016: Family & Community Health
Elizabeth T Anderson Steeves, Katherine A Johnson, Suzanne L Pollard, Jessica Jones-Smith, Keshia Pollack, Sarah Lindstrom Johnson, Laura Hopkins, Joel Gittelsohn
OBJECTIVE: Social relationships can impact youths' eating and physical activity behaviours; however, the best strategies for intervening in the social environment are unknown. The objectives of the present study were to provide in-depth information on the social roles that youths' parents and friends play related to eating and physical activity behaviours and to explore the impact of other social relationships on youths' eating and physical activity behaviours. DESIGN: Convergent parallel mixed-methods design...
August 5, 2016: Public Health Nutrition
Georgina Del Vecchyo-Tenorio, Maricela Rodríguez-Cruz, Adolfo Andrade-Cetto, René Cárdenas-Vázquez
Creosote bush, Larrea tridentata (Sesse y Moc. Ex DC, Zygophyllaceae) is a shrub found in the deserts of Northern Mexico and Southwestern United States. In traditional medicine, it is used to treat a variety of illnesses including type 2 diabetes. The present study aims to investigate the effects of creosote bush ethanolic extract on plasma and liver parameters associated with the metabolic syndrome in hamsters fed a high fat and cholesterol diet (HFD), comparing them with those induced by ezetimibe (EZ). Seven groups of six hamsters each were formed...
2016: Frontiers in Pharmacology
Sarah E Pfeffer, Matthias Wittlinger
Cataglyphis ants are renowned for their impressive navigation skills, which have been studied in numerous experiments during forward locomotion. However, the ants' navigational performance during backward homing when dragging large food loads has not been investigated until now. During backward locomotion, the odometer has to deal with unsteady motion and irregularities in inter-leg coordination. The legs' sensory feedback during backward walking is not just a simple reversal of the forward stepping movements: compared with forward homing, ants are facing towards the opposite direction during backward dragging...
July 15, 2016: Journal of Experimental Biology
Sarah E Pfeffer, Verena L Wahl, Matthias Wittlinger
For insects, flexibility in the performance of terrestrial locomotion is a vital part of facing the challenges of their often unpredictable environment. Arthropods such as scorpions and crustaceans can switch readily from forward to backward locomotion, but in insects this behaviour seems to be less common and, therefore, is only poorly understood. Here we present an example of spontaneous and persistent backward walking in Cataglyphis desert ants that allows us to investigate rearward locomotion within a natural context...
July 15, 2016: Journal of Experimental Biology
Joana C Pinto, Sandra Oliveira, Sérgio Teixeira, Dayana Martins, Anne-Maria Fehn, Teresa Aço, Magdalena Gayà-Vidal, Jorge Rocha
OBJECTIVES: We investigated the frequency distribution and haplotype diversity of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) resistance and lactase persistence (LP) variants in populations from the Angolan Namib to trace the spread of these genetic adaptations into southwestern Africa. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We resequenced two fragments of the LCT enhancer and the APOL1 gene and genotyped flanking short tandem repeat loci in six groups with different subsistence traditions living in the Angolan Namib, and in a comparative dataset including other populations from Africa and Europe...
July 12, 2016: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
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