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Structural vulnerability

Majdi Ashour
BACKGROUND: People living in the Gaza Strip have experienced a protracted political conflict and extreme socioeconomic adversity since 1948. Economic conditions have deteriorated markedly since the onset of the Palestinian Intifada in 1987 and have been exacerbated by the economic siege after 2006. The health system in the Gaza Strip has faced additional challenges. The aim of this study was to assess how Palestinian households in the Gaza Strip experienced health care services during this period of political turmoil, socioeconomic adversity, and challenges to health services...
February 21, 2018: Lancet
Amanda M Rojek, Kassiani Gkolfinopoulou, Apostolos Veizis, Angeliki Lambrou, Lyndsey Castle, Theano Georgakopoulou, Karl Blanchet, Takis Panagiotopoulos, Peter W Horby
BACKGROUND: Refugees may have an increased vulnerability to infectious diseases, and the consequences of an outbreak are more severe in a refugee camp. When an outbreak is suspected, access to clinical information is critical for investigators to verify that an outbreak is occurring, to determine the cause and to select interventions to control it. Experience from previous outbreaks suggests that the accuracy and completeness of this information is poor. This study is the first to assess the adequacy of clinical characterisation of acute medical illnesses in refugee camps...
March 19, 2018: BMC Medicine
Emerson Pontes-da-Silva, William E Magnusson, Barry Sinervo, Gabriel H Caetano, Donald B Miles, Guarino R Colli, Luisa M Diele-Viegas, Jessica Fenker, Juan C Santos, Fernanda P Werneck
Temperature increases can impact biodiversity and predicting their effects is one of the main challenges facing global climate-change research. Ectotherms are sensitive to temperature change and, although predictions indicate that tropical species are highly vulnerable to global warming, they remain one of the least studied groups with respect to the extent of physiological variation and local extinction risks. We model the extinction risks for a tropical heliothermic teiid lizard (Kentropyx calcarata) integrating previously obtained information on intraspecific phylogeographic structure, eco-physiological traits and contemporary species distributions in the Amazon rainforest and its ecotone to the Cerrado savannah...
April 2018: Journal of Thermal Biology
Hanwen Tian, Junming Miao, Fumei Zhang, Feng Xiong, Feimei Zhu, Jinyu Li, Xiaoying Wang, Shanzhe Chen, Junli Chen, Ning Huang, Yi Wang
The urinary tract is vulnerable to frequent challenges from environmental microflora. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) makes a major contribution to urinary tract infection (UTI). Previous studies have characterized positive roles of non-histone nuclear protein HMGN2 in lung epithelial innate immune response. In the study presented here, we found HMGN2 expression was up-regulated in UPEC J96-infected urothelium. Surprisingly, over-expression of HMGN2 promoted disruption of BECs 5637 cells' intercellular junctions by down-regulating tight junction (TJs) components' expression and physical structure under J96 infection...
March 17, 2018: Acta Biochimica Polonica
Monica Montefalcone, Giada De Falco, Ettore Nepote, Martina Canessa, Marco Bertolino, Giorgio Bavestrello, Carla Morri, Carlo Nike Bianchi
Marine caves are unique and vulnerable habitats exhibiting high biodiversity and heterogeneity, but threatened by multiple global and local disturbances. Marine caves, although widely distributed along the Mediterranean coast, suffer for the lack of quantitative data on their structure and function, which hinder their conservation status assessment. Thanks to the availability of a nearly 30-year-long series of data (1986-2013), we evaluated ecosystem change in the Bergeggi marine cave (Ligurian Sea, NW Mediterranean), a cave with a complex shape and high habitat heterogeneity...
February 21, 2018: Marine Environmental Research
Marco Armando, Corrado Sandini, Maelle Chambaz, Marie Schaer, Maude Schneider, Stephan Eliez
Converging evidence suggests that psychosis emerges from the complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Stressful life events (SLEs) play a prominent role in combination with coping strategies and with a dysfunctional hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA). It has been proposed that the framework of schizotypy might help disentangle the interaction between genetic and environmental factors in the pathogenesis of psychosis. Similarly, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is considered as a genetic model of psychosis vulnerability...
March 14, 2018: Schizophrenia Bulletin
Christine Prouty, Shima Mohebbi, Qiong Zhang
Given the increasing vulnerability of communities to the negative impacts of untreated wastewater, resource recovery (RR) systems provide a paradigm shift away from a traditional approach of waste separation and treatment towards a productive recovery of water, energy and nutrients. The aim of this research is to understand the relationships between factors that influence the adoption and sustainability of wastewater-based RR systems to inform technology implementation strategies. The study presents a theory-informed, community-influenced system dynamics (SD) model to provide decision-makers with an adaptable tool that simulates system-level responses to the strategies that are developed for the coastal town of Placencia, Belize...
March 7, 2018: Water Research
Mariana Fortunata Donadon, Rocio Martin-Santos, Flávia de Lima Osório
Studies have shown that traumatic experiences may affect hormonal systems mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the oxytocinergic system. This effect is the result of long-term impairments in hypothalamic structures and negative feedback mechanisms within the HPA axis, structures that mediate the response to stress. This deregulation reduces the production and release of cortisol and oxytocin (OXT), which may alter stress responses and lead to increased vulnerability to impairments from stressful experiences...
2018: Frontiers in Pharmacology
Xiayun Zuo, Chaohua Lou, Ersheng Gao, Qiguo Lian, Iqbal H Shah
BACKGROUND: Non-consensual sex (NCS) among young people, an important subject with public health and human rights implications, was less studied in China. This study is to investigate the NCS awareness and victimization of university students in Shanghai, China and whether they were associated with adolescent gender-role attitudes. METHODS: Gender-role attitudes, awareness and victimization of different forms of NCS were examined among 1099 undergraduates (430 males and 669 females) in four universities in Shanghai using computer-assisted self-interview approach...
March 15, 2018: Reproductive Health
Tarisai Chiyaka, Phillis Mushati, Bernadette Hensen, Sungai Chabata, James R Hargreaves, Sian Floyd, Isolde J Birdthistle, Frances M Cowan, Joanna R Busza
Young women (aged 15-24) who exchange sex for money or other support are among the highest risk groups for HIV acquisition, particularly in high prevalence settings. To prepare for introduction and evaluation of the DREAMS programme in Zimbabwe, which provides biomedical and social interventions to reduce adolescent girls' and young women's HIV vulnerability, we conducted a rapid needs assessment in 6 towns using a "social mapping" approach. In each site, we talked to adult sex workers and other key informants to identify locations where young women sell sex, followed by direct observation, group discussions and interviews...
2018: PloS One
Teresa Fernández-Crespo, Rick J Schulting, Javier Ordoño, Andreas Duering, Francisco Etxeberria, Lourdes Herrasti, Ángel Armendariz, José I Vegas, Christopher Bronk Ramsey
OBJECTIVES: San Juan ante Portam Latinam is one of a small number of European Neolithic sites meeting many of the archaeological criteria expected for a mass grave, and furthermore presents evidence for violent conflict. This study aims to differentiate between what is potentially a single episode of deposition, versus deposition over some centuries, or, alternatively, that resulting from a combination of catastrophic and attritional mortality. The criteria developed are intended to have wider applicability to other such proposed events...
March 15, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Margaret Mary Downey, Anu Manchikanti Gómez
Reproductive health disparities-particularly those experienced by racial and ethnic minority groups-are considered a persistent public health issue in the United States. Frameworks that focus on social determinants of health seek to identify the forces producing these disparities, particularly social conditions that create vulnerability to premature death and disease. Such frameworks pose challenges to health care provision, as structural factors can seem immutable to health care professionals trained to treat individual patients...
March 1, 2018: AMA Journal of Ethics
Meriem El Ghachi, Nicole Howe, Chia-Ying Huang, Vincent Olieric, Rangana Warshamanage, Thierry Touzé, Dietmar Weichert, Phillip J Stansfeld, Meitian Wang, Fred Kerff, Martin Caffrey
As a protective envelope surrounding the bacterial cell, the peptidoglycan sacculus is a site of vulnerability and an antibiotic target. Peptidoglycan components, assembled in the cytoplasm, are shuttled across the membrane in a cycle that uses undecaprenyl-phosphate. A product of peptidoglycan synthesis, undecaprenyl-pyrophosphate, is converted to undecaprenyl-phosphate for reuse in the cycle by the membrane integral pyrophosphatase, BacA. To understand how BacA functions, we determine its crystal structure at 2...
March 14, 2018: Nature Communications
Cecilia Siliansky de Andreazzi, Paulo R Guimarães, Carlos J Melián
Studies have shown the potential for rapid adaptation in coevolving populations and that the structure of species interaction networks can modulate the vulnerability of ecological systems to perturbations. Although the feedback loop between population dynamics and coevolution of traits is crucial for understanding long-term stability in ecological assemblages, modelling eco-evolutionary dynamics in species-rich assemblages is still a challenge. We explore how eco-evolutionary feedbacks influence trait evolution and species abundances in 23 empirical antagonistic networks...
March 14, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Eva Nüsken, Jörg Dötsch, Lutz T Weber, Kai-Dietrich Nüsken
Chronic kidney disease affects more than 10% of the population. Programming studies have examined the interrelationship between environmental factors in early life and differences in morbidity and mortality between individuals. A number of important principles has been identified, namely permanent structural modifications of organs and cells, long-lasting adjustments of endocrine regulatory circuits, as well as altered gene transcription. Risk factors include intrauterine deficiencies by disturbed placental function or maternal malnutrition, prematurity, intrauterine and postnatal stress, intrauterine and postnatal overnutrition, as well as dietary dysbalances in postnatal life...
2018: Frontiers in Pediatrics
Claudia Laperchia, Yuan-Zhong Xu, Dieudonné Mumba Ngoyi, Tiziana Cotrufo, Marina Bentivoglio
Neuron populations of the lateral hypothalamus which synthesize the orexin (OX)/hypocretin or melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) peptides play crucial, reciprocal roles in regulating wake stability and sleep. The disease human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also called sleeping sickness, caused by extracellular Trypanosoma brucei ( T. b .) parasites, leads to characteristic sleep-wake cycle disruption and narcoleptic-like alterations of the sleep structure. Previous studies have revealed damage of OX and MCH neurons during systemic infection of laboratory rodents with the non-human pathogenic T...
2018: Frontiers in Neuroanatomy
Sami Johan Taipale, Kimmo Kalevi Kahilainen, Gordon William Holtgrieve, Elina Talvikki Peltomaa
The first few months of life is the most vulnerable period for fish and their optimal hatching time with zooplankton prey is favored by natural selection. Traditionally, however, prey abundance (i.e., zooplankton density) has been considered important, whereas prey nutritional composition has been largely neglected in natural settings. High-quality zooplankton, rich in both essential amino acids (EAAs) and fatty acids (FAs), are required as starting prey to initiate development and fast juvenile growth. Prey quality is dependent on environmental conditions, and, for example, eutrophication and browning are two major factors defining primary producer community structures that will directly determine the nutritional quality of the basal food sources (algae, bacteria, terrestrial matter) for zooplankton...
March 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Laura B Ngwenya, Sarmistha Mazumder, Zachary R Porter, Amy Minnema, Duane J Oswald, H Francis Farhadi
Cognitive deficits after traumatic brain injury (TBI) are debilitating and contribute to the morbidity and loss of productivity of over 10 million people worldwide. Cell transplantation has been linked to enhanced cognitive function after experimental traumatic brain injury, yet the mechanism of recovery is poorly understood. Since the hippocampus is a critical structure for learning and memory, supports adult neurogenesis, and is particularly vulnerable after TBI, we hypothesized that stem cell transplantation after TBI enhances cognitive recovery by modulation of endogenous hippocampal neurogenesis...
2018: Stem Cells International
Elspeth Ready
Social institutions that facilitate sharing and redistribution may help mitigate the impact of resource shocks. In the North American Arctic, traditional food sharing may direct food to those who need it and provide a form of natural insurance against temporal variability in hunting returns within households. Here, network properties that facilitate resource flow (network size, quality, and density) are examined in a country food sharing network comprising 109 Inuit households from a village in Nunavik (Canada), using regressions to investigate the relationships between these network measures and household socioeconomic attributes...
2018: PloS One
Julie M Woulfe, Lisa A Goodman
Intimate partner violence (IPV; i.e., physical, sexual, or psychological abuse by a current or former partner) remains a public health concern with devastating personal and societal costs. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals are also vulnerable to a dimension of IPV called identity abuse (IA); that is, abuse tactics that leverage systemic oppression to harm an individual. Yet, we know little about its relative prevalence in subgroups of the LGBTQ community. This study developed and evaluated a measure of IA, and explored its prevalence in a sample of 734 sexual minority adults...
March 1, 2018: Journal of Interpersonal Violence
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