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Environmental health

Lucila Okuyama Fukasawa, Maria Gisele Gonçalves, Fábio Takenori Higa, Euclides Ayres Castilho, Ana Belén Ibarz-Pavón, Claudio Tavares Sacchi
BACKGROUND: The lack of information regarding the burden of acute bacterial meningitis in Latin America leads to a reduction in the estimated incidence rates of the disease, and impairs public health decisions on the use and follow-up of preventive interventions, particularly, the evaluation of existing vaccination policies. The use of the real-time PCR in diagnostic routine procedures has resulted in a substantial increase in confirmed bacterial meningitis cases. However, in resource-poor countries, these assays are only available in reference laboratories...
2017: PloS One
Alexandre A Lussier, Joanne Weinberg, Michael S Kobor
Adverse in utero events can alter the development and function of numerous physiological systems, giving rise to lasting neurodevelopmental deficits. In particular, data have shown that prenatal alcohol exposure can reprogram neurobiological systems, altering developmental trajectories and resulting in increased vulnerability to adverse neurobiological, behavioral and health outcomes. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms are potential mediators for the reprogramming of neurobiological systems, as they may provide a link between the genome, environmental conditions and neurodevelopmental outcomes...
March 2017: Epigenomics
Linda Valeri, Sarah L Reese, Shanshan Zhao, Christian M Page, Wenche Nystad, Brent A Coull, Stephanie J London
AIMS: Assessing whether epigenetic alterations mediate associations between environmental exposures and health outcomes is increasingly popular. We investigate the impact of exposure misclassification in such investigations. MATERIALS & METHODS: We quantify bias and false-positive rates due to exposure misclassification in mediation analysis and assess the performance of the simulation extrapolation method (SIMEX). We evaluate whether DNA-methylation mediates smoking-birth weight relationship in the Norwegian Mother and Child Study birth cohort...
March 2017: Epigenomics
Paige A Bommarito, Elizabeth Martin, Rebecca C Fry
Exposure to environmental contaminants during pregnancy has been linked to adverse outcomes at birth and later in life. The link between prenatal exposures and latent health outcomes suggests that these exposures may result in long-term epigenetic reprogramming. Toxic metals and endocrine disruptors are two major classes of contaminants that are ubiquitously present in the environment and represent threats to human health. In this review, we present evidence that prenatal exposures to these contaminants result in fetal epigenomic changes, including altered global DNA methylation, gene-specific CpG methylation and microRNA expression...
March 2017: Epigenomics
Robin Myte, Björn Gylling, Jenny Häggström, Jörn Schneede, Per Magne Ueland, Göran Hallmans, Ingegerd Johansson, Richard Palmqvist, Bethany Van Guelpen
The role of one-carbon metabolism (1CM), particularly folate, in colorectal cancer (CRC) development has been extensively studied, but with inconclusive results. Given the complexity of 1CM, the conventional approach, investigating components individually, may be insufficient. We used a machine learning-based Bayesian network approach to study, simultaneously, 14 circulating one-carbon metabolites, 17 related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and several environmental factors in relation to CRC risk in 613 cases and 1190 controls from the prospective Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study...
February 24, 2017: Scientific Reports
Peter J Baxter, Susanna Jenkins, Rosadi Seswandhana, Jean-Christophe Komorowski, Ken Dunn, David Purser, Barry Voight, Ian Shelley
This study of burns patients from two eruptions of Merapi volcano, Java, in 1994 and 2010, is the first detailed analysis to be reported of thermal injuries in a large series of hospitalised victims of pyroclastic surges, one of the most devastating phenomena in explosive eruptions. Emergency planners in volcanic crises in populated areas have to integrate the health sector into disaster management and be aware of the nature of the surge impacts and the types of burns victims to be expected in a worst scenario, potentially in numbers and in severity that would overwhelm normal treatment facilities...
February 20, 2017: Burns: Journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries
Sheryl L Chatfield, Rachael Nolan, Hannah Crawford, Jeffrey S Hallam
BACKGROUND: Hand hygiene is promoted as an effective practice to counter health care-acquired infections; however, compliance is less than optimal. Nurses have many patient contact opportunities and therefore are frequent participants in intervention research. The optimal combination of efficient and effective intervention components has not been conclusively identified. METHODS: A factorial survey research design offers an efficient method to assess multiple factors simultaneously by combining elements into vignettes...
February 20, 2017: American Journal of Infection Control
Juan Liu, Xuwen Luo, Jin Wang, Tangfu Xiao, Diyun Chen, Guodong Sheng, Meiling Yin, Holger Lippold, Chunlin Wang, Yongheng Chen
Thallium (Tl) is a highly toxic rare element. Severe Tl poisoning can cause neurological brain damage or even death. The present study was designed to investigate contents of Tl and other associated heavy metals in arable soils and twelve common vegetables cultivated around a steel plant in South China, a newly-found initiator of Tl pollution. Potential health risks of these metals to exposed population via consumption of vegetables were examined by calculating hazard quotients (HQ). The soils showed a significant contamination with Tl at a mean concentration of 1...
February 20, 2017: Environmental Pollution
Dalis E Collins Jon D Reuter Howard G Rush And Jason S Villano
Viral vector research presents unique occupational health and safety challenges to institutions due to the rapid development ofboth in vivo and in vitro gene-editing technologies. Risks to human and animal health make it incumbent on institutions to appropriately evaluate viral vector usage in research on the basis of available information and governmental regulations and guidelines.Here we review the factors related to risk assessment regarding viral vector usage in animals and the relevant regulatory documents associated with this research, and we highlight the most commonly used viral vectors in research today...
February 23, 2017: Comparative Medicine
G Bodur, H Kaya
AIM: To explore the perceptions of nurses and nurse educators regarding the future of nursing by the year 2050 in Turkey. BACKGROUND: Social changes, rapid population growth, globalization and worldwide environmental problems will cause greater changes in the field of health and health care in the near future than they have in the past. Undoubtedly, these changes will directly affect nursing. It is important that nurses and nurse educators forecast and direct the future and nursing to benefit from the effects of the changes that will occur in the future...
February 23, 2017: International Nursing Review
Pierre J Obeid, Souha A Fares, Ghada N Farhat, Bilal El-Khoury, Rana M Nassif, John El-Nakat, Hassan R Dhaini
Mercury (Hg) exposure represents a significant public health concern at a global level. This study aims at assessing Hg exposure and risk among Lebanese young adults based on Hg biomonitoring and seafood intake. A group of 166 young adults were administered a questionnaire to assess Hg exposure and were asked to provide a hair sample. Risk assessment was performed: (1) using the US Environmental Protection Agency Hazard Quotient (HQ) model based on fish intake and previously studied local fish Hg concentrations, and (2) by determining the total hair Hg concentration (THHg) using continuous flow-chemical vapor generation atomic absorption spectrometry...
February 23, 2017: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Nurit Katz-Agranov, Gisele Zandman-Goddard
The microbiota, which is comprised of the collective of all microbes inhabiting the gut and its effect on the human host in which it resides, has become a growing field of interest. Various parameters of health and disease have been found to be associated with the variation in the human gut microbiome. In recent years, many studies have demonstrated an important role of gut microbes in the development of various illnesses including autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis...
February 23, 2017: Immunologic Research
Martial Marbouty, Lyam Baudry, Axel Cournac, Romain Koszul
The biochemical activities of microbial communities, or microbiomes, are essential parts of environmental and animal ecosystems. The dynamics, balance, and effects of these communities are strongly influenced by phages present in the population. Being able to characterize bacterium-phage relationships is therefore essential to investigate these ecosystems to the full extent of their complexity. However, this task is currently limited by (i) the ability to characterize complete bacterial and viral genomes from a complex mix of species and (ii) the difficulty to assign phage sequences to their bacterial hosts...
February 2017: Science Advances
Maria F Nieto-Jacobo, Johanna M Steyaert, Fatima B Salazar-Badillo, Dianne Vi Nguyen, Michael Rostás, Mark Braithwaite, Jorge T De Souza, Juan F Jimenez-Bremont, Mana Ohkura, Alison Stewart, Artemio Mendoza-Mendoza
Trichoderma species are soil-borne filamentous fungi widely utilized for their many plant health benefits, such as conferring improved growth, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance to their hosts. Many Trichoderma species are able to produce the auxin phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), and its production has been suggested to promote root growth. Here we show that the production of IAA is strain dependent and diverse external stimuli are associated with its production. In in vitro assays, Arabidopsis primary root length was negatively affected by the interaction with some Trichoderma strains...
2017: Frontiers in Plant Science
Christopher L Merkord, Yi Liu, Abere Mihretie, Teklehaymanot Gebrehiwot, Worku Awoke, Estifanos Bayabil, Geoffrey M Henebry, Gebeyaw T Kassa, Mastewal Lake, Michael C Wimberly
BACKGROUND: Early indication of an emerging malaria epidemic can provide an opportunity for proactive interventions. Challenges to the identification of nascent malaria epidemics include obtaining recent epidemiological surveillance data, spatially and temporally harmonizing this information with timely data on environmental precursors, applying models for early detection and early warning, and communicating results to public health officials. Automated web-based informatics systems can provide a solution to these problems, but their implementation in real-world settings has been limited...
February 23, 2017: Malaria Journal
Eun Lee, Si Hyeon Lee, Ji-Won Kwon, Young-Ho Kim, Jisun Yoon, Hyun-Ju Cho, Song-I Yang, Young-Ho Jung, Hyung Young Kim, Ju-Hee Seo, Hyo Bin Kim, So Yeon Lee, Ho-Jang Kwon, Soo-Jong Hong
BACKGROUND: Treatment guidelines for asthma have been established based on asthma severity; there are limitations in the identification of underlying pathophysiology and prediction of prognosis in heterogeneous phenotypes of asthma. Although the complex interactions between environmental and genetic factors affect the development and progression of asthma, studies on asthma phenotypes considering environmental factors are limited. This study aimed to identify asthma phenotypes using latent class analysis including environmental factors in school-age children...
February 23, 2017: BMC Pulmonary Medicine
Paloma Cariñanos, Manuel Casares-Porcel, Consuelo Díaz de la Guardia, María Jesús Aira, Jordina Belmonte, Marzia Boi, Belén Elvira-Rendueles, Concepción De Linares, Santiago Fernández-Rodriguez, José María Maya-Manzano, Rosa Pérez-Badía, David Rodriguez-de la Cruz, Francisco Javier Rodríguez-Rajo, Jesús Rojo-Úbeda, Carlos Romero-Zarco, Estefanía Sánchez-Reyes, José Sánchez-Sánchez, Rafael Tormo-Molina, Ana Mª Vega Maray
Urban parks play a key role in the provision of ecosystem services, actively participating in improving the quality of life and welfare of local residents. This paper reports on the application of an index designed to quantify the allergenicity of urban parks in a number of Spanish cities. The index, which records biological and biometric parameters for the tree species growing there, classifies parks in terms of the risk they pose for allergy sufferers, graded as null, low, moderate or high. In this initial phase, the index was applied to 26 green areas in 24 Spanish cities; green areas varied in type (urban park, historical or modern garden, boulevard, square or urban forest), size 1-100 ha), geographical location, species richness, number of trees and tree density (number of trees / ha...
February 20, 2017: Environmental Research
Richard C Macknight, William A Laing, Sean M Bulley, Ronan C Broad, Alexander At Johnson, Roger P Hellens
Ascorbate (or vitamin C) is an essential human micronutrient predominantly obtained from plants. In addition to preventing scurvy, it is now known to have broader roles in human health, for example as a cofactor for enzymes involved in epigenetic programming and as regulator of cellular iron uptake. Furthermore, ascorbate is the major antioxidant in plants and underpins many environmentally induced abiotic stress responses. Biotechnological approaches to enhance the ascorbate content of crops therefore have potential to improve both human health and abiotic stress tolerance of crops...
February 20, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Maria Angélica da Conceição Gomes, Rachel Ann Hauser-Davis, Marina Satika Suzuki, Angela Pierre Vitória
Increasingly, anthropogenic perturbations of the biosphere manifest in a broad array of global phenomena, causing widespread contamination of most ecosystems, with high dispersion rates of many contaminants throughout different environmental compartments, including metals. Chromium (Cr) contamination in particular, is, increasingly, posing a serious threat to the environment, emerging as a major health hazard to the biota. However, although the molecular and physiological mechanisms of plant responses to many heavy metals, especially lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd), have been focused upon in recent years, chromium has attracted significantly less attention...
February 20, 2017: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Alim Setiawan Slamet, Akira Nakayasu, Hu Bai
Over the last few years, the global market of organic vegetables has grown. This is due to increased consumer concern regarding environmental and health issues, especially for food products. This study aims to examine factors that influence consumer behavior in purchasing organic vegetables. In this study, data were obtained from household surveys conducted in the Jabodetabek region (Greater Jakarta) from February to March 2015. Descriptive analysis, factor analysis, and a binary logit model were used to analyze the data...
December 7, 2016: Foods (Basel, Switzerland)
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