Month: March 2019

BMC Medicine at the 6th International Conference on Nutrition & Growth (N&G)

© Diana Samuel Feeding practices A number of talks discussed the benefits of breast milk, such as the protective effects of breastfeeding against obesity. However, they also called attention to the lower protein content of breast milk compared to formula milk. This protein deficit is particularly problematic for low birthweight preterm infants as breast milk is not enough to maintain their optimal growth, and so a fortifier is required to fill this deficit. Walter Mihatsch provided an overview of fortification trials, showing the importance of determining the mother’s protein status (given that fortification works best if the mother’s milk...

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Can we treat leishmaniasis with tiny magnets?

Cutaneous leishmaniasis in a man from French Guiana (Image: Creative Commons). Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) remains one of the most neglected of the neglected tropical diseases or NTDs. CL is caused by infection with the protozoan parasite Leishmania which is spread by the bite of an infected sand fly and resides inside human macrophages. The disease results in disfiguring skin lesions and is strongly associated with extreme poverty, instability and conflict, with large outbreaks over the last few years in refugee camps across the Middle East. Symptoms may contribute or lead to stigma, mental health conditions and social exclusion which...

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Childhood trauma in patients with severe mental disorders linked to shorter telomeres

Telomere length represents a ‘molecular clock’ that contributes to aging © wildpixel / Getty Images / iStock Telomeres are DNA-protein structures at the tails of chromosomes that shorten with increasing age in most human tissues. When a cell divides, the end of the chromosomes is not replicated. The telomeres will thus become a little bit shorter with each cell division. Patients with severe mental disorders had on average shorter telomeres and reported more childhood trauma experiences than the healthy control group When telomeres become critically short, the cell’s ability to divide is impaired and the risk of cell death...

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What does the data tell us about trends in workplace homicides?

© AGphotographer / Fotolia On February 15th, 2019, a worker, about to be fired from his job in Aurora, IL, brought a firearm into his meeting with human resources and killed five employees. At a press conference later that day, Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman describing the crime, stated, “I hate that we have to use the term classic workplace shooting.” This was not always true. Each year in the United States, hundreds of workers are murdered at work. Firearms are used in a majority (around 80%) of these deaths. While deaths of this nature have dramatically reduced over...

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Can maternal exposure to carbon black nanoparticles affect male fertility?

Car Exhaust (via flickr/Simone Ramella) What made you want to research this issue? Our group has conducted research on fetal programming by maternal occupational exposures for more than two decades, in order to study whether these may pose a risk for women working during pregnancy. The fetal programming hypothesis proposes that environmental factors may affect fetal development so as to prepare the child for the conditions awaiting in life after birth. Since 2006, a large part of our research has focused on the potential for fetal programming by inhaled nanosized particles. During the last decade it has become apparent...

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