ResearchPad - biological-locomotion https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The relationship of recreational runners’ motivation and resilience levels to the incidence of injury: A mediation model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7663 Running participation has increased significantly in the last decade. Despite its association with different health-related aspects, athletes may experience adverse outcomes, including injuries. The aim of this study was twofold: to examine the relationship between runners’ resilience levels, motivation and incidence of injury, on the one hand; and to analyse the mediation that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation has on the association between the number of injuries and psychological resilience levels among amateur athletes. The sample consisted of a total of 1725 runners (age: 40.40 ± 9.39 years), 1261 of whom were male (age: 43.16 ± 9.38), and 465 of whom were female (age: 40.34 ± 9.14). Athletes completed the Behavioural Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire (BREQ-3), the Resilience scale (CD-RISC 10), and an Injury retrospective survey. Three mediation models were constructed, and the results showed a significant indirect association of athletes’ intrinsic motivation and resilience on the number of injuries (β = 0.022, CI = 0.007, 0.0) in mediation model 1, whereas extrinsic motivation was found to have no significant association on those variables (β = -0.062, CI = -0.137, 0.009) in mediation model 2. Model 3 showed significant differences with respect to resilience (p < 0.05) and intrinsic motivation (p < 0.05). Therefore, the mediation of intrinsic motivation on athletes’ resilience levels and incidence of injury was demonstrated, i.e., it was found that intrinsic motivation was associated with a higher incidence of injury, while no such correlation was found for extrinsic motivation. This study shows that the amateur long distance runners with a high level of intrinsic motivation tend to suffer from a greater number of injuries, and at the same time psychological resilience was associated with a lower number of injuries.

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<![CDATA[Disruption of genes associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2 lead to common behavioural, cellular and molecular defects in Caenorhabditis elegans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5d50b5cf-e057-490e-9c44-60569e9f28d4

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is an inherited peripheral motor and sensory neuropathy. The disease is divided into demyelinating (CMT1) and axonal (CMT2) neuropathies, and although we have gained molecular information into the details of CMT1 pathology, much less is known about CMT2. Due to its clinical and genetic heterogeneity, coupled with a lack of animal models, common underlying mechanisms remain elusive. In order to gain an understanding of the normal function of genes associated with CMT2, and to draw direct comparisons between them, we have studied the behavioural, cellular and molecular consequences of mutating nine different genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (lin-41/TRIM2, dyn-1/DNM2, unc-116/KIF5A, fzo-1/MFN2, osm-9/TRPV4, cua-1/ATP7A, hsp-25/HSPB1, hint-1/HINT1, nep-2/MME). We show that C. elegans defective for these genes display debilitated movement in crawling and swimming assays. Severe morphological defects in cholinergic motors neurons are also evident in two of the mutants (dyn-1 and unc-116). Furthermore, we establish methods for quantifying muscle morphology and use these to demonstrate that loss of muscle structure occurs in the majority of mutants studied. Finally, using electrophysiological recordings of neuromuscular junction (NMJ) activity, we uncover reductions in spontaneous postsynaptic current frequency in lin-41, dyn-1, unc-116 and fzo-1 mutants. By comparing the consequences of mutating numerous CMT2-related genes, this study reveals common deficits in muscle structure and function, as well as NMJ signalling when these genes are disrupted.

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<![CDATA[Exposure to dim light at night prior to conception attenuates offspring innate immune responses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N231fece1-eb24-47b2-a00f-cbdce7a093c6

Functional circadian timekeeping is necessary for homeostatic control of the immune system and appropriate immune responsiveness. Disruption of natural light-dark cycles, through light at night (LAN), impairs innate and adaptive immune responses in nocturnal rodents. These altered immune responses are associated with disrupted endogenous gene transcriptional and endocrine cycles. However, few studies have addressed the multigenerational consequences of systemic circadian rhythm disruption. We hypothesized that parental exposure to dim LAN (dLAN) would alter innate immune and sickness responses to an endotoxin challenge in adult offspring gestated and reared in dark nights. Adult male and female Siberian hamsters were exposed to either dark nights (DARK) or dLAN (~5 lux) for 8 weeks, then paired, mated, and thereafter housed under dark nights. Maternal exposure to dLAN prior to conception impaired febrile responses and increased splenic il-1 production in response to LPS in male offspring. Paternal pre-conception dLAN dampened offspring tnf-α expression in the hypothalamus, reduced serum bactericidal capacity, and dark phase locomotor activity. These changes occurred despite offspring being conceived, gestated, and reared under standard dark night conditions. Overall, these data suggest that dLAN has intergenerational effects on innate immunity and sickness responses.

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<![CDATA[The faster, the better? Relationships between run-up speed, the degree of difficulty (D-score), height and length of flight on vault in artistic gymnastics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c99030dd5eed0c484b98b90

On vault in artistic gymnastics, a high run-up speed is thought to be important when performing difficult vaults. To test this assumption in a large cohort of elite athletes, we calculated the correlations between the run-up speed, scores, height and length of flight for handspring-, Tsukahara- and Yurchenko-style vaults and compared the performances of male and female elite and junior athletes (n = 407) during the 2016 European Championships. In females, run-up speed correlated significantly with the difficulty (D-) score and height of flight for all vaulting styles (r ≤ 0.80). In males, run-up speed correlated significantly with the D-score, height and length of flight of Tsukahara (r ≤ 0.69) and Yurchenko vaults only (r ≤ 0.65). Males reached 8–9% higher run-up speeds performing handspring and Tsukahara vaults than did females, but similar run-up speeds performing Yurchenko vaults. Elite females achieved higher run-up speeds than junior females performing Yurchenko vaults. Elite males displayed higher run-up speeds than junior males performing handspring and Tsukahara vaults. We conclude that, in females, more difficult vaults require higher run-up speeds than vaults with lower D-scores and thus, within the measured range of speeds, the faster the run-up, the better, regardless of vaulting style. Males, on the other hand, may not need to exhaust their sprinting capacity, even for the most difficult vaults. Finally, the knowledge of the required run-up speed for each vault helps coaches to estimate each athlete’s potential and/or to focus the training on developing the required physical qualities.

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<![CDATA[Posterior ventral tegmental area-nucleus accumbens shell circuitry modulates response to novelty]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823b2d5eed0c484638e5a

Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens from ventral tegmental area (VTA) efferent neurons is critical for orientation and response to novel stimuli in the environment. However, there are considerable differences between neuronal populations of the VTA and it is unclear which specific cell populations modulate behavioral responses to environmental novelty. A retroDREADDs (designer drugs exclusively activated by designer receptors) technique, comprising designer G protein-coupled receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs and modulated by retrograde transported Cre, was used to selectively stimulate neurons of the VTA which project to the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh). First, the selectivity and expression of the human M3 muscarinic receptor-based adeno-associated virus (AAV-hM3D) was confirmed in primary neuronal cell cultures. Second, AAV-CMV-GFP/Cre was infused into the AcbSh and AAV-hSyn-DIO-hM3D(Gq)-mCherry (a presynaptic enhancer in the presence of its cognate ligand clozapine-N-oxide) was infused into the VTA of ovariectomized female Fisher 344 rats to elicit hM3D(Gq)-mCherry production specifically in neurons of the VTA which synapse in the AcbSh. Finally, administration of clozapine-N-oxide significantly altered rodents’ response to novelty (e.g. absence of white background noise) by activation of hM3D(Gq) receptors, without altering gross locomotor activity or auditory processing per se. Confocal imaging confirmed production of mCherry in neurons of the posterior aspect of the VTA (pVTA) suggesting these neurons contribute to novelty responses. These results suggest the pVTA-AcbSh circuit is potentially altered in motivational disorders such as apathy, depression, and drug addiction. Targeting the pVTA-AcbSh circuit, therefore, may be an effective target for pharmacological management of such psychopathologies.

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<![CDATA[Is there an accurate relationship between simple self-reported functional limitations and the assessment of physical capacity in early old age?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c194dd5eed0c484b4d398

Study design

Observational study.

Objective

To assess the relationship between individual self-reports and measurements of physical condition in early old age.

Background

The use of self-reported questions assessing physical limitations remains questionable in large epidemiological studies. We aimed to test whether there is an accurate relationship between objective measures of physical capabilities and answers given to questions asked of general early old age populations.

Methods

20,335 subjects (45 to 69 years old) performed two gait speed tests at usual and at rapid speeds, and a hand grip strength test. They also completed an interview which included questions about general and specific limitations on their ability to walk one kilometer, climb stairs, and carry 5 kg over a distance of 10 meters. The questions were coded by the patients on a 4-point scale according to the severity of the limitation. Analyses were performed using description of distributions and related tests were carried out.

Results

A fair association was found between individual self-reports and measurements of physical state: limitations on walking one kilometer and climbing stairs were more closely related to rapid than to usual gait speed and to carrying a 5 kg load. For general limitations, the strength of these associations was weaker than the other scores. The association between hand grip strength and the reported score for carrying a mass was better than that for gait speed tests.

Conclusion

Such simple self-assessment questions on physical performance might be useful tools for evaluating functional limitations across a large early old age population in epidemiological research.

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<![CDATA[Match-play movement and metabolic power demands of elite youth, sub-elite and elite senior Australian footballers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c818e8dd5eed0c484cc250f

Aims

Currently minimal research has quantified physical requirement differences in match-play between youth and senior Australian football players. The aim of the current research was to describe and compare the movement profiles and energy cost of youth, sub-elite and elite senior Australian football match-play.

Methods

Fifty-seven Australian footballers playing in an elite senior 20, sub-elite senior 16 and elite youth competition 21 participated in this study. Distance, speed based indices and metabolic power measures recording via Global Positioning System (GPS) devices were compared across three competition tiers. Kicks and handballs were collected via a commercial statistics provider (Champion Data) and compared across the competition tiers.

Results

Youth players recorded less field time (elite: ES = 1.37/sub-elite: ES = 1.68), total distance (elite: ES = 1.64 /sub-elite: ES = 1.55) and high speed running (elite: ES = 0.90/sub-elite: ES = 0.26) compared to the elite and sub-elite players. The average energy cost of elite (ES = 2.19) and sub-elite (ES = 1.58) match-play was significantly higher that youth match-play.

Conclusions

A progressive increase regarding physical demands was evident across AF competition tiers. The findings suggest that sub-elite match-play can provide a viable pathway for youth players to develop physical capacity and technical skills before transitioning to elite senior match-play.

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<![CDATA[Determining the exact location of a public bicycle station—The optimal distance between the building entrance/exit and the station]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe3ed5eed0c484e5b76e

As a sustainable mode of transportation, public bicycles significantly improve daily mobility. The location of stations is a key element for the success of a public bicycle system, as a long walking distance will reduce people’s willingness to use this mode of transportation. Building forms in China are different from the open type seen abroad. Many residential, office and school areas are enclosed by walls, and pedestrian flow is concentrated at the entrances/exits of these areas. Therefore, the station must be located close to the building entrance/exit. Previous studies on station location located the stations only per zone, without providing the exact locations of the stations in the zones. This paper considers the optimal distance between the building entrance/exit and the station to determine the exact station locations. The results can serve as a reference for the planning and optimization of public bicycle stations. A questionnaire survey was conducted in Beijing to determine users’ walking distances to the stations. The results indicated that the walking distance decay laws of stations were different for different land uses. Moreover, a binary logistic model was developed to verify that users with different travel purposes have different walking distances. Based on the above results, we explored the optimal distances and tolerable distances between the building entrance/exit and the station for different land uses. These distances can be used to determine exact station locations to meet users’ physiological and psychological needs.

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<![CDATA[Common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) behavior in an active narrow seaport]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac7ad5eed0c484d08871

The Galveston Ship Channel (GSC) is a narrow, congested waterway that supports large-scale shipping, commercial fishing, dolphin tourism, and recreation. Human activity and common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) converge in the GSC with potentially negative consequences on the dolphins. Elevated land-based tracking and behavioral observation of dolphins and vessels were conducted along the GSC in June-August 2013 using a digital theodolite. Positional information was used to calculate dolphin movement patterns and proximity to vessels. Log-likelihood ratio and Chi-square contingency tests were used to assess behavioral states, and generalized additive models were used to analyze movement patterns (i.e., swimming speed, reorientation rate, and linearity) relative to endogenous and exogenous factors and vessel presence. Dolphins regularly use the GSC to forage (57% of observed behavioral states) and socialize (27%), and it is not a travel corridor for accessing other favorable sites (traveling = 5%). Dolphin behavior varied significantly based on time of day, group size, calf presence, and general boat presence. When boats were present, the proportion of time dolphins spent socializing and foraging was significantly less than expected by chance. Swimming speeds increased significantly in the presence of small recreational boats, dolphin-watching tour boats, shrimp trawlers, and when tour boats and shrimp trawlers were both present. Reorientation rate increased significantly in the presence of tour boats and trawlers. Dolphin behavioral responses to vessel presence may result in decreased energy consumption due to disrupted foraging activity. Without proper management, the observed behavioral changes may be detrimental to individuals within this population in the short term, with potential long-term consequences to health and survivorship.

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<![CDATA[Leisure-time physical activity and DNA damage among Japanese workers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706785d5eed0c4847c717f

Background

It remains unclear whether daily physical activity is associated with DNA damage. This cross-sectional study examined the association between leisure-time physical activity and urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG), a biomarker of oxidative DNA damage, or urinary 7-methylguanine (m7Gua), a biomarker of methylating DNA damage.

Methods

Participants included 501 workers (294 men and 207 women), aged 20–65 years, from municipal offices in Japan. Urinary 8-OH-dG and m7Gua were measured using column-switching HPLC. Physical activity was evaluated using a self-reported questionnaire. The associations between leisure-time physical activity and urinary DNA damage markers were assessed by multiple linear regression analysis, with stratification by occupational physical activity.

Results

After adjusting for covariates, leisure-time physical activity showed a suggestive inverse correlation with urinary 8-OH-dG levels (P for trend = 0.06), and a significant inverse association with urinary m7Gua levels (P for trend = 0.03). In analysis stratified by occupation, inverse correlations were observed in sedentary workers (walking < 30 min/day at work: P for trend = 0.06 and = 0.03 for urinary 8-OH-dG and m7Gua, respectively), but not in physically active workers (walking ≥ 30 min/day at work). In analysis for each intensity of leisure-time physical activity, light-intensity exercise was associated with lower levels of urinary 8-OH-dG (P for trend = 0.03), whereas moderate-to-high-intensity exercise was associated with lower levels of urinary m7Gua (P for trend = 0.02).

Conclusions

Our results suggest that high levels of leisure-time physical activity are associated with decreased levels of DNA damage in individuals with low physical activity at work.

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<![CDATA[Affordable gait analysis using augmented reality markers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1519d5eed0c48467adab

A typical optical based gait analysis laboratory uses expensive stereophotogrammetric motion capture systems. The study aims to propose and validate an affordable gait analysis method using augmented reality (AR) markers with a single action camera. Image processing software calculates the position and orientation of the AR markers. Anatomical landmark calibration is applied on the subject to calibrate each of the anatomical points with respect to their corresponding AR markers. This way, anatomical points are tracked through AR markers using homogeneous coordinate transformations, and the further processing of gait analysis is identical with conventional solutions. The proposed system was validated on nine participants of varying age using a conventional motion capture system on simultaneously measured treadmill gait trials on 2, 3 and 4.5 km/h walking speeds. Coordinates of the virtual anatomical points were compared using the Bland-Altman analysis. Spatial-temporal gait parameters (step length, stride length, walking base, cadence, pelvis range of motion) and angular gait parameters (range of motion of knee, hip and pelvis angles) were compared between measurement systems by RMS error and Bland-Altman analysis. The proposed method shows some differences in the raw coordinates of virtually tracked anatomical landmarks and gait parameters compared to the reference system. RMS errors of spatial parameters were below 23 mm, while the angular range of motion RMS errors varies from 2.55° to 6.73°. Some of these differences (e.g. knee angle range of motion) is comparable to previously reported differences between commercial motion capture systems and gait variability. The proposed method can be a very cheap gait analysis solution, but precision is not guaranteed for every aspect of gait analysis using the currently exemplified implementation of the AR marker tracking approach.

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<![CDATA[Breeding behavior in the blind Mexican cavefish and its river-dwelling conspecific]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe22d5eed0c484e5b593

Fish reproductive patterns are very diverse in terms of breeding frequency, mating system, sexual dimorphisms and selection, mate choice, spawning site choice, courtship patterns, spawning behaviors and parental care. Here we have compared the breeding behavior of the surface-dwelling and cave-dwelling morphs of the characiform A. mexicanus, with the goals of documenting the spawning behavior in this emerging model organism, its possible evolution after cave colonization, and the sensory modalities involved. Using infrared video recordings, we showed that cave and surface Astyanax spawning behavior is identical, occurs in the dark, and can be divided into 5 rapid phases repeated many times, about once per minute, during spawning sessions which last about one hour and involve one female and several males. Such features may constitute “pre-adaptive traits” which have facilitated fish survival after cave colonization, and may also explain how the two morphs can hybridize in the wild and in the laboratory. Accordingly, cross-breeding experiments involving females of one morphotype and males of the other morphotype showed the same behavior including the same five phases. However, breeding between cavefish females and surface fish males was more frequent than the reverse. Finally, cavefish female pheromonal solution was able to trigger strong behavioral responses in cavefish males–but not on surface fish males. Lastly, egg production seemed higher in surface fish females than in cavefish females. These results are discussed with regards to the sensory modalities involved in triggering reproductive behavior in the two morphs, as well as its possible ongoing evolution.

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<![CDATA[Benefits of zebra stripes: Behaviour of tabanid flies around zebras and horses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe02d5eed0c484e5b282

Averting attack by biting flies is increasingly regarded as the evolutionary driver of zebra stripes, although the precise mechanism by which stripes ameliorate attack by ectoparasites is unknown. We examined the behaviour of tabanids (horse flies) in the vicinity of captive plains zebras and uniformly coloured domestic horses living on a horse farm in Britain. Observations showed that fewer tabanids landed on zebras than on horses per unit time, although rates of tabanid circling around or briefly touching zebra and horse pelage did not differ. In an experiment in which horses sequentially wore cloth coats of different colours, those wearing a striped pattern suffered far lower rates of tabanid touching and landing on coats than the same horses wearing black or white, yet there were no differences in attack rates to their naked heads. In separate, detailed video analyses, tabanids approached zebras faster and failed to decelerate before contacting zebras, and proportionately more tabanids simply touched rather than landed on zebra pelage in comparison to horses. Taken together, these findings indicate that, up close, striped surfaces prevented flies from making a controlled landing but did not influence tabanid behaviour at a distance. To counteract flies, zebras swished their tails and ran away from fly nuisance whereas horses showed higher rates of skin twitching. As a consequence of zebras’ striping, very few tabanids successfully landed on zebras and, as a result of zebras’ changeable behaviour, few stayed a long time, or probed for blood.

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<![CDATA[A novel nonosteocytic regulatory mechanism of bone modeling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df343d5eed0c484581048

Osteocytes, cells forming an elaborate network within the bones of most vertebrate taxa, are thought to be the master regulators of bone modeling, a process of coordinated, local bone-tissue deposition and removal that keeps bone strains at safe levels throughout life. Neoteleost fish, however, lack osteocytes and yet are known to be capable of bone modeling, although no osteocyte-independent modeling regulatory mechanism has so far been described. Here, we characterize a novel, to our knowledge, bone-modeling regulatory mechanism in a fish species (medaka), showing that although lacking osteocytes (i.e., internal mechanosensors), when loaded, medaka bones model in mechanically directed ways, successfully reducing high tissue strains. We establish that as in mammals, modeling in medaka is regulated by the SOST gene, demonstrating a mechanistic link between skeletal loading, SOST down-regulation, and intense bone deposition. However, whereas mammalian SOST is expressed almost exclusively by osteocytes, in both medaka and zebrafish (a species with osteocytic bones), SOST is expressed by a variety of nonosteocytic cells, none of which reside within the bone bulk. These findings argue that in fishes (and perhaps other vertebrates), nonosteocytic skeletal cells are both sensors and responders, shouldering duties believed exclusive to osteocytes. This previously unrecognized, SOST-dependent, osteocyte-independent mechanism challenges current paradigms of osteocyte exclusivity in bone-modeling regulation, suggesting the existence of multivariate feedback networks in bone modeling—perhaps also in mammalian bones—and thus arguing for the possibility of untapped potential for cell targets in bone therapeutics.

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<![CDATA[Pressure redistributing in-seat movement activities by persons with spinal cord injury over multiple epochs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9fdd5eed0c48452a665

Pressure ulcers, by definition, are caused by external forces on the tissues, often in the regions of bony prominences. Wheelchair users are at risk to develop sitting-acquired pressure ulcers, which occur in the regions of the ischial tuberosities, sacrum/coccyx or greater trochanters. As a means to prevent pressure ulcers, instruction on performing pressure reliefs or weight shifts are a part of the rehabilitation process. The objective of this study was to monitor the weight shift activity of full-time wheelchair users with acute spinal cord injury over multiple epochs of time in order to determine consistency or routine within and across epochs. A second objective was to evaluate the accuracy of self-reported pressure relief frequency within each measurement epoch. A wheelchair in-seat activity monitor was used to measure weight shifts and other in-seat movement. The data was classified into multiple in-seat activity metrics using machine learning. Seventeen full-time wheelchair users with spinal cord injury were measured within multiple epochs, each lasting more than 1 week. Across all in-seat activity metrics, no consistent pattern of activity changes emerged. None of the in-seat activity metric changed in any one direction across a majority of subjects. Subjects tended to over-estimate their frequency of performing pressure reliefs. Self-reported pressure relief behaviors are not reliable, and therefore, cannot be used to evaluate preventative behaviors either clinically or within research. This study had the capability of fully investigating in-seat movements of wheelchair users. The results indicated that in-seat movement does not reflect a routine, either in pressure reliefs, weight shifts or other functional in-seat movements. This study has illustrated the complexity of assigning causation of pressure ulcer occurrence to seated behaviors of wheelchair users and identifies the need for improved clinical techniques designed to develop routine behaviors to prevent pressure ulcers.

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<![CDATA[Optimization of irradiation dose to Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus in a sterile insect technique program]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac86d5eed0c484d0898f

The sterile insect technique (SIT) may offer a means to control the transmission of mosquito borne diseases. SIT involves the release of male insects that have been sterilized by exposure to ionizing radiation. We determined the effects of different doses of radiation on the survival and reproductive capacity of local strains of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus in southern Mexico. The survival of irradiated pupae was invariably greater than 90% and did not differ significantly in either sex for either species. Irradiation had no significant adverse effects on the flight ability (capacity to fly out of a test device) of male mosquitoes, which consistently exceeded 91% in Ae. aegypti and 96% in Ae. albopictus. The average number of eggs laid per female was significantly reduced in Ae. aegypti at doses of 15 and 30 Gy and no eggs were laid by females that had been exposed to 50 Gy. Similarly, in Ae. albopictus, egg production was reduced at doses of 15 and 25 Gy and was eliminated at 35 Gy. In Ae. aegypti, fertility in males was eliminated at 70 Gy and was eliminated at 30 Gy in females, whereas in Ae. albopictus, the fertility of males that mated with untreated females was almost zero (0.1%) in the 50 Gy treatment and female fertility was eliminated at 35 Gy. Irradiation treatments resulted in reduced ovary length and fewer follicles in both species. The adult median survival time of both species was reduced by irradiation in a dose-dependent manner. However, sterilizing doses of 35 Gy and 50 Gy resulted in little reduction in survival times of males of Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti, respectively, indicating that these doses should be suitable for future evaluations of SIT-based control of these species. The results of the present study will be applied to studies of male sexual competitiveness and to stepwise evaluations of the sterile insect technique for population suppression of these vectors in Mexico.

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<![CDATA[Conserved regulation of neurodevelopmental processes and behavior by FoxP in Drosophila]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75bdd5eed0c4843d00af

FOXP proteins form a subfamily of evolutionarily conserved transcription factors involved in the development and functioning of several tissues, including the central nervous system. In humans, mutations in FOXP1 and FOXP2 have been implicated in cognitive deficits including intellectual disability and speech disorders. Drosophila exhibits a single ortholog, called FoxP, but due to a lack of characterized mutants, our understanding of the gene remains poor. Here we show that the dimerization property required for mammalian FOXP function is conserved in Drosophila. In flies, FoxP is enriched in the adult brain, showing strong expression in ~1000 neurons of cholinergic, glutamatergic and GABAergic nature. We generate Drosophila loss-of-function mutants and UAS-FoxP transgenic lines for ectopic expression, and use them to characterize FoxP function in the nervous system. At the cellular level, we demonstrate that Drosophila FoxP is required in larvae for synaptic morphogenesis at axonal terminals of the neuromuscular junction and for dendrite development of dorsal multidendritic sensory neurons. In the developing brain, we find that FoxP plays important roles in α-lobe mushroom body formation. Finally, at a behavioral level, we show that Drosophila FoxP is important for locomotion, habituation learning and social space behavior of adult flies. Our work shows that Drosophila FoxP is important for regulating several neurodevelopmental processes and behaviors that are related to human disease or vertebrate disease model phenotypes. This suggests a high degree of functional conservation with vertebrate FOXP orthologues and established flies as a model system for understanding FOXP related pathologies.

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<![CDATA[Patients’ experiences with a behaviour change intervention to enhance physical activity in primary care: A mixed methods study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c757cd5eed0c4843cfe09

Objective

To explore the experiences of patients at risk for cardiovascular disease in primary care with the Activate intervention in relation to their success in increasing their physical activity.

Methods

A convergent mixed methods study was conducted, parallel to a cluster-randomised controlled trial in primary care, using a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Questionnaires from 67 patients were analysed, and semi-structured interviews of 22 patients were thematically analysed. Experiences of patients who had objectively increased their physical activity (responders) were compared to those who had not (non-responders). Objective success was analysed in relation to self-perceived success.

Results

The questionnaire and interview data corresponded, and no substantial differences among responders and non-responders emerged. Participating in the intervention increased patients’ awareness of their physical activity and their physical activity level. Key components of the intervention were the subsequent support of nurses with whom patients’ have a trustful relationship and the use of self-monitoring tools. Patients highly valued jointly setting goals, planning actions, receiving feedback and review on their goal attainment and jointly solving problems. Nurses’ support, the use of self-monitoring tools, and involving others incentivised patients to increase their physical activity. Internal circumstances and external circumstances challenged patients’ engagement in increasing and maintaining their physical activity.

Conclusion

Patients experienced the Activate intervention as valuable to increase and maintain their physical activity, irrespective of their objective change in physical activity. The findings enable the understanding of the effectiveness of the intervention and implementation in primary care.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02725203.

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<![CDATA[Cross-cultural comparisons of aerobic and muscular fitness in Tanzanian and English youth: An allometric approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7067a8d5eed0c4847c7463

Comparisons of physical fitness measures between children or within group measures over time are potentially confounded by differences in body size. We compared measures of strength (handgrip) and aerobic fitness (running-speed [20m shuttle-run]) of 10.0–15.9 year-olds from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (n = 977) with schoolchildren from England (n = 1014) matched for age and sex. Differences in fitness were analyzed using general linear models, with allometric scaling for body size (mass and stature) and further adjustments for physical activity. Mean handgrip of Tanzanians was lower than English youth (F = 165.0, P<0.001, ηp2 = .079). The difference became trivial when run-speed was scaled for body size (ηp2 = .008). Running-speed of the English children was higher than in Tanzanians (F = 16.0, P<0.001, ηp2 = .014). Allometric scaling for accentuated this between-county difference in running-speed (ηp2 = .019) but when adjusted for physical activity between-country differences in running-speed were trivial (ηp2 = .008). These data contradict those studies showing poor muscular fitness in African youth and highlight the need for appropriate scaling techniques to avoid confounding by differences in body size. In contrast to those from rural areas, our sample of contemporary urban Tanzanians were less aerobically fit than European youth. Differences were independent of body size. Lower aerobic fitness of urban Tanzanian youth may be due to reported physical activity levels lower than those of English youth and lower still than previously reported in rural Tanzania.

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<![CDATA[Dynamic stability and stepping strategies of young healthy adults walking on an oscillating treadmill]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9dad5eed0c48452a314

Understanding how people modify their stepping to maintain gait stability may provide information on fall risk and help to understand strategies used to reduce loss of balance. The purpose of this study was to identify the stepping strategies healthy young individuals select to maintain balance while walking on a destabilizing surface in various directions. A treadmill mounted on top of a 6 degree-of-freedom motion base was used to generate support surface oscillations in different degrees of freedom and amplitudes. Fifteen healthy young adults (21.3 ± 1.4 years) walked at self-selected speeds while continuous sinusoidal oscillations were imposed to the support surface in a one degree of freedom: rotation or translation in the mediolateral (ML) direction and rotation or translation in the anteroposterior (AP) direction, with each condition repeated at three different amplitudes. We compared step width, length, and frequency and the mean and variability of margin of stability (MoS) during each experimental walking condition with a control condition, in which the support surface was stationary. Subjects chose a common strategy of increasing step width (p < 0.001) and decreasing step length (p = 0.008) while increasing mediolateral MoS (p < 0.001), particularly during oscillations that challenged frontal plane control, with rotations of the walking surface producing the greatest changes to stepping.

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