Up-to-date Information (up-to-date + information)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Primary prevention of neural tube defects with folate in Western Australia: the value of the Western Australian Birth Defects Registry

Carol Bower
ABSTRACT This paper reviews the role of the Western Australian Birth Defects Registry in the primary prevention of neural tube defects. The Registry provides complete and up-to-date information on all neural tube defects (NTD), including terminations of pregnancy. These data have been used to determine a baseline rate of NTD and to monitor trends in NTD over time, when health promotion of folic acid supplement use and voluntary fortification of food with folate were introduced. The register has also been used to investigate NTD in special populations (Indigenous infants in Australia) and as a sampling frame for case control studies. The data derived from these studies have been used to assist in assessing whether mandatory food fortification in Australia is indicated to prevent NTD. [source]

Impact of the heroin ,drought' on patterns of drug use and drug-related harms

Dr MARIE C. LONGO Senior Research Officer
Abstract Since late 2000, anecdotal reports from drug users and health professionals have suggested that there was a reduction in the supply of heroin in Adelaide in the first half of 2001, referred to as a heroin ,drought'. The aim of this paper was to critically review evidence for this, using data obtained from 100 injecting drug users surveyed for the 2001 Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS). This project is carried out annually in all Australian jurisdictions, and collects up-to-date information on the markets for heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and cannabis. This paper also investigates the possible implications of this ,drought' on patterns of drug use and drug-related harms. The 2001 IDRS found consistent reports by users of an increase in the price of heroin, together with decreases in purity and availability. These factors resulted in a decrease in the frequency of self-reported heroin use among those surveyed in 2001, and a concomitant increase in the use of other drugs, in particular methamphetamine and morphine. The heroin ,drought' appears to have had a substantial impact on several indices of drug-related harm. There was a marked decrease in the number of opioid-related fatalities, and hospital data also showed reductions in heroin-related presentations. Treatment service data showed an increase in the number of admissions related to amphetamines. There is a need for health promotion and education on the adverse effects of methamphetamine use, and the development of improved treatment protocols for methamphetamine abuse and dependence. [source]

LOVD: Easy creation of a locus-specific sequence variation database using an "LSDB-in-a-box" approach,

HUMAN MUTATION, Issue 2 2005
Ivo F.A.C. Fokkema
Abstract The completion of the human genome project has initiated, as well as provided the basis for, the collection and study of all sequence variation between individuals. Direct access to up-to-date information on sequence variation is currently provided most efficiently through web-based, gene-centered, locus-specific databases (LSDBs). We have developed the Leiden Open (source) Variation Database (LOVD) software approaching the "LSDB-in-a-Box" idea for the easy creation and maintenance of a fully web-based gene sequence variation database. LOVD is platform-independent and uses PHP and MySQL open source software only. The basic gene-centered and modular design of the database follows the recommendations of the Human Genome Variation Society (HGVS) and focuses on the collection and display of DNA sequence variations. With minimal effort, the LOVD platform is extendable with clinical data. The open set-up should both facilitate and promote functional extension with scripts written by the community. The LOVD software is freely available from the Leiden Muscular Dystrophy pages (www.DMD.nl/LOVD/). To promote the use of LOVD, we currently offer curators the possibility to set up an LSDB on our Leiden server. Hum Mutat 26(2), 1,6, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

CASRdb: calcium-sensing receptor locus-specific database for mutations causing familial (benign) hypocalciuric hypercalcemia, neonatal severe hyperparathyroidism, and autosomal dominant hypocalcemia,

HUMAN MUTATION, Issue 2 2004
Svetlana Pidasheva
Abstract Familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia (FHH) is caused by heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the calcium-sensing receptor (CASR), in which the lifelong hypercalcemia is generally asymptomatic. Homozygous loss-of-function CASR mutations manifest as neonatal severe hyperparathyroidism (NSHPT), a rare disorder characterized by extreme hypercalcemia and the bony changes of hyperparathyroidism, which occur in infancy. Activating mutations in the CASR gene have been identified in several families with autosomal dominant hypocalcemia (ADH), autosomal dominant hypoparathyroidism, or hypocalcemic hypercalciuria. Individuals with ADH may have mild hypocalcemia and relatively few symptoms. However, in some cases seizures can occur, especially in younger patients, and these often happen during febrile episodes due to intercurrent infection. Thus far, 112 naturally-occurring mutations in the human CASR gene have been reported, of which 80 are unique and 32 are recurrent. To better understand the mutations causing defects in the CASR gene and to define specific regions relevant for ligand-receptor interaction and other receptor functions, the data on mutations were collected and the information was centralized in the CASRdb (www.casrdb.mcgill.ca), which is easily and quickly accessible by search engines for retrieval of specific information. The information can be searched by mutation, genotype,phenotype, clinical data, in vitro analyses, and authors of publications describing the mutations. CASRdb is regularly updated for new mutations and it also provides a mutation submission form to ensure up-to-date information. The home page of this database provides links to different web pages that are relevant to the CASR, as well as disease clinical pages, sequence of the CASR gene exons, and position of mutations in the CASR. The CASRdb will help researchers to better understand and analyze the mutations, and aid in structure,function analyses. Hum Mutat 24:107,111, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Development of a molecular method for the typing of Brettanomyces bruxellensis (Dekkera bruxellensis) at the strain level

C. Miot-Sertier
Abstract Aims:, In recent years, Brettanomyces/Dekkera bruxellensis has caused increasingly severe quality problems in the wine industry. A typing method at the strain level is needed for a better knowledge of the dispersion and the dynamics of these yeasts from grape to wine. Methods and Results:, Three molecular tools, namely random-amplified polymorphic DNA, PCR fingerprinting with microsatellite oligonucleotide primers and SAU-PCR, were explored for their relevance to typing strains of Brettanomyces bruxellensis. The results indicated that discrimination of each individual strain was not possible with a single PCR typing technique. We described a typing method for B. bruxellensis based on restriction enzyme analysis and pulse field gel electrophoresis (REA-PFGE). Results showed that electrophoretic profiles were reproducible and specific for each strain under study. Conclusions:, Consequently, REA-PFGE should be considered for the discrimination of B. bruxellensis strains. This technique allowed a fine discrimination of B. bruxellensis, as strains were identified by a particular profile. Significance and Impact of the Study:, This study constitutes a prerequisite for accurate and appropriate investigations on the diversity of strains throughout the winemaking and ageing process. Such studies will probably give clearer and more up-to-date information on the origin of the presence of Brettanomyces in wine after vinification when they are latent spoilage agents. [source]

Searching for Culture,High and Low

Jennifer Kayahara
This article examines the link between finding out about cultural activities on the Web and finding out through other people. Using data from interviews with Torontonians, we show that people first obtain cultural information from interpersonal ties or other offline sources and only then turn to the Web to amplify this information. The decisions about what information to seek from which media can be evaluated in terms of a uses and gratifications approach; the main gratifications identified include efficiency and the availability of up-to-date information. Our findings also have implications for the model of the traditional two-step flow of communication. We suggest the existence of new steps, whereby people receive recommendations from their interpersonal ties, gather information about these recommendations online, take this information back to their ties, and go back to the Web to check the new information that their ties have provided them. [source]

Remifentanil and the brain

Background and aim: Remifentanil is an ultra-short-acting opioid, increasingly used today in neuroanesthesia and neurointensive care. Its characteristics make remifentanil a potentially ideal agent, but previous data have cast a shadow on this opioid, supporting potentially toxic effects on the ischemic brain. The aim of the present concise review is to survey available up-to-date information on the effects of remifentanil on the central nervous system. Method: A MEDLINE search within the past seven years for available up-to-date information on remifentanil and brain was performed. Results: Concise up-to-date information on the effects of remifentanil on the central nervous system was reported, with a particular emphasis on the following topics: cerebral metabolism, electroencephalogram, electrocorticography, motor-evoked potentials, regional cerebral blood flow, cerebral blood flow velocity, arterial hypotension and hypertension, intracranial pressure, cerebral perfusion pressure, cerebral autoregulation, cerebrovascular CO2 reactivity, cerebrospinal fluid, painful stimulation, analgesia and hyperalgesia, neuroprotection, neurotoxicity and hypothermia. Conclusion: The knowledge of the influence of remifentanil on brain functions is crucial before routine use in neuroanesthesia to improve anesthesia performance and patient safety as well as outcome. [source]

Antitubercular potential of plants: A brief account of some important molecules

Arvind S. Negi
Abstract Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the most lethal pathogen causing tuberculosis in human. After the discovery of antitubercular drugs pyrazinamide, rifampicin, isoniazid, streptomycin, and ethambutol (PRISE), the disease was controlled for a limited period. However, over the course of their usage, the pathogen acquired resistance and evolved into multi-drug resistant, single-drug resistant, and extensive drug resistant forms. A good number of plant secondary metabolites are reported to have antitubercular activity comparable to the existing antitubercular drugs or sometimes even better in potency. A well-defined strategy is required to exploit these phytomolecules as antitubercular drugs. This review gives concise up-to-date information regarding the chemistry and pharmacology of plant-based leads and some insight into their structure,activity relationship. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Med Res Rev, 30, No. 4, 603,645, 2010 [source]

Asthma in late adolescence , farm childhood is protective and the prevalence increase has levelled off

Göran Wennergren
Wennergren G, Ekerljung L, Alm B, Eriksson J, Lötvall J, Lundbäck B. Asthma in late adolescence , farm childhood is protective and the prevalence increase has levelled off. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2010: 21: 806,813. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S While the prevalence of and risk factors for asthma in childhood have been studied extensively, the data for late adolescence are more sparse. The aim of this study was to provide up-to-date information on the prevalence of and risk factors for asthma in the transitional period between childhood and adulthood. A secondary aim was to analyze whether the increase in asthma prevalence has levelled off. A large-scale, detailed postal questionnaire focusing on asthma and respiratory symptoms, as well as possible risk factors, was mailed to 30 000 randomly selected subjects aged 16,75 in Gothenburg and the surrounding western Sweden region. The present analyses are based on the responses from 1261 subjects aged 16,20 (560 men and 701 women). The prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma was 9.5%, while 9.6% reported the use of asthma medicine. In the multivariate analysis, the strongest risk factors for physician-diagnosed asthma and other asthma variables were heredity for asthma and heredity for allergy, particularly if they occurred together. Growing up on a farm significantly reduced the prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma and the likelihood of using asthma medication, OR 0.1 (95% CI 0.02,0.95). Smoking increased the risk of recurrent wheeze, long-standing cough, and sputum production. In conclusion, the prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma and the use of asthma medication in the 16- to 20-yr age group support the notion that the increase in asthma prevalence seen between the 1950s and the 1990s has now levelled off. In line with the hygiene hypothesis, a farm childhood significantly reduced the likelihood of asthma. The adverse effects of smoking could already be seen at this young age. [source]

Changing Perceptions of Change: The Role of Scientists in Tamarix and River Management

Juliet C. Stromberg
Abstract Initially introduced to western United States to provide ecosystem services such as erosion control, Tamarix by the mid-1900s had became vilified as a profligate waster of water. This large shrub continues, today, to be indicted for various presumed environmental and economic costs, and millions of dollars are expended on its eradication. In this review, we examine the role of scientists in driving changes in perceptions of Tamarix from valuable import to vilified invader and (in some instances) back to a productive member of riparian plant communities. Scientists over the years have sustained a negative perception of Tamarix by, among other things, (1) citing outmoded sources; (2) inferring causation from correlative studies; (3) applying conclusions beyond the scope (domain) of the studies; and (4) emphasizing findings that present the species as an extreme or unnatural agent of change. Recent research is challenging the prevailing dogma regarding Tamarix's role in ecosystem function and habitat degradation and many scientists now recommend management shifts from "pest plant" eradication to systemic, process-based restoration. However, prejudice against this and other non-native species persists. To further close the gap between science and management, it is important for scientists to strive to (1) cite sources appropriately; (2) avoid reflexive antiexotic bias; (3) avoid war-based and pestilence-based terminology; (4) heed the levels of certainty and the environmental domain of studies; (5) maintain up-to-date information on educational Web sites; and (6) prior to undertaking restoration or management actions, conduct a thorough and critical review of the literature. [source]

Skills and topics in continuing medical education for rural doctors

Dr. Francis M. D. Hoyal BSc(Hons) MBChB, FACRRM, MACTM, ThDip
Abstract Background: Organizations that fund and produce continuing medical education (CME) activities must have up-to-date information on the needs of their participants. The paper describes a method for assessing priorities for the provision of facilities to rural doctors in Australia for educational topics and skills upgrades. It uses an instrument designed to establish a measure of knowledge and skills that records the difference between the "current felt need" and "desired level of competence." Methods: A questionnaire was sent to all identifiable rural doctors throughout Australia, including participants in various types of practice. The resulting dataset is designed for future dissection and comparison of subsets by gender, practice size, rurality, and style of practice (whether procedural). It seeks to deliver a prioritized list of educational topics based on subjective gap analysis with weighting on the degree to which the need is unmet. Results: There was considerable consonance between the major "felt needs" and other measures of need. Implications: In spite of statistical deficiencies, which would be corrected in future work, the method offers a new instrument to prioritize the use of resources for CME delivery. [source]