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Sample records for affect human reproduction

  1. Humane reproduction.

    PubMed

    1974-03-01

    Discusses social, economic, and humane considerations in population control. Mental health aspects of controlled fertility are considered in relation to the family's psychosocial and material resources, the effects of reproduction on the individual the family, and community, and the advantages and disadvantages of controlled reproduction. A distinction between family planning and population control is outlined. It is suggested that there is hardly a single more effective tool for preventing psychological disorders than the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. Analyses of educational and medical services and methods of birth control are presented. A comprehensive neighborhood health station, which would consolidate these services, is suggested. It is concluded that humane programs of reproduction would lead to a reconciliation of biological drives with a responsible concern for the quality of life.

  2. Human reproductive issues in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santy, Patricia A.; Jennings, Richard T.

    1992-01-01

    A review of reproductive functioning in animal species studied during space flight demonstrated that most species were affected significantly by the absence of gravity and/or the presence of radiation. These two factors induced alterations in normal reproductive functioning independently of, as well as in combination with, each other. Based on animal models, several potential problem areas regarding human reproductive physiology and functioning in the space environment were identified. While there are no current space flight investigations, the animal studies suggest priorities for future research in human reproduction. Such studies will be critical for the successful colonization of the space frontier.

  3. Human reproduction: current status.

    PubMed

    Izzo, Carlos Roberto; Monteleone, Pedro Augusto Araújo; Serafini, Paulo C

    2015-01-01

    The concern about the maintenance of the human species has existed since the earliest civilizations. Progress in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility has led to the development of assisted reproductive techniques (ART) which, along with the evolution of genetics and molecular biology studies, have contributed in a concrete way to the management of infertile couples. Classic in vitro fertilization was initially developed 35 years ago for the treatment of women with tubal blockage, however, it remains inaccessible to a significant proportion of infertile couples around the world. This can be explained by the lack of specialized clinics in some countries and by the high cost of the procedures. Efforts have been employed to increase the number of treatment cycles for assisted reproduction, as for example, the creation of low-cost programs. Even today, infertility remains a problem of global proportions, affecting millions of couples. The estimate of the incidence of infertility is uncertain, mainly because of the criteria used for its definition. This article aims to review the most important aspects, succinctly, regarding the incidence, etiology, and treatment options available to infertile couples.

  4. Human affection exchange: VI. Further tests of reproductive probability as a predictor of men's affection with their adult sons.

    PubMed

    Floyd, Kory; Sargent, Jack E; Di Corcia, Mark

    2004-04-01

    The authors examined the communication of affection in men's relationships with their fathers. Drawing from Affection Exchange Theory, the authors advanced four predictions: (a) heterosexual men receive more affection from their own fathers than do homosexual or bisexual men, (b) fathers communicate affection to their sons more through supportive activities than through direct verbal statements or nonverbal gestures, (c) affectionate communication between fathers and sons is linearly related to closeness and interpersonal involvement between them, and (d) fathers' awareness of their sons' sexual orientation is associated with the amount of affection that the fathers communicate to them. Participants were 170 adult men who completed questionnaires regarding affectionate communication in their relationships with their fathers. Half of the men were self-identified as exclusively heterosexual, and the other half were self-identified as exclusively homosexual or bisexual. The results supported all predictions substantially.

  5. Reproduction (II): Human Control of Reproductive Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jost, Alfred

    1970-01-01

    Describes methods of intervening in reproduction of animals and humans (artificial insemination, contraception, ovular and blastodisc transplants, pre selection of sex, cloning) and discusses the social implications of their use with humans. (AL)

  6. Adipokines in human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Dupont, Joëlle; Pollet-Villard, Xavier; Reverchon, Maxime; Mellouk, Namya; Levy, Rachel

    2015-10-01

    Adipose tissue communicates with other central and peripheral organs by the synthesis and release of substances called adipokines. The most studied adipokine is leptin but others have been recently identified including resistin, adiponectin, chemerin, omentin and visfatin. These adipokines have a critical role in the development of obesity-related complications and inflammatory conditions. However, they are also involved in other functions in the organism including reproductive functions. Indeed, many groups have demonstrated that adipokine receptors, such as adiponectin and chemerin, but also adipokines themselves (adiponectin, chemerin, resistin, visfatin and omentin) are expressed in human peripheral reproductive tissues and that these adipokines are likely to exert direct effects on these tissues. After a brief description of these new adipokines, an overview of their actions in different human reproductive organs (hypothalamus, pituitary, ovary, testis, uterus and placenta) will be presented. Finally, comments will be made on the eventual alterations of these adipokines in reproductive disorders, with special attention to polycystic ovary syndrome, a disease characterized by dysfunction of gonadal axis and systemic nerve endocrine metabolic network with a prevalence of up to 10% in women of reproductive age.

  7. Telomeres and human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kalmbach, Keri Horan; Fontes Antunes, Danielle Mota; Dracxler, Roberta Caetano; Knier, Taylor Warner; Seth-Smith, Michelle Louise; Wang, Fang; Liu, Lin; Keefe, David Lawrence

    2013-01-01

    Telomeres mediate biologic aging in organisms as diverse as plants, yeast, and mammals. We propose a telomere theory of reproductive aging that posits telomere shortening in the female germ line as the primary driver of reproductive aging in women. Experimental shortening of telomeres in mice, which normally do not exhibit appreciable oocyte aging, and which have exceptionally long telomeres, recapitulates the aging phenotype of human oocytes. Telomere shortening in mice reduces synapsis and chiasmata, increases embryo fragmentation, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, spindle dysmorphologies, and chromosome abnormalities. Telomeres are shorter in the oocytes from women undergoing in vitro fertilization, who then produce fragmented, aneuploid embryos that fail to implant. In contrast, the testes are replete with spermatogonia that can rejuvenate telomere reserves throughout the life of the man by expressing telomerase. Differences in telomere dynamics across the life span of men and women may have evolved because of the difference in the inherent risks of aging on reproduction between men and women. Additionally, growing evidence links altered telomere biology to endometriosis and gynecologic cancers, thus future studies should examine the role of telomeres in pathologies of the reproductive tract.

  8. Human reproduction: Jewish perspectives.

    PubMed

    Schenker, Joseph G

    2013-11-01

    Developments in science and technology and corresponding clinical applications raise new religious questions, often without clear answers. The role of theology in bioethics is integral to clarify perceived attitudes toward these developments for different religious communities. The Jewish attitude towards procreation is derived from the first commandment of God to Adam to 'Be fruitful and multiply'. Judaism allows the practice of all techniques of assisted reproduction when the oocyte and spermatozoon originate from the wife and husband respectively. This paper presents the attitude of Jewish Law -- Halacha to therapeutic procedures, such as IVF-embryo transfer, spermatozoa, oocytes, embryo donation, cryopreservation of genetic material, surrogacy, posthumous reproduction, gender preselection, reproductive and therapeutic cloning.

  9. Introduction: Microbiome in human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Franasiak, Jason M; Scott, Richard T

    2015-12-01

    The human microbiome has been termed the "second human genome" and data that has come about of late certainly makes it appear every bit as complex. The human body contains 10-fold more microbial cells than the human cells and accounts for 1%-3% of our total body mass. As we learn more about this symbiotic relationship, it appears this complex interaction occurs in nearly every part of the body, even those areas at one time considered to be sterile. Indeed, the microbiome in human reproduction has been investigated in terms of both the lower and upper reproductive tract and includes interactions even at the point of gametogenesis. What is all the more fascinating is that we have known about the importance of microbes for over 150 years, even before they existed in name. And now, with the assistance of an exciting technologic revolution which has pushed forward our understanding of the microbiome, we appear to stand on the precipice of a higher level of understanding of microbes, the biofilms they create, and their impact of health and disease in human reproduction.

  10. Solar activity affects avian timing of reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Visser, Marcel E.; Sanz, Juan José

    2009-01-01

    Avian timing of reproduction is strongly affected by ambient temperature. Here we show that there is an additional effect of sunspots on laying date, from five long-term population studies of great and blue tits (Parus major and Cyanistes caeruleus), demonstrating for the first time that solar activity not only has an effect on population numbers but that it also affects the timing of animal behaviour. This effect is statistically independent of ambient temperature. In years with few sunspots, birds initiate laying late while they are often early in years with many sunspots. The sunspot effect may be owing to a crucial difference between the method of temperature measurements by meteorological stations (in the shade) and the temperatures experienced by the birds. A better understanding of the impact of all the thermal components of weather on the phenology of ecosystems is essential when predicting their responses to climate change. PMID:19574283

  11. Microbes central to human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Reid, Gregor; Brigidi, Patrizia; Burton, Jeremy P; Contractor, Nikhat; Duncan, Sylvia; Fargier, Emilie; Hill, Colin; Lebeer, Sarah; Martín, Rocio; McBain, Andrew J; Mor, Gil; O'Neill, Catherine; Rodríguez, Juan Miguel; Swann, Jonathan; van Hemert, Saskia; Ansell, Juliett

    2015-01-01

    As studies uncover the breadth of microbes associated with human life, opportunities will emerge to manipulate and augment their functions in ways that improve health and longevity. From involvement in the complexities of reproduction and fetal/infant development, to delaying the onset of disease, and indeed countering many maladies, microbes offer hope for human well-being. Evidence is emerging to suggest that microbes may play a beneficial role in body sites traditionally viewed as being sterile. Although further evidence is required, we propose that much of medical dogma is about to change significantly through recognition and understanding of these hitherto unrecognized microbe-host interactions. A meeting of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics held in Aberdeen, Scotland (June 2014), presented new views and challenged established concepts on the role of microbes in reproduction and health of the mother and infant. This article summarizes some of the main aspects of these discussions.

  12. Factors affecting the reproductive success of dominant male meerkats.

    PubMed

    Spong, Göran F; Hodge, Sarah J; Young, Andrew J; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2008-05-01

    Identifying traits that affect the reproductive success of individuals is fundamental for our understanding of evolutionary processes. In cooperative breeders, a dominant male typically restricts mating access to the dominant female for extended periods, resulting in pronounced variation in reproductive success among males. This may result in strong selection for traits that increase the likelihood of dominance acquisition, dominance retention and reproductive rates while dominant. However, despite considerable research on reproductive skew, few studies have explored the factors that influence these three processes among males in cooperative species. Here we use genetic, behavioural and demographic data to investigate the factors affecting reproductive success in dominant male meerkats (Suricata suricatta). Our data show that dominant males sire the majority of all offspring surviving to 1 year. A male's likelihood of becoming dominant is strongly influenced by age, but not by weight. Tenure length and reproductive rate, both important components of dominant male reproductive success, are largely affected by group size and composition, rather than individual traits. Dominant males in large groups have longer tenures, but after this effect is controlled, male tenure length also correlates negatively to the number of adult females in the group. Male reproductive rate also declines as the number of intra- and extra-group competitors increases. As the time spent in the dominant position and reproductive rate while dominant explain > 80% of the total variance in reproductive success, group composition thus has major implications for male reproductive success.

  13. Facultative symbiont infections affect aphid reproduction.

    PubMed

    Simon, Jean-Christophe; Boutin, Sébastien; Tsuchida, Tsutomu; Koga, Ryuichi; Le Gallic, Jean-François; Frantz, Adrien; Outreman, Yannick; Fukatsu, Takema

    2011-01-01

    Some bacterial symbionts alter their hosts reproduction through various mechanisms that enhance their transmission in the host population. In addition to its obligatory symbiont Buchnera aphidicola, the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum harbors several facultative symbionts influencing several aspects of host ecology. Aphids reproduce by cyclical parthenogenesis whereby clonal and sexual reproduction alternate within the annual life cycle. Many species, including the pea aphid, also show variation in their reproductive mode at the population level, with some lineages reproducing by cyclical parthenogenesis and others by permanent parthenogenesis. While the role of facultative symbionts has been well studied during the parthenogenetic phase of their aphid hosts, very little is known on their possible influence during the sexual phase. Here we investigated whether facultative symbionts modulate the capacity to produce sexual forms in various genetic backgrounds of the pea aphid with controlled symbiont composition and also in different aphid genotypes from natural populations with previously characterized infection status and reproductive mode. We found that most facultative symbionts exhibited detrimental effects on their hosts fitness under sex-inducing conditions in comparison with the reference lines. We also showed that the loss of sexual phase in permanently parthenogenetic lineages of A. pisum was not explained by facultative symbionts. Finally, we demonstrated that Spiroplasma infection annihilated the production of males in the host progeny by inducing a male-killing phenotype, an unexpected result for organisms such as aphids that reproduce primarily through clonal reproduction.

  14. Environmental color affects Nile tilapia reproduction.

    PubMed

    Volpato, G L; Duarte, C R A; Luchiari, A C

    2004-04-01

    We investigated the effects of environmental color on the reproductive behavior of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. Two environmental colors were tested by covering the aquarium (60 x 60 x 40 cm) with white (12 groups) or blue (13 groups) cellophane and observing reproductive behavior in groups of 2 males (10.27 +/- 0.45 cm) and 3 females (10.78 +/- 0.45 cm) each. After assignment to the respective environmental color (similar luminosity = 100 to 120 Lux), the animals were observed until reproduction (identified by eggs in the female's mouth) or up to 10 days after the first nest building. Photoperiod was from 6:00 h to 18:00 h every day. Food was offered in excess once a day and water quality was similar among aquaria. Daily observations were made at 8:00, 11:00, 14:00 and 17:00 h regarding: a) latency to the first nest, b) number of nests, c) gravel weight removed (the male excavates the nest in the bottom of the aquarium), d) nest area, and e) mouthbrooding incubation (indication of reproduction). The proportion of reproducing fish was significantly higher (6 of 13) in the group exposed to the blue color compared the group exposed to the white color (1 of 12; Goodman's test of proportions). Moreover, males under blue light removed significantly larger masses of gravel (blue = 310.70 +/- 343.50 g > white = 130.38 +/- 102.70 g; P = 0.01) and constructed wider nests (blue = 207.93 +/- 207.80 cm(2) > white = 97.68 +/- 70.64 cm(2); P = 0.03) than the control (white). The other parameters did not differ significantly between light conditions. We concluded that reproduction in the presence of blue light was more frequent and intense than in the presence of white light.

  15. International human rights and women's reproductive health.

    PubMed

    Cook, R J

    1993-01-01

    Neglect of women's reproductive health, perpetuated by law, is part of a larger, systematic discrimination against women. Laws obstruct women's access to reproductive health services. Laws protective of women's reproductive health are rarely or inadequately implemented. Moreover, few laws or policies facilitate women's reproductive health services. Epidemiological evidence and feminist legal methods provide insight into the law's neglect of women's reproductive health and expose long-held beliefs in the law's neutrality that harm women fundamentally. Empirical evidence can be used to evaluate how effectively laws are implemented and whether alternative legal approaches exist that would provide greater protection of individual rights. International human rights treaties, including those discussed in this article, are being applied increasingly to expose how laws that obstruct women's access to reproductive health services violate their basic rights.

  16. Food Affects Human Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kolata, Gina

    1982-01-01

    A conference on whether food and nutrients affect human behavior was held on November 9, 1982 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Various research studies on this topic are reviewed, including the effects of food on brain biochemistry (particularly sleep) and effects of tryptophane as a pain reducer. (JN)

  17. Aging of oocyte, ovary, and human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Ottolenghi, Chris; Uda, Manuela; Hamatani, Toshio; Crisponi, Laura; Garcia, Jose-Elias; Ko, Minoru; Pilia, Giuseppe; Sforza, Chiarella; Schlessinger, David; Forabosco, Antonino

    2004-12-01

    We review age-related changes in the ovary and their effect on female fertility, with particular emphasis on follicle formation, follicle dynamics, and oocyte quality. The evidence indicates that the developmental processes leading to follicle formation set the rules determining follicle quiescence and growth. This regulatory system is maintained until menopause and is directly affected in at least some models of premature ovarian failure (POF), most strikingly in the Foxl2 mouse knockout, a model of human POF with monogenic etiology (blepharophimosis/ptosis/epicanthus inversus syndrome). Several lines of evidence indicate that if the ovarian germ cell lineage maintains regenerative potential, as recently suggested in the mouse, a role in follicle dynamics for germ stem cells, if any, is likely indirect or secondary. In addition, age-related variations in oocyte quality in animal models suggest that reproductive competence is acquired progressively and might depend on parallel growth and differentiation of follicle cells and stroma. Genomewide analyses of the mouse oocyte transcriptome have begun to be used to systematically investigate the mechanisms of reproductive competence that are altered with aging. Investigative and therapeutic strategies can benefit from considering the role of continuous interactions between follicle cells and oocytes from the beginning of histogenesis to full maturation.

  18. Human reproductive cloning: a conflict of liberties.

    PubMed

    Havstad, Joyce C

    2010-02-01

    Proponents of human reproductive cloning do not dispute that cloning may lead to violations of clones' right to self-determination, or that these violations could cause psychological harms. But they proceed with their endorsement of human reproductive cloning by dismissing these psychological harms, mainly in two ways. The first tactic is to point out that to commit the genetic fallacy is indeed a mistake; the second is to invoke Parfit's non-identity problem. The argument of this paper is that neither approach succeeds in removing our moral responsibility to consider and to prevent psychological harms to cloned individuals. In fact, the same commitment to personal liberty that generates the right to reproduce by means of cloning also creates the need to limit that right appropriately. Discussion of human reproductive cloning ought to involve a careful and balanced consideration of both the relevant aspects of personal liberty - the parents' right to reproductive freedom and the cloned child's right to self-determination.

  19. Melatonin and human reproduction: shedding light on the darkness hormone.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Venkatramanujam; Spence, Warren D; Pandi-Perumal, Seithikurippu R; Zakharia, Rahima; Bhatnagar, Kunwar P; Brzezinski, Amnon

    2009-12-01

    Melatonin, N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a molecule with diverse physiological functions. This neuro-hormone affects reproductive performance in a wide variety of species. In most animals, but not exclusively all, melatonin has an antigonadotrophic effect. The seasonal changes in the number of hours per day that melatonin is secreted mediate the temporal coupling of reproductive activity to seasonal changes in day-length. These observations stimulated a search for a role for the pineal gland and melatonin in human reproduction. Clinical experience related to this issue has yielded inconclusive and sometimes conflicting results. This article reviews the current available evidence concerning the effects of melatonin on human reproductive processes (e.g., puberty, ovulation, pregnancy, and fertility). Possible reasons for the vagueness and elusiveness of the clinical effects are discussed.

  20. [Fluorosis of coal burning affects the male reproductive system].

    PubMed

    Li, Jun-Feng; Feng, Jin; Xiao, Yue-Hai; Sun, Fa

    2014-01-01

    Fluorosis of coal burning is a new type of endemic fluorosis in China, which affects the male reproductive system. Furthermore, the content of fluoride in the semen, sperm mortality, sperm concentration and the incidence of infertility are higher in severe fluorosis areas than in mild- and non-fluorosis areas, so are the levels of serum follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. However, the levels of inhibin B, serum testosterone and estradiol show different degrees of reduction in severe fluorosis areas. Accordingly, fluorosis of coal burning, just like other endemic fluorosis, may affect the structure of male reproductive organs, the generation of sperm and reproductive endocrinology, resulting in the decline of men's reproductive ability.

  1. Caste ratios affect the reproductive output of social trematode colonies.

    PubMed

    Kamiya, T; Poulin, R

    2013-03-01

    Intraspecific phenotypic diversification in social organisms often leads to formation of physical castes which are morphologically specialized for particular tasks within the colony. The optimal caste allocation theory argues that specialized morphological castes are efficient at specific tasks, and hence different caste ratios should affect the ergonomic efficiency, hence reproductive output of the colony. However, the reproductive output of different caste ratios has been documented in few species of insects with equivocal support for the theory. This study investigated whether the ratios of nonreproductive and reproductive morphs affect the reproductive output of a recently discovered social trematode, Philophthalmus sp., in which the nonreproductive members are hypothesized to be defensive specialists. A census of natural infections and a manipulative in vitro experiment demonstrated a positive association between the reproductive output of trematode colonies and the ratio of nonreproductive to reproductive morphs in the presence of an intra-host trematode competitor, Maritrema novaezealandensis. On the contrary, without the competitor, reproductive output was negatively associated with the proportion of nonreproductive castes in colonies. Our findings demonstrate for the first time a clear fitness benefit associated with the nonreproductive castes in the presence of a competitor while illustrating the cost of maintaining such morphs in noncompetitive situations. Although the proximate mechanisms controlling caste ratio remain unclear in this trematode system, this study supports the prediction that the fitness of colonies is influenced by the composition of specialized functional morphs in social organisms, suggesting a potential for adaptive shifts of caste ratios over evolutionary time.

  2. [Prokineticins: new regulatory peptides in human reproduction].

    PubMed

    Brouillet, Sophie; Hoffmann, Pascale; Alfaidy, Nadia; Feige, Jean-Jacques

    2014-03-01

    During the last decade, there has been growing evidence for the involvement of prokineticins and their receptors (PROK/PROKR) in human reproduction, with multiple roles in the female and male reproductive systems. The PROK/PROKR signalling complex has been reported as a new actor in ovary, uterus, placenta, and testis physiology, with marked dysfunction in various pathological conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, recurrent pregnancy loss, preeclampsia, and ectopic pregnancy. Altogether, the results strongly suggest the involvement of prokineticins in spermatogenesis, oocyte competence, embryo implantation, pregnancy, and delivery, and argue for the clinical relevance of these cytokines and their receptors as diagnostic markers for several reproductive diseases.

  3. The ethics of human reproductive cloning.

    PubMed

    Strong, Carson

    2005-03-01

    This article addresses the question of whether human reproductive cloning could be ethically justifiable in at least some cases involving infertile couples who would choose cloning as a way to have a genetically related child. At present, the risk of congenital anomalies constitutes a compelling argument against human reproductive cloning. The article explores whether reproductive cloning could be ethically justifiable if, at some future time, cloning becomes possible without an elevated risk of anomalies. It is argued that freedom to use cloning is a form of procreative freedom and, as such, deserves respect. All of the objections that have been raised against human reproductive cloning fall under three main categories: those that appeal to the interests of the child, those based on consequences for society, and those arising from teleological views. Objections that appeal to the child's interests are, in turn, of two main kinds: consequentialist and deontological. All of these types of objections are examined, and it is found that each involves serious problems that prevent it from being a reasonable objection in the context of the infertility cases considered. It is concluded that human reproductive cloning would be ethically justifiable in at least some cases involving infertile couples, provided that it could be performed without an elevated risk of anomalies.

  4. Scientific hazards of human reproductive 'cloning'.

    PubMed

    Young, Lorraine E

    2003-05-01

    The scientific and clinical professional societies and associations covering the remit of Human Fertility are unanimously opposed to human reproductive 'cloning'. This article describes the main scientific objections to human reproductive 'cloning'. Data collected from numerous studies in a range of animal species indicate a high incidence of fetal defects, a stillbirth rate typically of more than 90% and a lack of adequate information on postnatal development. These concerns are exacerbated by misconceptions about the current ability to screen preimplantation embryos for 'cloning-induced' defects. Scientists and clinicians are sometimes treated with mistrust in the eyes of the public and media over such issues, perhaps because scientific information is not as well communicated as it might be. The duty of reproductive specialists is to convey the limits of their knowledge on this issue to the public and policymakers.

  5. Human reproductive cloning and reasons for deprivation.

    PubMed

    Jensen, D A

    2008-08-01

    Human reproductive cloning provides the possibility of genetically related children for persons for whom present technologies are ineffective. I argue that the desire for genetically related children is not, by itself, a sufficient reason to engage in human reproductive cloning. I show this by arguing that the value underlying the desire for genetically related children implies a tension between the parent and the future child. This tension stems from an instance of a deprivation and violates a general principle of reasons for deprivation. Alternative considerations, such as a right to procreative autonomy, do not appear helpful in making the case for human reproductive cloning merely on the basis of the desire for genetically related children.

  6. Melatonin: a "Higgs boson" in human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Dragojevic Dikic, Svetlana; Jovanovic, Ana Mitrovic; Dikic, Srdjan; Jovanovic, Tomislav; Jurisic, Aleksandar; Dobrosavljevic, Aleksandar

    2015-02-01

    As the Higgs boson could be a key to unlocking mysteries regarding our Universe, melatonin, a somewhat mysterious substance secreted by the pineal gland primarily at night, might be a crucial factor in regulating numerous processes in human reproduction. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant which has an essential role in controlling several physiological reactions, as well as biological rhythms throughout human reproductive life. Melatonin, which is referred to as a hormone, but also as an autocoid, a chronobiotic, a hypnotic, an immunomodulator and a biological modifier, plays a crucial part in establishing homeostatic, neurohumoral balance and circadian rhythm in the body through synergic actions with other hormones and neuropeptides. This paper aims to analyze the effects of melatonin on the reproductive function, as well as to shed light on immunological and oncostatic properties of one of the most powerful hormones.

  7. Bisphenol A and Human Reproductive Health

    PubMed Central

    Cantonwine, David E.; Hauser, Russ; Meeker, John D.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Bisphenol A (BPA) is a high production volume chemical with adverse endocrine and reproductive health effects in toxicological studies. Despite widespread general population exposure to BPA, knowledge of its potential impacts upon reproduction and pregnancy in humans is limited. This paper reviews the current epidemiological literature on fertility and adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with BPA exposure. It also provides relevant resources for health care providers who are in a unique position to provide guidance in reducing exposure to this endocrine disrupting chemical. PMID:24187577

  8. Ethical issues in human reproduction: Islamic perspectives.

    PubMed

    Serour, G I

    2013-11-01

    Sexual and reproductive rights of women are essential components of human rights. They should never be transferred, renounced or denied for any reason based on race, religion, origin, political opinion or economic conditions. Women have the right to the highest attainable standard of health care for all aspects of their reproductive and sexual health (RSH). The principle of autonomy emphasizes the important role of women in the decision-making. Choices of women in reproduction, after providing evidence based information, should be respected. Risks, benefits and alternatives should be clearly explained before they make their free informed consent. Justice requires that all be treated with equal standard and have equal access to their health needs without discrimination or coercion. When resources are limited there is tension between the principle of justice and utility. Islamic perspectives of bioethics are influenced by primary Sharia namely the Holy Quran, authenticated traditions and saying of the Profit Mohamed (PBUH), Igmaa and Kias (analogy). All the contemporary ethical principles are emphasized in Islamic Shariaa, thus these principles should be observed when providing reproductive and sexual health services for Muslim families or communities. The Family is the basic unit in Islam. Safe motherhood, family planning, and quality reproductive and sexual health information and services and assisted reproductive technology are all encouraged within the frame of marriage. While the Shiaa sect permits egg donation, and surrogacy the Sunni sect forbids a third party contribution to reproduction. Harmful practices in RSH as FGM, child marriage and adolescent pregnancy are prohibited in Islam. Conscientious objection to treatment should not refrain the physician from appropriate referral.

  9. Folate Metabolism and Human Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Thaler, C. J.

    2014-01-01

    Folate metabolism affects ovarian function, implantation, embryogenesis and the entire process of pregnancy. In addition to its well-established effect on the incidence of neural tube defects, associations have been found between reduced folic acid levels and increased homocysteine concentrations on the one hand, and recurrent spontaneous abortions and other complications of pregnancy on the other. In infertility patients undergoing IVF/ICSI treatment, a clear correlation was found between plasma folate concentrations and the incidence of dichorionic twin pregnancies. In patients supplemented with 0.4 mg/d folic acid undergoing ovarian hyperstimulation and oocyte pick-up, carriers of the MTHFR 677T mutation were found to have lower serum estradiol concentrations at ovulation and fewer oocytes could be retrieved from them. It appears that these negative effects can be compensated for in full by increasing the daily dose of folic acid to at least 0.8 mg. In carriers of the MTHFR 677TT genotype who receive appropriate supplementation, AMH concentrations were found to be significantly increased, which could indicate a compensatory mechanism. AMH concentrations in homozygous carriers of the MTHFR 677TT genotype could even be overestimated, as almost 20 % fewer oocytes are retrieved from these patients per AMH unit compared to MTHFR 677CC wild-type individuals. PMID:25278626

  10. Buy baby: the European Union and regulation of human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Hervey, T K

    1998-01-01

    In its decision in ex parte Blood the Court of Appeal relied on European Community (EC) law to hold that the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority had acted unlawfully in taking its decision to prevent Mrs Blood from exporting sperm taken from her dying husband without his written consent. The Blood case raises the issue of the extent to which EC law may affect the regulation of human reproduction in the Member States. Responding to fears that such national regulation might be 'swept away' by the commodifying nature of EC law, this article considers the scope of the potential application of EC law to regulation of human reproduction. The cautious conclusion is that, while there may be some increase in deregulatory pressures, the 'vertical relationship' of supreme EC law to national law may turn out to be less significant than 'horizontal relationships' between policy-makers within and between the EU and its Member States.

  11. The commodification of human reproductive materials.

    PubMed Central

    Resnik, D B

    1998-01-01

    This essay develops a framework for thinking about the moral basis for the commodification of human reproductive materials. It argues that selling and buying gametes and genes is morally acceptable although there should not be a market for zygotes, embryos, or genomes. Also a market in gametes and genes should be regulated in order to address concerns about the adverse social consequences of commodification. PMID:9873979

  12. microRNA in Human Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Eisenberg, Iris; Kotaja, Noora; Goldman-Wohl, Debra; Imbar, Tal

    2015-01-01

    microRNAs constitute a large family of approximately 21-nucleotide-long, noncoding RNAs. They emerged more than 20 years ago as key posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression. The regulatory role of these small RNA molecules has recently begun to be explored in the human reproductive system. microRNAs have been shown to play an important role in control of reproductive functions, especially in the processes of oocyte maturation, folliculogenesis, corpus luteum function, implantation, and early embryonic development. Knockout of Dicer, the cytoplasmic enzyme that cleaves the pre-miRNA to its mature form, results in postimplantation embryonic lethality in several animal models, attributing to these small RNA vital functions in reproduction and development. Another intriguing characteristic of microRNAs is their presence in body fluids in a remarkably stable form that is protected from endogenous RNase activity. In this chapter we will describe the current knowledge on microRNAs, specifically relating to human gonadal cells. We will focus on their role in the ovarian physiologic process and ovulation dysfunction, regulation of spermatogenesis and male fertility, and putative involvement in human normal and aberrant trophoblast differentiation and invasion through the process of placentation.

  13. Preservation of fertility in women affected by cancer. An audit of the cryopreservation services provided for women at Human Assisted Reproduction Ireland.

    PubMed

    O'Donovan, M; Harrison, R F

    2005-10-01

    There has been a remarkable improvement in survival rates for adult and childhood cancers, due to progress in cancer treatments. However multiagent chemotherapy and radiotherapy are associated with gonadal failure. Whereas sperm banking is commonly performed, female gametes are not so amenable to cryopreservation. Options available to women for fertility preservation include, embryo and oocyte cryopreservation. Our unit established an oocyte/embryo cryopreservation service for women affected by cancer in October 2003. Ninteen women have been referred and five (26%) women have had oocytes cryopreserved. The mean age of women in the group cryopreserved was 34 years (range 21-41). Their mean day 3 FSH was 6.2 IU (range 5.5-6.8). The mean dose of rFSH used was 1870 units (range 1500-2600). The mean number of oocytes cryopreserved was 8 (range 3-16). Preservation of fertility is of major concern to women affected by cancer. This service offers them hope for their future fertility.

  14. Age, sex and reproductive status affect boldness in dogs.

    PubMed

    Starling, Melissa J; Branson, Nicholas; Thomson, Peter C; McGreevy, Paul D

    2013-09-01

    Boldness in dogs is believed to be one end of the shy-bold axis, representing a super-trait. Several personality traits fall under the influence of this super-trait. Previous studies have found that boldness is affected by breed and breed groups, influences performance in sporting dogs, and is affected in some cases by the sex of the dogs. This study investigated the effects of dog age, sex and reproductive status on boldness in dogs by way of a dog personality survey circulated amongst Australian dog owners. Age had a significant effect on boldness (F=4.476; DF=16,758; P<0.001), with boldness decreasing with age in years. Males were bolder than females (F=19.219; DF=1,758; P<0.001) and entire dogs were bolder than neutered dogs (F=4.330; DF=1,758; P<0.038). The study indicates how behaviour may change in adult dogs as they age and adds to the literature on how sex and reproductive status may affect personality in dogs.

  15. Predation risk affects reproductive physiology and demography of elk.

    PubMed

    Creel, Scott; Christianson, David; Liley, Stewart; Winnie, John A

    2007-02-16

    Elk (Cervus elaphus) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem alter patterns of aggregation, habitat selection, vigilance, and foraging in the presence of wolves (Canis lupus). Antipredator behaviors like these can reduce predation risk but are also likely to carry costs. Data from five elk populations studied for 16 site years showed that progesterone concentrations (from 1489 fecal samples) declined with the ratio of elk to wolves. In turn, progesterone concentrations were a good predictor of calf recruitment in the subsequent year. Together, these data suggest that wolves indirectly affect the reproductive physiology and the demography of elk through the costs of antipredator behavior.

  16. Selenium in human male reproductive organs.

    PubMed

    Oldereid, N B; Thomassen, Y; Purvis, K

    1998-08-01

    The objective of the study was to obtain information on the concentration and distribution of selenium throughout the human male reproductive tract. Material was removed at autopsy from 41 men who had died suddenly and unexpectedly. Semen samples were also provided from 184 men attending an andrology clinic for fertility investigation and from 32 healthy volunteers. Significant positive correlations in the selenium concentration were demonstrated between the different reproductive organs, the testis having the highest concentrations. No correlation was found between the concentration of selenium in the genital organs and liver, kidney or blood, suggesting that its uptake and/or biochemical activity in the reproductive organs may be controlled by similar mechanisms not shared by the other organs. No significant age-dependent changes could be detected in tissue selenium concentrations. In a group of men under fertility investigation, a significant positive correlation was obtained between seminal plasma concentrations of selenium and concentrations of spermatozoa in the same ejaculate. A significant positive correlation between concentrations of zinc and selenium in the same ejaculates indicated that selenium may arise largely from the prostate gland.

  17. [Criminal code and assisted human reproduction].

    PubMed

    Cortés Bechiarelli, Emilio

    2009-01-01

    The Spanish Criminal Code punishes in the article 161 the crime of assisted reproduction of the woman without her assent as a form of crime relative to the genetic manipulation. The crime protects a specific area of the freedom of decision of the woman, which is the one that she has dealing with the right to the procreation at the moment of being fertilized. The sentence would include the damages to the health provoked by the birth or the abortion. The crime is a common one--everyone can commit it--and it is not required a result of pregnancy, but it is consumed by the mere intervention on the body of the woman, and its interpretation is contained on the Law 14/2006, of may 26, on technologies of human assisted reproduction. The aim of the work is to propose to consider valid the assent given by the sixteen-year-old women (and older) in coherence with the Project of Law about sexual and reproductive health and voluntary interruption of the pregnancy that is studied at this moment, in Spain, in order to harmonize the legal systems.

  18. Can Helicobacter pylori infection influence human reproduction?

    PubMed

    Moretti, Elena; Figura, Natale; Collodel, Giulia; Ponzetto, Antonio

    2014-05-21

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection could be associated with extra-digestive diseases. Here, we report the evidences concerning the decrease in reproductive potential occurring in individuals infected by H. pylori, especially by strains expressing CagA. This infection is more prevalent in individuals with fertility disorders. Infected women have anti-H. pylori antibodies in cervical mucus and follicular fluid that may decrease sperm motility and cross react immunologically with spermatozoa, conceivably hampering the oocyte/sperm fusion. Infection by CagA positive organisms enhances the risk of preeclampsia, which is a main cause of foetus death. These findings are supported by the results of experimental infections of pregnant mice, which may cause reabsorption of a high number of foetuses and alter the balance between Th1 and Th2 cell response. Infected men have decreased sperm motility, viability and numbers of normally shaped sperm and augmented systemic levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α, which may damage spermatozoa. In countries where parasitic infestation is endemic, detrimental effects of infection upon spermatozoa may not occur, because the immune response to parasites could determine a switch from a predominant Th1 type to Th2 type lymphocytes, with production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. In conclusion, the evidences gathered until now should be taken into consideration for future studies aiming to explore the possible role of H. pylori infection on human reproduction.

  19. Can Helicobacter pylori infection influence human reproduction?

    PubMed Central

    Moretti, Elena; Figura, Natale; Collodel, Giulia; Ponzetto, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection could be associated with extra-digestive diseases. Here, we report the evidences concerning the decrease in reproductive potential occurring in individuals infected by H. pylori, especially by strains expressing CagA. This infection is more prevalent in individuals with fertility disorders. Infected women have anti-H. pylori antibodies in cervical mucus and follicular fluid that may decrease sperm motility and cross react immunologically with spermatozoa, conceivably hampering the oocyte/sperm fusion. Infection by CagA positive organisms enhances the risk of preeclampsia, which is a main cause of foetus death. These findings are supported by the results of experimental infections of pregnant mice, which may cause reabsorption of a high number of foetuses and alter the balance between Th1 and Th2 cell response. Infected men have decreased sperm motility, viability and numbers of normally shaped sperm and augmented systemic levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α, which may damage spermatozoa. In countries where parasitic infestation is endemic, detrimental effects of infection upon spermatozoa may not occur, because the immune response to parasites could determine a switch from a predominant Th1 type to Th2 type lymphocytes, with production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. In conclusion, the evidences gathered until now should be taken into consideration for future studies aiming to explore the possible role of H. pylori infection on human reproduction. PMID:24914316

  20. Does Coxiella burnetii affect reproduction in cattle? A clinical update.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Ispierto, I; Tutusaus, J; López-Gatius, F

    2014-08-01

    Q fever is a zoonosis produced by Coxiella burnetii, a bacterium that is widely distributed worldwide. Domestic ruminants are the most important source of C. burnetii for human infection. In sheep and goats, abortion is the main clinical consequence of infection, yet the symptoms described in cattle have so far been inconsistent. Q fever has been also scarcely reported in cattle, most likely because of its difficult diagnosis at the farm level and because of the many existing responsible C. burnetii strains. In this report, the effects of C. burnetii infection or Q fever disease on the reproductive behaviour of dairy cattle are reviewed, with special emphasis placed on the scarcity of data available and possible control actions discussed.

  1. Quantum dot nanoparticles affect the reproductive system of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Pei-Chun L; O'Callaghan, Maureen; Al-Salim, Najeh; Hurst, Mark R H

    2012-10-01

    Quantum dots (QDs) are an increasingly important class of nanoparticle, but little ecotoxicological data for QDs has been published to date. The effects of mercaptosuccinic acid (MSA)-capped QDs (QDs-MSA) and equivalent concentrations of cadmium (Cd) from cadmium chloride on growth and reproduction of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (Rhabditidae) were assessed in laboratory experiments. Growth from larvae to adults of C. elegans was unaffected by exposure to 1 µM fluorescent QDs-MSA, but adults produced more embryos and laid them prematurely. Furthermore, C. elegans exposed to QDs-MSA (1 µM) showed a high percentage of embryo mortality (19.2 ± 0.5, p < 0.001, percentage ± standard deviation) compared with unexposed nematodes (11.6 ± 0.4). An egg-laying defect phenotype was also observed at high frequency in response to 1 µM QDs-MSA exposure (38.3 ± 3.6%, p < 0.01; control 10.0 ± 2.2%). This resulted in a reduced mean life span (20.5 ± 1.1 d, p < 0.05) compared with the control (24.6 ± 1.0 d). Cadmium also caused reduced life span in C. elegans, but a low incidence of egg-laying defects was observed, suggesting that Cd and QDs-MSA affected C. elegans by different mechanisms. Furthermore, egg-laying defects caused by QDs-MSA responded to the addition of the anticonvulsant ethosuximide and to a lesser extent to the neurotransmitter serotonin, suggesting that QDs-MSA might have disrupted motor neurons during the reproduction process.

  2. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) in humans: facts and uncertainties.

    PubMed

    Ménézo, Y J; Veiga, A; Pouly, J L

    2000-01-15

    Since the first in vitro fertilization (IVF) in human, the number of patients using Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) has increased tremendously. ART technologies have increased in number and their spectrum has also widened. The first IVF babies are now more than 20 years old. All the retrospective analyses have demonstrated that the obstetrical and pediatrical impact has not really affected single births. The main problems observed occur with multiple pregnancies, including high costs for the couples and for society. The decrease in the number of embryos transferred has improved the situation and moreover does not impair the final results. IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a more debatable and questionable technique with a real negative genetic impact. The main problem is chromosome abnormalities more specifically related to the sex chromosomes. The question of a systematic genetic work-up on the patients entering ICSI programs is discussed. No negative impact of cryopreservation has been demonstrated even though some controversy arises from time to time. Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is now a interesting tool for patients carrying genetic defects. Blastocyst biopsy now has a future role in reproductive medicine. Gender selection through sperm sorting is also now a reality. As with the other developing bio-technologies related to reproduction, there are ethical questions. The decisions concerning these technologies do not belong solely to scientists but are rather a matter for society to decide.

  3. Sexual Reproduction of Human Fungal Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Heitman, Joseph; Carter, Dee A.; Dyer, Paul S.; Soll, David R.

    2014-01-01

    We review here recent advances in our understanding of sexual reproduction in fungal pathogens that commonly infect humans, including Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans/gattii, and Aspergillus fumigatus. Where appropriate or relevant, we introduce findings on other species associated with human infections. In particular, we focus on rapid advances involving genetic, genomic, and population genetic approaches that have reshaped our view of how fungal pathogens evolve. Rather than being asexual, mitotic, and largely clonal, as was thought to be prevalent as recently as a decade ago, we now appreciate that the vast majority of pathogenic fungi have retained extant sexual, or parasexual, cycles. In some examples, sexual and parasexual unions of pathogenic fungi involve closely related individuals, generating diversity in the population but with more restricted recombination than expected from fertile, sexual, outcrossing and recombining populations. In other cases, species and isolates participate in global outcrossing populations with the capacity for considerable levels of gene flow. These findings illustrate general principles of eukaryotic pathogen emergence with relevance for other fungi, parasitic eukaryotic pathogens, and both unicellular and multicellular eukaryotic organisms. PMID:25085958

  4. Sexual reproduction of human fungal pathogens.

    PubMed

    Heitman, Joseph; Carter, Dee A; Dyer, Paul S; Soll, David R

    2014-08-01

    We review here recent advances in our understanding of sexual reproduction in fungal pathogens that commonly infect humans, including Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans/gattii, and Aspergillus fumigatus. Where appropriate or relevant, we introduce findings on other species associated with human infections. In particular, we focus on rapid advances involving genetic, genomic, and population genetic approaches that have reshaped our view of how fungal pathogens evolve. Rather than being asexual, mitotic, and largely clonal, as was thought to be prevalent as recently as a decade ago, we now appreciate that the vast majority of pathogenic fungi have retained extant sexual, or parasexual, cycles. In some examples, sexual and parasexual unions of pathogenic fungi involve closely related individuals, generating diversity in the population but with more restricted recombination than expected from fertile, sexual, outcrossing and recombining populations. In other cases, species and isolates participate in global outcrossing populations with the capacity for considerable levels of gene flow. These findings illustrate general principles of eukaryotic pathogen emergence with relevance for other fungi, parasitic eukaryotic pathogens, and both unicellular and multicellular eukaryotic organisms.

  5. Reproductive aging patterns in primates reveal that humans are distinct

    PubMed Central

    Alberts, Susan C.; Altmann, Jeanne; Brockman, Diane K.; Cords, Marina; Fedigan, Linda M.; Pusey, Anne; Stoinski, Tara S.; Strier, Karen B.; Morris, William F.; Bronikowski, Anne M.

    2013-01-01

    Women rarely give birth after ∼45 y of age, and they experience the cessation of reproductive cycles, menopause, at ∼50 y of age after a fertility decline lasting almost two decades. Such reproductive senescence in mid-lifespan is an evolutionary puzzle of enduring interest because it should be inherently disadvantageous. Furthermore, comparative data on reproductive senescence from other primates, or indeed other mammals, remains relatively rare. Here we carried out a unique detailed comparative study of reproductive senescence in seven species of nonhuman primates in natural populations, using long-term, individual-based data, and compared them to a population of humans experiencing natural fertility and mortality. In four of seven primate species we found that reproductive senescence occurred before death only in a small minority of individuals. In three primate species we found evidence of reproductive senescence that accelerated throughout adulthood; however, its initial rate was much lower than mortality, so that relatively few individuals experienced reproductive senescence before death. In contrast, the human population showed the predicted and well-known pattern in which reproductive senescence occurred before death for many women and its rate accelerated throughout adulthood. These results provide strong support for the hypothesis that reproductive senescence in midlife, although apparent in natural-fertility, natural-mortality populations of humans, is generally absent in other primates living in such populations. PMID:23898189

  6. Identification of quantitative trait loci affecting reproduction in pigs.

    PubMed

    Cassady, J P; Johnson, R K; Pomp, D; Rohrer, G A; Van Vleck, L D; Spiegel, E K; Gilson, K M

    2001-03-01

    The objective of this research was to identify chromosomal regions harboring QTL affecting reproduction in pigs. A three-generation resource population was developed by crossing low-indexing pigs from a randomly selected control line (C) with high-indexing pigs of a line selected for increased index of ovulation rate and embryonic survival (I). Differences between Lines I and C at Generation 10 were 6.7 ova and 3.3 fetuses at 50 d of gestation and 3.1 fully formed and 1.6 live pigs at birth. Phenotypic data were collected on F2 females, born in three replicates, for ovulation rate (n = 423), age at puberty (n = 295), litter size (n = 370), and number of nipples (n = 428). Litter-size data included number of fully formed, live, stillborn, and mummified pigs. Grandparent, F1, and F2 animals were genotyped for 151 microsatellite markers distributed across all 18 autosomes and the X chromosome. Genotypic data were available on 423 F2 females. Average spacing between markers was 19.3 Kosambi centimorgans. Calculations of logarithms of odds (LOD) scores were by least squares, and fixed effects for sire-dam combination and replicate were included in the models. Genome-wide significance level thresholds of 5% and 10% were calculated using a permutation approach. There was evidence (P < 0.05) for QTL affecting ovulation rate on SSC9, age at puberty on SSC7 and SSC8, number of nipples on SSC8 and SSC11, number of stillborn pigs on SSC5 and SSC13, and number of fully formed pigs on SSC11. There was evidence (P < 0.10) for additional QTL affecting age at puberty on SSC7, SSC8, and SSC12, number born live on SSC11, and number of nipples on SSC1, SSC6, and SSC7. Litter size is lowly heritable and sex-limited. Therefore, accuracy of selection for litter size may be enhanced by marker-assisted selection. Ovulation rate and age at puberty are laborious to measure, and thus marker-assisted selection may provide a practical and efficient method of selection.

  7. Styrene dimers and trimers affect reproduction of daphnid (Ceriodaphnia dubia).

    PubMed

    Tatarazako, Norihisa; Takao, Yuji; Kishi, Katsuyuki; Onikura, Norio a; Arizono, Koji; Iguchi, Taisen

    2002-08-01

    The endocrine disruptor activity of styrene in humans and other vertebrates appears to be negligible. However, offspring numbers were reduced in Ceriodaphnia dubia bred in polystyrene cups. Styrene dimers and trimers were found to be eluted from the polystyrene cups by hexane and methanol with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Styrene dimers and trimers at concentrations of 0.04-1.7 microg/l affected C. dubia fertility (25% reduction after seven days), suggesting that styrenes have the potential to impair crustacean populations in the aquatic environment.

  8. Tracking Official Development Assistance for Reproductive Health in Conflict-Affected Countries

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Preeti; Roberts, Bayard; Guy, Samantha; Lee-Jones, Louise; Conteh, Lesong

    2009-01-01

    Background Reproductive health needs are particularly acute in countries affected by armed conflict. Reliable information on aid investment for reproductive health in these countries is essential for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of aid. The purpose of this study was to analyse official development assistance (ODA) for reproductive health activities in conflict-affected countries from 2003 to 2006. Methods and Findings The Creditor Reporting System and the Financial Tracking System databases were the chosen data sources for the study. ODA disbursement for reproductive health activities to 18 conflict-affected countries was analysed for 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. An average of US$20.8 billion in total ODA was disbursed annually to the 18 conflict-affected countries between 2003 and 2006, of which US$509.3 million (2.4%) was allocated to reproductive health. This represents an annual average of US$1.30 disbursed per capita in the 18 sampled countries for reproductive health activities. Non-conflict-affected least-developed countries received 53.3% more ODA for reproductive health activities than conflict-affected least-developed countries, despite the latter generally having greater reproductive health needs. ODA disbursed for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment increased by 119.4% from 2003 to 2006. The ODA disbursed for other direct reproductive health activities declined by 35.9% over the same period. Conclusions This study provides evidence of inequity in disbursement of reproductive health ODA between conflict-affected countries and non-conflict-affected countries, and between different reproductive health activities. These findings and the study's recommendations seek to support initiatives to make aid financing more responsive to need in the context of armed conflict. PMID:19513098

  9. Molecular characterization of the human microbiome from a reproductive perspective.

    PubMed

    Mor, Amir; Driggers, Paul H; Segars, James H

    2015-12-01

    The process of reproduction inherently poses unique microbial challenges because it requires the transfer of gametes from one individual to the other, meanwhile preserving the integrity of the gametes and individuals from harmful microbes during the process. Advances in molecular biology techniques have expanded our understanding of the natural organisms living on and in our bodies, including those inhabiting the reproductive tract. Over the past two decades accumulating evidence has shown that the human microbiome is tightly related to health and disease states involving the different body systems, including the reproductive system. Here we introduce the science involved in the study of the human microbiome. We examine common methods currently used to characterize the human microbiome as an inseparable part of the reproductive system. Finally, we consider a few limitations, clinical implications, and the critical need for additional research in the field of human fertility.

  10. Legal issues affecting confidentiality and informed consent in reproductive health.

    PubMed

    Rockett, L R

    2000-01-01

    The law governing confidentiality and informed consent has acquired unique characteristics in the area of reproductive health, as a consequence of both the establishment of a constitutional right to privacy in reproductive health matters and the reaction of those politically and morally opposed to the exercise of that right. The primary issues have involved: 1) the right of minors to receive reproductive health services without parental consent, which remains a political battleground; 2) laws requiring physicians to provide information to pregnant patients that is intended, not to inform them of the risks and benefits of the procedure, but to discourage them from obtaining abortions; 3) coerced and prohibited sterilizations; 4) court-ordered contraception and procedures to protect the fetus; and 5) restrictions on counseling about abortion, contraception, sterilization, and other reproductive health services authorized by state conscience or noncompliance clauses that shield such restrictions from the usual ethical, medical, and legal rules governing informed consent. The last area is of profound significance to the ability of women to make informed decisions about their reproductive health options. In the current economic environment, which fuels mergers and acquisitions involving sectarian and nonsectarian institutions, women are increasingly being put at risk as a result of such restrictions.

  11. Human reproductive cloning, embryo stem cells and germline gene intervention: an Israeli perspective.

    PubMed

    Revel, Michel

    2003-01-01

    The perspectives of applying the cloning technology to human reproduction have generated much controversy. Israel was one of the first countries to adopt (in 1998) a Law that prohibits reproductive cloning. This is a moratorium for 5 years during which neither cloning of an entire human being nor genetic changes affecting human reproductive cells will be allowed. An aim of the Law is to allow the examination of the moral, legal, and social aspects of these technologies and their implications for human dignity. With the intention of not being an obstacle to the advancement of medical genetics, the Law provides for a yearly report to the Israel Health Minister on the state of scientific knowledge in these technologies. This article reflects the 2002-3 report, relating to scientific issues and bioethical opinions in Israel and in the world on human reproductive cloning, embryonic stem cell research and germline gene manipulation. In the Jewish tradition, the primary importance of saving lives and helping suffering patients can take precedence over the fears generated by modern genetic and reproductive research. Provided that new technologies are applied for medical indications and respecting human rights and human dignity, it is legitimate to explore their beneficial potential.

  12. Male reproductive toxicology: comparison of the human to animal models.

    PubMed Central

    Working, P K

    1988-01-01

    The human male is of relatively low fertility and thus may be at greater risk from reproductive toxicants than are males of the common laboratory animal model species. Lack of knowledge of the physiological differences that contribute to interspecies variation between man and animals can prevent the effective application of animal data to the assessment of human reproductive risk. Evaluation of spermatogenesis from testicular histology, while uncommon, can provide valuable information about human reproductive risk. The measurement of sperm count or concentration has long been the most feasible approach for human semen evaluation, but may be an insensitive indicator of reproductive function because of high sample-to-sample variability. Interspecies extrapolation factors can be calculated by comparing the reduction in sperm count in humans and test species after exposure to drugs or chemicals. These factors can provide a realistic assessment of relative risk, provided that the sperm are counted at the appropriate time after exposure. However, the degree to which extrapolation factors derived for one agent, and only from sperm counts, can be generalized is not known. Monitoring of sperm motility and morphology parameters is also a common means of evaluating human semen quality, but these techniques are also hampered by the relatively high interindividual and intersample variability. Computer-assisted and morphometric approaches show promise of decreasing the subjective nature of these evaluations and increasing their value in risk assessment procedures. Improvements in predicting human reproductive risk can be expected to come from increased knowledge about reproductive mechanisms in man and animals, together with the utilization of objective measures of cellular indicators of male reproductive function. Images FIGURE 2. PMID:3289906

  13. Ghrelin: a metabolic signal affecting the reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Lorenzi, Teresa; Meli, Rosaria; Marzioni, Daniela; Morroni, Manrico; Baragli, Alessandra; Castellucci, Mario; Gualillo, Oreste; Muccioli, Giampiero

    2009-04-01

    Ghrelin, an acylated 28 amino acid gastric peptide, was isolated from the stomach as an endogenous ligand for growth hormone (GH) secretagogue receptor in 1999. Circulating ghrelin is mainly produced by specific cells in the stomach's oxyntic glands. Ghrelin potently stimulates GH release and food intake and exhibits diverse effects, including ones on glucose metabolism and on secretion and motility of the gastrointestinal tract. Besides these effects on food intake and energy homeostasis, ghrelin is also involved in controlling reproductive functions, and a role for it as a novel regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal axis is clearly emerging. We review recent ghrelin research with emphasis on its roles in the reproductive axis.

  14. The pineal gland - Its possible roles in human reproduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brzezinski, Amnon; Wurtman, Richard J.

    1988-01-01

    The paper discusses the role of the pineal gland in controlling mammalian reproduction, with particular attention given to the role of melatonin in polyestrus mammals, like humans and laboratory rodents. Evidence is cited indicating the influence of melatonin production and blood content on the age of puberty, the timing of the ovulatory cycle, gonadal steriodogenesis, and patterns of reproductive behavior. It is suggested that abnormal patterns of melatonin might be associated with amenorrhea, anovulation, unexplained infertility, premature menopause, and habitual abortions.

  15. Mutations in NLRP5 are associated with reproductive wastage and multilocus imprinting disorders in humans

    PubMed Central

    Docherty, Louise E.; Rezwan, Faisal I.; Poole, Rebecca L.; Turner, Claire L. S.; Kivuva, Emma; Maher, Eamonn R.; Smithson, Sarah F.; Hamilton-Shield, Julian P.; Patalan, Michal; Gizewska, Maria; Peregud-Pogorzelski, Jaroslaw; Beygo, Jasmin; Buiting, Karin; Horsthemke, Bernhard; Soellner, Lukas; Begemann, Matthias; Eggermann, Thomas; Baple, Emma; Mansour, Sahar; Temple, I. Karen; Mackay, Deborah J. G.

    2015-01-01

    Human-imprinting disorders are congenital disorders of growth, development and metabolism, associated with disturbance of parent of origin-specific DNA methylation at imprinted loci across the genome. Some imprinting disorders have higher than expected prevalence of monozygotic twinning, of assisted reproductive technology among parents, and of disturbance of multiple imprinted loci, for which few causative trans-acting mutations have been found. Here we report mutations in NLRP5 in five mothers of individuals affected by multilocus imprinting disturbance. Maternal-effect mutations of other human NLRP genes, NLRP7 and NLRP2, cause familial biparental hydatidiform mole and multilocus imprinting disturbance, respectively. Offspring of mothers with NLRP5 mutations have heterogenous clinical and epigenetic features, but cases include a discordant monozygotic twin pair, individuals with idiopathic developmental delay and autism, and families affected by infertility and reproductive wastage. NLRP5 mutations suggest connections between maternal reproductive fitness, early zygotic development and genomic imprinting. PMID:26323243

  16. Human reproductive technologies and the law: a select committee report.

    PubMed

    2005-05-01

    The House of Commons Science & Technology Committee has reviewed the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act. It considered a) the balance between legislation, regulation and reproductive freedom; b) the role of Parliament in human reproductive technologies; and c) the foundation, adequacy and appropriateness of the ethical framework for legislation. It also considered the Act itself and the workings of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Its report is written from a very liberal perspective, but is a very thorough overview of current issues and debate in the field. There follow, slightly abridged, the conclusions and recommendations of the 200-page report.

  17. A Catholic ethical approach to human reproductive technology.

    PubMed

    Ford, Norman M

    2008-01-01

    This article presents the Catholic Christian tradition and teaching on the moral respect due to human life from conception, supported by natural law moral philosophical reasoning. This approach contrasts with the ethical views of secular philosophers on human embryo research for therapeutic purposes. The challenges for Catholic healthcare institutions is to find ethical ways of using suitable pluripotent stem cells for therapies without creating or destroying human embryos. Catholic teaching on infertility treatment and reproductive technology are presented with emphasis given to the ethical need for children to be conceived and born of the marriage union compared with alterative ethical approaches for the use of infertility treatment and reproductive technology.

  18. Philosophical arguments for and against human reproductive cloning.

    PubMed

    Hayry, Matti

    2003-10-01

    Can philosophers come up with persuasive reasons to allow or ban human reproductive cloning? Yes. Can philosophers agree, locally and temporarily, which practices related to cloning should be condoned and which should be rejected? Some of them can. Can philosophers reproduce universally convincing arguments for or against different kinds of human cloning? No. This paper analyses some of the main arguments presented by philosophers in the cloning debate, and some of the most important objections against them. The clashes between the schools of thought suggest that philosophers cannot be trusted to provide the public authorities, or the general public, a unified, universally applicable view of the morality of human reproductive cloning.

  19. Oyster reproduction is affected by exposure to polystyrene microplastics.

    PubMed

    Sussarellu, Rossana; Suquet, Marc; Thomas, Yoann; Lambert, Christophe; Fabioux, Caroline; Pernet, Marie Eve Julie; Le Goïc, Nelly; Quillien, Virgile; Mingant, Christian; Epelboin, Yanouk; Corporeau, Charlotte; Guyomarch, Julien; Robbens, Johan; Paul-Pont, Ika; Soudant, Philippe; Huvet, Arnaud

    2016-03-01

    Plastics are persistent synthetic polymers that accumulate as waste in the marine environment. Microplastic (MP) particles are derived from the breakdown of larger debris or can enter the environment as microscopic fragments. Because filter-feeder organisms ingest MP while feeding, they are likely to be impacted by MP pollution. To assess the impact of polystyrene microspheres (micro-PS) on the physiology of the Pacific oyster, adult oysters were experimentally exposed to virgin micro-PS (2 and 6 µm in diameter; 0.023 mg·L(-1)) for 2 mo during a reproductive cycle. Effects were investigated on ecophysiological parameters; cellular, transcriptomic, and proteomic responses; fecundity; and offspring development. Oysters preferentially ingested the 6-µm micro-PS over the 2-µm-diameter particles. Consumption of microalgae and absorption efficiency were significantly higher in exposed oysters, suggesting compensatory and physical effects on both digestive parameters. After 2 mo, exposed oysters had significant decreases in oocyte number (-38%), diameter (-5%), and sperm velocity (-23%). The D-larval yield and larval development of offspring derived from exposed parents decreased by 41% and 18%, respectively, compared with control offspring. Dynamic energy budget modeling, supported by transcriptomic profiles, suggested a significant shift of energy allocation from reproduction to structural growth, and elevated maintenance costs in exposed oysters, which is thought to be caused by interference with energy uptake. Molecular signatures of endocrine disruption were also revealed, but no endocrine disruptors were found in the biological samples. This study provides evidence that micro-PS cause feeding modifications and reproductive disruption in oysters, with significant impacts on offspring.

  20. Oyster reproduction is affected by exposure to polystyrene microplastics

    PubMed Central

    Sussarellu, Rossana; Suquet, Marc; Thomas, Yoann; Lambert, Christophe; Fabioux, Caroline; Pernet, Marie Eve Julie; Le Goïc, Nelly; Quillien, Virgile; Mingant, Christian; Epelboin, Yanouk; Corporeau, Charlotte; Guyomarch, Julien; Robbens, Johan; Paul-Pont, Ika; Soudant, Philippe; Huvet, Arnaud

    2016-01-01

    Plastics are persistent synthetic polymers that accumulate as waste in the marine environment. Microplastic (MP) particles are derived from the breakdown of larger debris or can enter the environment as microscopic fragments. Because filter-feeder organisms ingest MP while feeding, they are likely to be impacted by MP pollution. To assess the impact of polystyrene microspheres (micro-PS) on the physiology of the Pacific oyster, adult oysters were experimentally exposed to virgin micro-PS (2 and 6 µm in diameter; 0.023 mg·L−1) for 2 mo during a reproductive cycle. Effects were investigated on ecophysiological parameters; cellular, transcriptomic, and proteomic responses; fecundity; and offspring development. Oysters preferentially ingested the 6-µm micro-PS over the 2-µm-diameter particles. Consumption of microalgae and absorption efficiency were significantly higher in exposed oysters, suggesting compensatory and physical effects on both digestive parameters. After 2 mo, exposed oysters had significant decreases in oocyte number (−38%), diameter (−5%), and sperm velocity (−23%). The D-larval yield and larval development of offspring derived from exposed parents decreased by 41% and 18%, respectively, compared with control offspring. Dynamic energy budget modeling, supported by transcriptomic profiles, suggested a significant shift of energy allocation from reproduction to structural growth, and elevated maintenance costs in exposed oysters, which is thought to be caused by interference with energy uptake. Molecular signatures of endocrine disruption were also revealed, but no endocrine disruptors were found in the biological samples. This study provides evidence that micro-PS cause feeding modifications and reproductive disruption in oysters, with significant impacts on offspring. PMID:26831072

  1. Prostasomes: Their Characterisation: Implications for Human Reproduction: Prostasomes and Human Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Ronquist, Gunnar

    2015-01-01

    The prostate is a principal accessory genital gland that is vital for normal fertility. Epithelial cells lining the prostate acini release in a defined fashion (exocytosis) organellar nanosized structures named prostasomes. They are involved in the protection of sperm cells against immune response in the female reproductive tract by modulating the complement system and by inhibiting monocyte and neutrophil phagocytosis and lymphocyte proliferation. The immunomodulatory function most probably involves small non-coding RNAs present in prostasomes. Prostasomes have also been proposed to regulate the timing of sperm cell capacitation and induction of the acrosome reaction, since they are rich in various transferable bioactive molecules (e.g. receptors and enzymes) that promote the fertilising ability of sperm cells. Antigenicity of sperm cells has been well documented and implicated in involuntary immunological infertility of human couples, and antisperm antibodies (ASA) occur in several body fluids. The propensity of sperm cells to carry attached prostasomes suggests that they are a new category of sperm antigens. Circulating human ASA recognise prostasomes, and among 12 identified prostasomal antigens, prolactin- inducible protein (95 %) and clusterin (85 %) were immunodominant at the expense of the other 10 that were sporadically occurring.

  2. Can aircraft noise less than or equal 115 to dBA adversely affect reproductive outcome in USAF women?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brubaker, P. A.

    1985-06-01

    It has been suggested, mainly through animal studies, that exposure to high noise levels may be associated with lower birth weight, reduced gestational length and other adverse reproductive outcomes. Few studies have been done on humans to show this association. The Air Force employs pregnant women in areas where there is a high potential for exposure to high noise levels. This study proposes a method to determine if there is an association between high frequency noise levels or = 115 dBA and adverse reproductive outcomes through a review of records and self-administered questionnaires in a case-comparison design. Prevelance rates will be calculated and a multiple logistic regression analysis computed for the independent variables that can affect reproduction.

  3. Endocrinology of human female sexuality, mating, and reproductive behavior.

    PubMed

    Motta-Mena, Natalie V; Puts, David A

    2016-11-17

    Hormones orchestrate and coordinate human female sexual development, sexuality, and reproduction in relation to three types of phenotypic changes: life history transitions such as puberty and childbirth, responses to contextual factors such as caloric intake and stress, and cyclical patterns such as the ovulatory cycle. Here, we review the endocrinology underlying women's reproductive phenotypes, including sexual orientation and gender identity, mate preferences, competition for mates, sex drive, and maternal behavior. We highlight distinctive aspects of women's sexuality such as the possession of sexual ornaments, relatively cryptic fertile windows, extended sexual behavior across the ovulatory cycle, and a period of midlife reproductive senescence-and we focus on how hormonal mechanisms were shaped by selection to produce adaptive outcomes. We conclude with suggestions for future research to elucidate how hormonal mechanisms subserve women's reproductive phenotypes.

  4. The ethics of therapeutic and reproductive human cloning.

    PubMed

    Burley, J

    1999-06-01

    Neither therapeutic cloning nor reproductive cloning necessarily pose insurmountable ethical obstacles. Two defences of therapeutic cloning are considered. The first defence, the argument from property, is rejected because it entails morally counter-intuitive consequences. We should prefer a 'balance of reasons' defence which leaves room for the view that human life has intrinsic value. Reproductive cloning is best defended by an appeal to the right to procreative autonomy. The sorts of harms it is feared clones will suffer are also suffered by children conceived through natural means, even when these harms were preventable. The right to reproductive autonomy disallows state control of any form of reproduction for the reasons of child welfare discussed.

  5. The effects of kisspeptin in human reproductive function - therapeutic implications.

    PubMed

    Ratnasabapathy, Risheka; Dhillo, Waljit S

    2013-03-01

    Kisspeptin is a 54-amino acid peptide which is encoded by the KiSS-1 gene and activates the G protein-coupled receptor GPR54. Evidence suggests that this system is a key regulator of mammalian and human reproduction. Animal studies have shown that GPR54-deficient mice have abnormal sexual development. Central and peripheral administration of kisspeptin stimulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis whilst pre-administration of a gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist abolishes this effect. In humans, inactivating GPR54 mutations cause normosmic hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism whilst activation of GPR54 signalling is associated with premature puberty. In healthy human volunteers, the acute intravenous administration of kisspeptin potently increases plasma luteinising hormone (LH) levels and significantly increases plasma follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone without side effects in both males and in females particularly in the preovulatatory phase of the menstrual cycle. In infertility due to hypothalamic amenorrhoea acute administration of kisspeptin results in stimulation of reproductive hormones. The kisspeptin/GPR54 system therefore appears to play an important role in the regulation of reproduction in humans. Hence kisspeptin has potential as a novel tool for the manipulation of the HPG axis and treatment of infertility in humans. This review discusses the evidence highlighting kisspeptin's key role in human reproduction.

  6. Diverse functions of uterine proteoglycans in human reproduction (review).

    PubMed

    Kitaya, Kotaro; Tada, Yoshihiro; Hayashi, Terumi; Taguchi, Sagiri; Funabiki, Miyako; Nakamura, Yoshitaka; Yasuo, Tadahiro

    2012-06-01

    Proteoglycans (PGs) are a group of heavily glycosylated proteins that are present throughout the mammalian body and are involved in a wide variety of biological phenomena, including structural maintenance, tissue remodeling, molecular presentation, cell adhesion and signal transmission. Previous studies have revealed an increasing number of roles for PGs in human reproduction. Several PGs are currently utilized or regarded as biomarkers for the diagnosis of certain pathological uterine conditions associated with infertility and obstetrical complications. The aim of this review was to discuss the involvement of PGs in the human uterus in reproductive biology and pathophysiology.

  7. Prepartum nutritional strategy affects reproductive performance in dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, F C; LeBlanc, S J; Murphy, M R; Drackley, J K

    2013-09-01

    Negative energy balance during early postpartum is associated with reduced reproductive performance in dairy cows. A pooled statistical analysis of 7 studies completed in our group from 1993 to 2010 was conducted to investigate the association between prepartum energy feeding regimen and reproductive performance. The interval from calving to pregnancy (days to pregnancy, DTP) was the dependent variable to assess reproductive performance. Individual data for 408 cows (354 multiparous and 54 primiparous) were included in the analysis. The net energy for lactation (NEL) intake was determined from each cow's average dry matter intake and calculated dietary NEL density. Treatments applied prepartum were classified as either controlled-energy (CE; limited NEL intake to ≤100% of requirement) or high-energy (HE; cows were allowed to consume >100%) diets fed during the far-off (FO) or close-up (CU) dry periods. Cow was the experimental unit. The Cox proportional hazard model revealed that days to pregnancy was shorter for CE (median=157 d) than HE (median=167 d) diets during the CU period [hazard ratio (HR)=0.70]. Cows fed HE diets during the last 4 wk prepartum lost more body condition score in the first 6 wk postpartum than those fed CE diets (-0.43 and -0.30, respectively). Cows fed CE diets during the FO period had lower nonesterified fatty acids concentrations in wk 1, 2, and 3 of lactation than cows fed HE diets. Higher nonesterified fatty acids concentration in wk 1 postpartum was associated with a greater probability of disease (n=251; odds ratio=1.18). Cows on the CE regimen during the FO period had greater plasma glucose concentrations during wk 1 and 3 after calving than cows fed the HE regimen. Higher plasma glucose (HG) concentration compared with lower glucose (LG) in wk 3 (HG: n=154; LG: n=206) and wk 4 (HG: n=71; LG: n=254) after calving was associated with shorter days to pregnancy (wk 3: median=151 and 171 d for HG and LG, respectively, and HR=1.3; wk 4

  8. Microwave exposure affecting reproductive system in male rats.

    PubMed

    Kesari, Kavindra Kumar; Behari, Jitendra

    2010-09-01

    The object of present study is to investigate the effects of 50 GHz microwave frequency electromagnetic fields on reproductive system of male rats. Male rats of Wistar strain were used in the study. Animals 60 days old were divided into two groups--group I sham exposed and group II experimental (microwave exposed). During exposure, rats were confined in Plexiglas cages with drilled ventilation holes for 2 h a day for 45 days continuously at a specified specific absorption rate of 8.0 x 10(-4) W/kg. After the last exposure, the rats were sacrificed immediately and sperms were collected. Antioxidant enzyme (superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and catalase), histone kinase, apoptosis, and cell cycle were analyzed in sperm cells. Result shows a significant decrease in the level of sperm GPx and SOD activity (p < or = 0.05), whereas catalase shows significant increase in exposed group of sperm samples as compared with control (p < 0.02). We observed a statistically significant decrease in mean activity of histone kinase as compared to the control (p < 0.016). The percentage of cells dividing in a spermatogenesis was estimated by analyzing DNA per cell by flow cytometry. The percentage of apoptosis in electromagnetic field exposed group shows increased ratio as compared to sham exposed (p < 0.004). There were no significant differences in the G(0)/G(1) phase; however, a significant decrease (p < 0.026) in S phase was obtained. Results also indicate a decrease in percentage of G(2)/M transition phase of cell cycle in exposed group as compared to sham exposed (p < 0.019). We conclude that these radiations may have a significant effect on reproductive system of male rats, which may be an indication of male infertility.

  9. Prey selectivity affects reproductive success of a corallivorous reef fish.

    PubMed

    Brooker, Rohan M; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L

    2013-06-01

    Most animals consume a narrower range of food resources than is potentially available in the environment, but the underlying basis for these preferences is often poorly understood. Foraging theory predicts that prey selection should represent a trade-off between prey preferences based on nutritional value and prey availability. That is, species should consume preferred prey when available, but select less preferred prey when preferred prey is rare. We employed both field observation and laboratory experiments to examine the relationship between prey selection and preferences in the obligate coral-feeding filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris. To determine the drivers of prey selection, we experimentally established prey preferences in choice arenas and tested the consequences of prey preferences for key fitness-related parameters. Field studies showed that individuals fed almost exclusively on live corals from the genus Acropora. While diet was dominated by the most abundant species, Acropora nobilis, fish appeared to preferentially select rarer acroporids, such as A. millepora and A. hyacinthus. Prey choice experiments confirmed strong preferences for these corals, suggesting that field consumption is constrained by availability. In a longer-term feeding experiment, reproductive pairs fed on non-preferred corals exhibited dramatic reductions to body weight, and in hepatic and gonad condition, compared with those fed preferred corals. The majority of pairs fed preferred corals spawned frequently, while no spawning was observed for any pairs fed a non-preferred species of coral. These experiments suggest that fish distinguish between available corals based on their intrinsic value as prey, that reproductive success is dependent on the presence of particular coral species, and that differential loss of preferred corals could have serious consequences for the population success of these dietary specialists.

  10. Pregnancy outcomes after assisted human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Okun, Nanette; Sierra, Sony

    2014-01-01

    Objectif : Analyser l’effet du recours à la procréation assistée (PA) sur les issues périnatales, identifier les aspects propres aux issues de naissance et à la PA qui nécessitent des recherches approfondies, et fournir des lignes directrices permettant l’optimisation de la prise en charge obstétricale et du counseling des parents potentiels canadiens. Issues : Le présent document compare les issues périnatales constatées dans le cadre de différents types de grossesse attribuable à la PA les unes aux autres, ainsi qu’à celles qui sont constatées dans le cadre des grossesses conçues de façon spontanée. Les cliniciens seront mieux renseignés au sujet des issues indésirables associées à la PA qui ont été documentées, y compris les complications obstétricales, les issues périnatales indésirables, les gestations multiples, les anomalies congénitales structurelles, les anomalies chromosomiques et les troubles de l’empreinte génomique. Résultats : La littérature publiée a été récupérée par l’intermédiaire de recherches menées dans MEDLINE et The Cochrane Library entre janvier 2005 et décembre 2012 au moyen d’un vocabulaire contrôlé et de mots clés appropriés (« assisted reproduction », « assisted reproductive technology », « ovulation induction », « intracytoplasmic sperm injection », « embryo transfer » et « in vitro fertilization »). Les résultats n’ont pas été restreints aux analyses systématiques, aux essais comparatifs randomisés / essais cliniques comparatifs et aux études observationnelles; les études (tous devis confondus) publiées en anglais entre janvier 2005 et décembre 2012 ont été analysées, et des publications additionnelles ont été identifiées à partir des bibliographies de ces études. Les recherches ont été mises à jour de façon régulière et intégrées à la directive clinique jusqu’en août 2013. La littérature grise (non publiée) a

  11. Maternal characteristics and environment affect the costs of reproduction in female mountain goats.

    PubMed

    Hamel, Sandra; Côté, Steeve D; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2010-07-01

    Reproduction should reduce resources available for somatic investment and result in fundamental trade-offs among life-history traits. Using 18 years of longitudinal data from marked mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), we assessed whether reproductive status affected female survival and future reproduction when accounting for parity, age, individual quality, population density, and environmental conditions. Reproduction reduced the probability of parturition and offspring survival in the following year. Female survival, however, was independent of previous reproduction, suggesting that females favored their own survival over that of their offspring. The lower probability of parturition in females that had a kid the previous year was only detected at high population density and among young and prime-aged females, suggesting that fitness costs of reproduction can be masked by variations in resource availability and individual characteristics. Primiparous females were less likely than multiparous females to reproduce in the subsequent year. Offspring survival was reduced at high density and after severe winters. Environmental conditions mainly influenced offspring survival, whereas female survival and fecundity were principally modulated by female characteristics. Our study highlights how different intrinsic and environmental factors can affect the probability of future reproduction and also underlines the value of long-term monitoring of known individuals.

  12. Implant Size Availability Affects Reproduction of Distal Femoral Anatomy.

    PubMed

    Morris, William Z; Gebhart, Jeremy J; Goldberg, Victor M; Wera, Glenn D

    2016-07-01

    A total knee arthroplasty system offers more distal femoral implant anterior-posterior (AP) sizes than its predecessor. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of increased size availability on an implant system's ability to reproduce the AP dimension of the native distal femur. We measured 200 cadaveric femora with the AP-sizing guides of Zimmer (Warsaw, IN) NexGen (8 sizes) and Zimmer Persona (12 sizes) total knee arthroplasty systems. We defined "size deviation" as the difference in the AP dimension between the anatomic size of the native femur and the closest implant size. We defined satisfactory reproduction of distal femoral dimensions as < 1 mm difference between the implant and native femur size. The NexGen system was associated with a mean 0.46 mm greater implant size deviation than Persona (p < 0.001). When using a 1 mm size deviation as a cutoff for satisfactory replication of the native distal femoral anatomy, 85/200 specimens (42.5%) were a poor fit by NexGen, but a satisfactory fit by Persona. Only 1/200 specimens (0.5%) was a poor fit by Persona, but a satisfactory fit by NexGen (p < 0.001). The novel knee system with 12 versus 8 sizes reproduces the AP dimension of the native distal femur more closely than its predecessor. Further study is needed to determine the clinical impact of these differences.

  13. [A sociological study of factors affecting reproductive health of female teenagers and young women].

    PubMed

    Nizamov, I G; Chechulina, O V

    2003-01-01

    The reproductive health of teenagers deserves a special attention and must be regarded from the viewpoint of their future prospects as well as their social and cultural media. The mentioned social-and-cultural factors affecting the teenagers' attitude towards sexuality and preconditioning their access to information and services of healthcare have an impact on the status of their reproductive health and on their general well-being, including the ability of teenagers to avoid an undesired pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.

  14. Environment, human reproduction, menopause, and andropause.

    PubMed Central

    Vermeulen, A

    1993-01-01

    As the hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) pulse generator is an integrator of hormonal, metabolic, and neural signals, it is not surprising that the function of the hypothalamogonadal axis is subject to the influence of a large array of environmental factors. Before puberty, the central nervous system (CNS) restrains the GnRH pulse generator. Undernutrition, low socioeconomic status, stress, and emotional deprivation, all delay puberty. During reproductive life, among peripheral factors that effect the reproductive system, stress plays an important role. Stress, via the release of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), eventually triggered by interleukin 1, inhibits GnRH release, resulting in hypogonadism. Effects of CRF are probably mediated by the opioid system. Food restriction and underweight (anorexia nervosa), obesity, smoking, and alcohol all have negative effects on the GnRH pulse generator and gonadal function. Age and diet are important determinants of fertility in both men and women. The age-associated decrease in fertility in women has as a major determinant chromosomal abnormalities of the oocyte, with uterine factors playing a subsidiary role. Age at menopause, determined by ovarian oocyte depletion, is influenced by occupation, age at menarche, parity, age at last pregnancy, altitude, smoking, and use of oral contraceptives. Smoking, however, appears to be the major determinant. Premature menopause is most frequently attributable to mosaicism for Turner Syndrome, mumps ovaritis, and, above all, total hysterectomy, which has a prevalence of about 12-15% in women 50 years old. Premature ovarian failure with presence of immature follicles is most frequently caused by autoimmune diseases or is the consequence of irradiation or chemotherapy with alkylating cytostatics. Plasma estrogens have a physiological role in the prevention of osteoporosis. Obese women have osteoporosis less frequently than women who are not overweight. Early menopause

  15. NTP-CERHR Monograph on the Potential Human Reproductive and Developmental Effects of Ethylene Glycol.

    PubMed

    2004-01-01

    The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) conducted an evaluation of the potential for ethylene glycol (EG) to cause adverse effects on reproduction and development in humans. EG was selected for evaluation due to recent toxicity and occupational exposure information and widespread exposure in the general public. EG is a small, hydroxy-substituted hydrocarbon used as a chemical intermediate in the production of polyester compounds. It is also found in automotive anti-freeze, industrial coolants, hydraulic fluids, and windshield deicer fluids. The results of this evaluation on EG are published in a NTP-CERHR monograph which includes: 1) the Expert Panel Report on the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of Ethylene Glycol, 2) the NTP Brief, and 3) public comments received on the Expert Panel Report. As stated in the NTP Brief, the NTP reached the following conclusions regarding the possible effects of exposure to EG on human development and reproduction based on the conclusions of the NTP-CERHR Expert Panel Report and the public comments received on that report. These conclusions concurred with those of the expert panel. First, although EG could possibly affect human development if exposures are sufficiently high, there is negligible concern for developmental effects in humans at current proposed/estimated exposure levels. There is no direct evidence that exposure of people to EG adversely affects reproduction or development, but studies reviewed by the expert panel show that oral exposure to high doses of EG can adversely affect development in mice and rats. These studies indicate doses that exceed saturation of the glycolic acid metabolism are needed to produce developmental toxicity. Proposed exposure scenarios constructed by the expert panel and current proposed/estimated exposure levels suggest that human exposures are at least 100- to 1000-fold lower than the dose expected to result in metabolic

  16. Alternatives in Human Reproduction for Involuntary Childless Couples.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zimmerman, Shirley L.

    1982-01-01

    Discusses human reproductive alternatives such as artificial insemination by husband and by donor, surrogate pregnancy, and in vitro fertilization in relation to involuntarily childless couples. Concludes by raising a number of questions for practice, policy, and research in the area of family life. (Author)

  17. Human disturbance influences reproductive success and growth rate in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus).

    PubMed

    French, Susannah S; González-Suárez, Manuela; Young, Julie K; Durham, Susan; Gerber, Leah R

    2011-03-16

    The environment is currently undergoing changes at both global (e.g., climate change) and local (e.g., tourism, pollution, habitat modification) scales that have the capacity to affect the viability of animal and plant populations. Many of these changes, such as human disturbance, have an anthropogenic origin and therefore may be mitigated by management action. To do so requires an understanding of the impact of human activities and changing environmental conditions on population dynamics. We investigated the influence of human activity on important life history parameters (reproductive rate, and body condition, and growth rate of neonate pups) for California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Increased human presence was associated with lower reproductive rates, which translated into reduced long-term population growth rates and suggested that human activities are a disturbance that could lead to population declines. We also observed higher body growth rates in pups with increased exposure to humans. Increased growth rates in pups may reflect a density dependent response to declining reproductive rates (e.g., decreased competition for resources). Our results highlight the potentially complex changes in life history parameters that may result from human disturbance, and their implication for population dynamics. We recommend careful monitoring of human activities in the Gulf of California and emphasize the importance of management strategies that explicitly consider the potential impact of human activities such as ecotourism on vertebrate populations.

  18. Human Disturbance Influences Reproductive Success and Growth Rate in California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus)

    PubMed Central

    French, Susannah S.; González-Suárez, Manuela; Young, Julie K.; Durham, Susan; Gerber, Leah R.

    2011-01-01

    The environment is currently undergoing changes at both global (e.g., climate change) and local (e.g., tourism, pollution, habitat modification) scales that have the capacity to affect the viability of animal and plant populations. Many of these changes, such as human disturbance, have an anthropogenic origin and therefore may be mitigated by management action. To do so requires an understanding of the impact of human activities and changing environmental conditions on population dynamics. We investigated the influence of human activity on important life history parameters (reproductive rate, and body condition, and growth rate of neonate pups) for California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Increased human presence was associated with lower reproductive rates, which translated into reduced long-term population growth rates and suggested that human activities are a disturbance that could lead to population declines. We also observed higher body growth rates in pups with increased exposure to humans. Increased growth rates in pups may reflect a density dependent response to declining reproductive rates (e.g., decreased competition for resources). Our results highlight the potentially complex changes in life history parameters that may result from human disturbance, and their implication for population dynamics. We recommend careful monitoring of human activities in the Gulf of California and emphasize the importance of management strategies that explicitly consider the potential impact of human activities such as ecotourism on vertebrate populations. PMID:21436887

  19. Clonal Patch Size and Ramet Position of Leymus chinensis Affected Reproductive Allocation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhuo; Yang, Yunfei

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive allocation is critically important for population maintenance and usually varies with not only environmental factors but also biotic ones. As a typical rhizome clonal plant in China's northern grasslands, Leymus chinensis usually dominates the steppe communities and grows in clonal patches. In order to clarify the sexual reproductive allocation of L. chinensis in the process of the growth and expansion, we selected L. chinensis clonal patches of a range of sizes to examine the reproductive allocation and allometric growth of the plants. Moreover, the effects of position of L. chinensis ramets within the patch on their reproductive allocation were also examined. Clonal patch size and position both significantly affected spike biomass, reproductive tiller biomass and SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio. From the central to the marginal zone, both the spike biomass and reproductive tiller biomass displayed an increasing trend in all the five patch size categories except for reproductive tiller biomass in 15–40m2 category. L. chinensis had significantly larger SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio in marginal zone than in central zone of clonal patches that are larger than 15 m2 in area. Regression analysis showed that the spike biomass and SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio were negatively correlated with clonal patch size while patch size showed significantly positive effect on SEED/SPIKE biomass ratio, but the reproductive tiller biomass and SEED/TILLER biomass ratio were not dependent on clonal patch size. The relationships between biomass of spike and reproductive tiller, between mature seed biomass and spike biomass and between mature seed biomass and reproductive tiller biomass were significant allometric for all or some of patch size categories, respectively. The slopes of all these allometric relationships were significantly different from 1. The allometric growth of L. chinensis is patch size-dependent. This finding will be helpful for developing appropriate practices for

  20. Human reproduction in art: from myths to history.

    PubMed

    Petraglia, Felice; Bettini, Maurizio

    2010-08-01

    Conception, gestation, and birth, including maternal-fetal health, have been the subject of narrative and art since early human history. Myth and histories related to pregnancy were represented by sculptors and painters as well as the subject of several operas: the mystery of reproduction was always a fascinating theme. This mystery was commonly represented across cultures and time, in the old world, from Egypt to India, to Greece and Rome continuing until the Renaissance and the Modern period. To be an artist meant also to be a scientist in several societies. The current paper reports 12 examples of the fusion of art and reproductive science.

  1. Effect of environmental pollutants on human reproduction, including birth defects

    SciTech Connect

    Kurzel, R.B.; Cetrulo, C.L.

    1981-06-01

    Because chemicals from a wide range of environmental sources have been implicated in birth defects and reproductive failures, the effects on human reproduction of chemicals in air, in the terrestrial ecosystem, and in food were studied. Chemicals considered included nicotine, cadmium, polycyclic aromatic compounds, red dye number2, DES, PCB's, TCDD, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, strontium, and zinc. The most serious source of chemical exposure to pregnant women is cigarette smoke which exposes unborn babies to high levels of carbon monoxide, cadmium, nicotine, and benzo-a-pyrene. Fetal exposure to all teratogenic compounds must be minimized.

  2. Pathophysiological roles of chemokines in human reproduction: an overview.

    PubMed

    Kitaya, Kotaro; Yamada, Hisao

    2011-05-01

    Chemokines are a group of small cytokines that have an ability to induce leukocyte migration. Chemokines exert their functions by binding and activating specific G protein-coupled receptors. Studies have unveiled pleiotropic bioactivities of chemokines in various phenomena ranging from immunomodulation, embryogenesis, and homeostasis to pathogenesis. In the mammalian reproductive system, chemokines unexceptionally serve in multimodal events that are closely associated with establishment, maintenance, and deterioration of fecundity. The aim of this review is to update the knowledge on chemokines in male and female genital organs, with a focus on their potential pathophysiological roles in human reproduction.

  3. The reproduction in women affected by cooley disease

    PubMed Central

    Pafumi, Carlo; Leanza, Vito; Coco, Luana; Vizzini, Stefania; Ciotta, Lilliana; Messina, Alessandra; Leanza, Gianluca; Zarbo, Giuseppe; D'Agati, Alfio; Palumbo, Marco Antonio; Iemmola, Alessandra; Gulino, Ferdinando Antonio; Teodoro, Maria Cristina; Attard, Matthew; Plesca, Alina Cristina; Soares, Catarina; Kouloubis, Nina; Chammas, Mayada

    2011-01-01

    The health background management and outcomes of 5 pregnancies in 4 women affected by Cooley Disease, from Paediatric Institute of Catania University, are described, considering the preconceptual guidances and cares for such patients. These patients were selected among a group of 100 thalassemic women divided into three subgroups, according to their first and successive menstruation characteristics: i) patients with primitive amenorrhoea, ii) patients with secondary amenorrhoea and iii) patients with normal menstruation. Only one woman, affected by primitive amenorrhoea, needed the induction of ovulation. A precise and detailed pre-pregnancy assessment was effected before each conception. This was constituted by a series of essays, including checks for diabetes and hypothyroidism, for B and C hepatitis and for blood group antibodies. Moreover were evaluated: cardiac function, rubella immunity and transaminases. Other pregnancy monitoring, and cares during labour and delivery were effected according to usual obstetrics practice. All the women were in labour when she were 38 week pregnant, and the outcome were five healthy babies born at term, weighting between 2600 and 3200gs. The only complication was the Caesarean section. The improvements of current treatments, especially in the management of iron deposits, the prolongation of survival rate, will result in a continuous increase of pregnancies in thalassemic women. Pregnancy is now a real possibility for women affected by such disease. We are furthermore studying the possibility to collect the fetus' umbilical cord blood, after the delivery, to attempt eterologus transplantation to his mother trying to get a complete marrow reconstitution. PMID:22184526

  4. The ethics of human reproductive cloning: when world views collide.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Cynthia B

    2004-01-01

    Two camps in bioethics with seemingly opposing world views have staked out conflicting positions regarding the ethics of human reproductive cloning. These camps do not appear to share common concepts or ways of reasoning through which to exchange views and come to a meeting of minds about uses of this technology. Yet analysis of their respective approaches to several issues surrounding reproductive cloning, such as where the ethical limits of individual reproductive choice lie, whether the use of this technology would violate human dignity, whether it would create risks to the resulting fetuses and children that would make its use intolerable, and whether it would challenge certain core social values, reveals that they are not wholly opposed to one another. Indeed, it displays that they hold certain beliefs, values, and concerns in common. Moreover, it indicates that the different world views that they each presuppose, while flawed in certain respects, do not collide in every respect, but can be reconciled in significant ways that provide fertile ground for agreement about several issues related to human reproductive cloning.

  5. Just another reproductive technology? The ethics of human reproductive cloning as an experimental medical procedure.

    PubMed

    Elsner, D

    2006-10-01

    Human reproductive cloning (HRC) has not yet resulted in any live births. There has been widespread condemnation of the practice in both the scientific world and the public sphere, and many countries explicitly outlaw the practice. Concerns about the procedure range from uncertainties about its physical safety to questions about the psychological well-being of clones. Yet, key aspects such as the philosophical implications of harm to future entities and a comparison with established reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are often overlooked in discussions about HRC. Furthermore, there are people who are willing to use the technology. Several scientists have been outspoken in their intent to pursue HRC. The importance of concerns about the physical safety of children created by HRC and comparisons with concerns about the safety of IVF are discussed. A model to be used to determine when it is acceptable to use HRC and other new assisted reproductive technologies, balancing reproductive freedom and safety concerns, is proposed. Justifications underpinning potential applications of HRC are discussed, and it is determined that these are highly analogous to rationalisations used to justify IVF treatment. It is concluded that people wishing to conceive using HRC should have a prima facie negative right to do so.

  6. Melatonin, But not auxin, affects postnatal reproductive development in the marsh rice rat (Oryzomys palustris).

    PubMed

    Edmonds, Kent E

    2013-06-01

    Melatonin and the plant hormone auxin (indole-3-acetic acid) have some structural similarity and, may thus exert comparable physiological effects on reproduction and growth. To test this possibility, I examined the effects of melatonin and auxin administration on reproductive and non-reproductive organ development in an animal model, the marsh rice rat Oryzomys palustris. Juvenile males housed under 14L:10D conditions were injected daily for four weeks with saline, melatonin, auxin, or melatonin and auxin, and the development of the testes and other organs was assessed. Melatonin alone significantly inhibited the development of the testes, seminal vesicles, Harderian glands, and overall somatic growth, but not the spleen. Auxin did not affect any endpoint measured. When melatonin was administered simultaneously with auxin, the melatonin effects dominated in suppressing reproduction and growth. The administration of melatonin or auxin in the drinking water produced results similar to the effects of melatonin and auxin injections reported herein. Lastly, both melatonin and auxin in the drinking water failed to alter any short photoperiod-induced reproductive inhibition. These data suggest that structural similarities between melatonin and auxin do not result in similar postnatal effects on reproductive and non-reproductive organ development on a long photoperiod and further suggest that melatonin and auxin do not operate through a common physiological mechanism.

  7. Altitude affects the reproductive performance in monoicous and dioicous bryophytes: examples from a Brazilian Atlantic rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Maciel-Silva, Adaíses S.; Marques Valio, Ivany F.; Rydin, Håkan

    2012-01-01

    Background and aims Short life cycles and trade-offs linked to breeding systems make bryophytes good models for the study of plant reproductive strategies. Our aim was to test if differences in sexual reproductive performance of bryophytes in tropical rainforests are driven by the breeding system of the species (monoicous or dioicous) or are mainly affected by the habitat. Methodology The reproductive performance (sexual branches, gametangia (sex organs), fertilization and sporophyte production) of 11 species was repeatedly monitored and analysed from populations at sea-level and montane sites of a Brazilian Atlantic rainforest over 15 months. Principal results Monoicous species had the highest reproductive performance, particularly for sexual branches, fertilized gametangia and sporophyte production. Species at the sea-level site produced more sexual branches and had more female-biased sex ratios of gametangia than species in the montane site. Fertilizations were more frequent at the montane site, but sporophyte frequency was similar between the two sites. Fertilization tended to occur mostly in the periods of heavy rain (October to December). Conclusions Breeding system is not the only major influence on the reproductive performance of bryophytes. We show that habitat is also an important factor determining life-history differentiation. Female-biased sex ratios and low rates of fertilization are seen to be compensated for by high production of reproductive structures at the initial phases of the reproductive cycle. PMID:22822422

  8. The role of syncytins in human reproduction and reproductive organ cancers.

    PubMed

    Soygur, Bikem; Sati, Leyla

    2016-11-01

    Human life begins with sperm and oocyte fusion. After fertilization, various fusion events occur during human embryogenesis and morphogenesis. For example, the fusion of trophoblastic cells constitutes a key process for normal placental development. Fusion in the placenta is facilitated by syncytin 1 and syncytin 2. These syncytins arose from retroviral sequences that entered the primate genome 25 million and more than 40 million years ago respectively. About 8% of the human genome consists of similar human endogenous retroviral (HERVs) sequences. Many are inactive because of mutations or deletions. However, the role of the few that remain transcriptionally active has not been fully elucidated. Syncytin proteins maintain cell-cell fusogenic activity based on ENV: gene-mediated viral cell entry. In this review, we summarize how syncytins and their receptors are involved in fusion events during human reproduction. The significance of syncytins in tumorigenesis is also discussed.

  9. [Legal and philosophical considerations about cloning in human reproduction].

    PubMed

    Bellver Capella, V

    1999-01-01

    The birth of Dolly the sheep has served to rekindle the debate on the lawfulness of cloning for human reproduction. Although the normative response has been unanimous thus far in sanctioning such use, the matter of the limits to this is widely debated. In this article the author examines the reasons underpinning the limits imposed: is cloning for human reproduction unlawful in itself of does everything depend on the aim pursued? The issue is addressed from the standpoint of the apparent clash in law between the right to reproduce and freedom of research, on the one hand, and--on the other--the right to be conceived in a given manner. Particular attention is paid to the question of the lawfulness of two instances of human embryo division, namely, for in vitro fertilization and for preimplantation diagnosis.

  10. Analysis of an epigenetic argument against human reproductive cloning.

    PubMed

    Nordgren, Anders

    2006-08-01

    Human reproductive cloning is a much disputed ethical issue. This technology is often condemned as being contrary to human dignity. However, there are also risk arguments. An ethical argument that is often put forward by scientists but seldom developed in more detail focuses on health risks in animal cloning. There is a high risk that animal clones exhibit abnormalities and these are increasingly believed to be due to errors in epigenetic reprogramming. The argument is that human reproductive cloning should not be carried out because human clones are also likely to exhibit abnormalities due to inappropriate epigenetic reprogramming. Different versions of this epigenetic argument are analysed, a categorical version and a non-categorical. The non-categorical version is suggested to be more well-considered. With regard to policy making on human reproductive cloning, the categorical version can be used to prescribe a permanent ban, while the non-categorical version can be used to prescribe a temporary ban. The implications of the precautionary principle--as interpreted in the European Union--are investigated. The conclusion is that it seems possible to support a temporary ban by reference to this principle.

  11. Arthropods affecting the human eye.

    PubMed

    Panadero-Fontán, Rosario; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-02-28

    Ocular infestations by arthropods consist in the parasitization of the human eye, either directly (e.g., some insect larvae causing ophthalmomyiasis) or via arthropods feeding on lachrymal/conjunctival secretions (e.g., some eye-seeking insects, which also act as vectors of eye pathogens). In addition, demodicosis and phthiriasis may also cause eye discomfort in humans. Ophthalmomyiasis by larvae of the families Oestridae, Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae, are frequent causative agents of human ocular infestations. Over the last decades, the extensive use of macrocyclic lactones in cattle has reduced the frequency of infestations by Hypoderma bovis and Hypoderma lineatum (family Oestridae), and consequently, human infestations by these species. A prompt diagnosis of ocular myiasis (e.g., by serological tests) is pivotal for positive prognoses, particularly when the larvae are not detectable during the ophthalmologic examination. Molecular diagnoses may also assist physicians and parasitologists in achieving time-efficient diagnoses of infestations by Oestridae causing myiasis. Finally, due to widespread international travel to exotic destinations, cases of myiasis are increasing in non-endemic areas, therefore requiring physicians to acquire a profound knowledge of the clinical symptoms linked to these infestations to prevent costly, inappropriate treatments or severe complications.

  12. Bisphenol A and Reproductive Health: Update of Experimental and Human Evidence, 2007–2013

    PubMed Central

    Peretz, Jackye; Vrooman, Lisa; Ricke, William A.; Hunt, Patricia A.; Ehrlich, Shelley; Hauser, Russ; Padmanabhan, Vasantha; Taylor, Hugh S.; Swan, Shanna H.; VandeVoort, Catherine A.

    2014-01-01

    Background: In 2007, an expert panel reviewed associations between bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and reproductive health outcomes. Since then, new studies have been conducted on the impact of BPA on reproduction. Objective: In this review, we summarize data obtained since 2007, focusing on a) findings from human and animal studies, b) the effects of BPA on a variety of reproductive end points, and c) mechanisms of BPA action. Methods: We reviewed the literature published from 2007 to 2013 using a PubMed search based on keywords related to BPA and male and female reproduction. Discussion: Because BPA has been reported to affect the onset of meiosis in both animal and in vitro models, interfere with germ cell nest breakdown in animal models, accelerate follicle transition in several animal species, alter steroidogenesis in multiple animal models and women, and reduce oocyte quality in animal models and women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), we consider it an ovarian toxicant. In addition, strong evidence suggests that BPA is a uterine toxicant because it impaired uterine endometrial proliferation, decreased uterine receptivity, and increased implantation failure in animal models. BPA exposure may be associated with adverse birth outcomes, hyperandrogenism, sexual dysfunction, and impaired implantation in humans, but additional studies are required to confirm these associations. Studies also suggest that BPA may be a testicular toxicant in animal models, but the data in humans are equivocal. Finally, insufficient evidence exists regarding effects of BPA on the oviduct, the placenta, and pubertal development. Conclusion: Based on reports that BPA impacts female reproduction and has the potential to affect male reproductive systems in humans and animals, we conclude that BPA is a reproductive toxicant. Citation: Peretz J, Vrooman L, Ricke WA, Hunt PA, Ehrlich S, Hauser R, Padmanabhan V, Taylor HS, Swan SH, VandeVoort CA, Flaws JA. 2014. Bisphenol A and reproductive

  13. Reproduction in the space environment: Part II. Concerns for human reproduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jennings, R. T.; Santy, P. A.

    1990-01-01

    Long-duration space flight and eventual colonization of our solar system will require successful control of reproductive function and a thorough understanding of factors unique to space flight and their impact on gynecologic and obstetric parameters. Part II of this paper examines the specific environmental factors associated with space flight and the implications for human reproduction. Space environmental hazards discussed include radiation, alteration in atmospheric pressure and breathing gas partial pressures, prolonged toxicological exposure, and microgravity. The effects of countermeasures necessary to reduce cardiovascular deconditioning, calcium loss, muscle wasting, and neurovestibular problems are also considered. In addition, the impact of microgravity on male fertility and gamete quality is explored. Due to current constraints, human pregnancy is now contraindicated for space flight. However, a program to explore effective countermeasures to current constraints and develop the required health care delivery capability for extended-duration space flight is suggested. A program of Earth- and space-based research to provide further answers to reproductive questions is suggested.

  14. Genome-wide analysis identifies 12 loci influencing human reproductive behavior.

    PubMed

    Barban, Nicola; Jansen, Rick; de Vlaming, Ronald; Vaez, Ahmad; Mandemakers, Jornt J; Tropf, Felix C; Shen, Xia; Wilson, James F; Chasman, Daniel I; Nolte, Ilja M; Tragante, Vinicius; van der Laan, Sander W; Perry, John R B; Kong, Augustine; Ahluwalia, Tarunveer S; Albrecht, Eva; Yerges-Armstrong, Laura; Atzmon, Gil; Auro, Kirsi; Ayers, Kristin; Bakshi, Andrew; Ben-Avraham, Danny; Berger, Klaus; Bergman, Aviv; Bertram, Lars; Bielak, Lawrence F; Bjornsdottir, Gyda; Bonder, Marc Jan; Broer, Linda; Bui, Minh; Barbieri, Caterina; Cavadino, Alana; Chavarro, Jorge E; Turman, Constance; Concas, Maria Pina; Cordell, Heather J; Davies, Gail; Eibich, Peter; Eriksson, Nicholas; Esko, Tõnu; Eriksson, Joel; Falahi, Fahimeh; Felix, Janine F; Fontana, Mark Alan; Franke, Lude; Gandin, Ilaria; Gaskins, Audrey J; Gieger, Christian; Gunderson, Erica P; Guo, Xiuqing; Hayward, Caroline; He, Chunyan; Hofer, Edith; Huang, Hongyan; Joshi, Peter K; Kanoni, Stavroula; Karlsson, Robert; Kiechl, Stefan; Kifley, Annette; Kluttig, Alexander; Kraft, Peter; Lagou, Vasiliki; Lecoeur, Cecile; Lahti, Jari; Li-Gao, Ruifang; Lind, Penelope A; Liu, Tian; Makalic, Enes; Mamasoula, Crysovalanto; Matteson, Lindsay; Mbarek, Hamdi; McArdle, Patrick F; McMahon, George; Meddens, S Fleur W; Mihailov, Evelin; Miller, Mike; Missmer, Stacey A; Monnereau, Claire; van der Most, Peter J; Myhre, Ronny; Nalls, Mike A; Nutile, Teresa; Kalafati, Ioanna Panagiota; Porcu, Eleonora; Prokopenko, Inga; Rajan, Kumar B; Rich-Edwards, Janet; Rietveld, Cornelius A; Robino, Antonietta; Rose, Lynda M; Rueedi, Rico; Ryan, Kathleen A; Saba, Yasaman; Schmidt, Daniel; Smith, Jennifer A; Stolk, Lisette; Streeten, Elizabeth; Tönjes, Anke; Thorleifsson, Gudmar; Ulivi, Sheila; Wedenoja, Juho; Wellmann, Juergen; Willeit, Peter; Yao, Jie; Yengo, Loic; Zhao, Jing Hua; Zhao, Wei; Zhernakova, Daria V; Amin, Najaf; Andrews, Howard; Balkau, Beverley; Barzilai, Nir; Bergmann, Sven; Biino, Ginevra; Bisgaard, Hans; Bønnelykke, Klaus; Boomsma, Dorret I; Buring, Julie E; Campbell, Harry; Cappellani, Stefania; Ciullo, Marina; Cox, Simon R; Cucca, Francesco; Toniolo, Daniela; Davey-Smith, George; Deary, Ian J; Dedoussis, George; Deloukas, Panos; van Duijn, Cornelia M; de Geus, Eco J C; Eriksson, Johan G; Evans, Denis A; Faul, Jessica D; Sala, Cinzia Felicita; Froguel, Philippe; Gasparini, Paolo; Girotto, Giorgia; Grabe, Hans-Jörgen; Greiser, Karin Halina; Groenen, Patrick J F; de Haan, Hugoline G; Haerting, Johannes; Harris, Tamara B; Heath, Andrew C; Heikkilä, Kauko; Hofman, Albert; Homuth, Georg; Holliday, Elizabeth G; Hopper, John; Hyppönen, Elina; Jacobsson, Bo; Jaddoe, Vincent W V; Johannesson, Magnus; Jugessur, Astanand; Kähönen, Mika; Kajantie, Eero; Kardia, Sharon L R; Keavney, Bernard; Kolcic, Ivana; Koponen, Päivikki; Kovacs, Peter; Kronenberg, Florian; Kutalik, Zoltan; La Bianca, Martina; Lachance, Genevieve; Iacono, William G; Lai, Sandra; Lehtimäki, Terho; Liewald, David C; Lindgren, Cecilia M; Liu, Yongmei; Luben, Robert; Lucht, Michael; Luoto, Riitta; Magnus, Per; Magnusson, Patrik K E; Martin, Nicholas G; McGue, Matt; McQuillan, Ruth; Medland, Sarah E; Meisinger, Christa; Mellström, Dan; Metspalu, Andres; Traglia, Michela; Milani, Lili; Mitchell, Paul; Montgomery, Grant W; Mook-Kanamori, Dennis; de Mutsert, Renée; Nohr, Ellen A; Ohlsson, Claes; Olsen, Jørn; Ong, Ken K; Paternoster, Lavinia; Pattie, Alison; Penninx, Brenda W J H; Perola, Markus; Peyser, Patricia A; Pirastu, Mario; Polasek, Ozren; Power, Chris; Kaprio, Jaakko; Raffel, Leslie J; Räikkönen, Katri; Raitakari, Olli; Ridker, Paul M; Ring, Susan M; Roll, Kathryn; Rudan, Igor; Ruggiero, Daniela; Rujescu, Dan; Salomaa, Veikko; Schlessinger, David; Schmidt, Helena; Schmidt, Reinhold; Schupf, Nicole; Smit, Johannes; Sorice, Rossella; Spector, Tim D; Starr, John M; Stöckl, Doris; Strauch, Konstantin; Stumvoll, Michael; Swertz, Morris A; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Thurik, A Roy; Timpson, Nicholas J; Tung, Joyce Y; Uitterlinden, André G; Vaccargiu, Simona; Viikari, Jorma; Vitart, Veronique; Völzke, Henry; Vollenweider, Peter; Vuckovic, Dragana; Waage, Johannes; Wagner, Gert G; Wang, Jie Jin; Wareham, Nicholas J; Weir, David R; Willemsen, Gonneke; Willeit, Johann; Wright, Alan F; Zondervan, Krina T; Stefansson, Kari; Krueger, Robert F; Lee, James J; Benjamin, Daniel J; Cesarini, David; Koellinger, Philipp D; den Hoed, Marcel; Snieder, Harold; Mills, Melinda C

    2016-12-01

    The genetic architecture of human reproductive behavior-age at first birth (AFB) and number of children ever born (NEB)-has a strong relationship with fitness, human development, infertility and risk of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, very few genetic loci have been identified, and the underlying mechanisms of AFB and NEB are poorly understood. We report a large genome-wide association study of both sexes including 251,151 individuals for AFB and 343,072 individuals for NEB. We identified 12 independent loci that are significantly associated with AFB and/or NEB in a SNP-based genome-wide association study and 4 additional loci associated in a gene-based effort. These loci harbor genes that are likely to have a role, either directly or by affecting non-local gene expression, in human reproduction and infertility, thereby increasing understanding of these complex traits.

  15. Assessing Reproductive Toxicity of Two Environmental Toxicants with a Novel in vitro Human Spermatogenic Model

    PubMed Central

    Easley, Charles A.; Bradner, Joshua M.; Moser, Amber; Rickman, Chelsea A.; McEachin, Zachary T.; Merritt, Megan M.; Hansen, Jason M.; Caudle, W. Michael

    2015-01-01

    Environmental influences and insults by reproductive toxicant exposure can lead to impaired spermatogenesis or infertility. Understanding how toxicants disrupt spermatogenesis is critical for determining how environmental factors contribute to impaired fertility. While current animal models are available, understanding of the reproductive toxic effects on human fertility requires a more robust model system. We recently demonstrated that human pluripotent stem cells can differentiate into spermatogonial stem cells/spermatogonia, primary and secondary spermatocytes, and haploid spermatids; a model that mimics many aspects of human spermatogenesis. Here, using this model system, we examine the effects of 2-bromopropane (2-BP) and 1–2, Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP) on in vitro human spermatogenesis. 2-BP and DBCP are non-endocrine disrupting toxicants that are known to impact male fertility. We show that acute treatment with either 2-BP or DBCP induces a reduction in germ cell viability through apoptosis. 2-BP and DBCP affect viability of different cell populations as 2-BP primarily reduces spermatocyte viability whereas DBCP exerts a much greater effect on spermatogonia. Acute treatment with 2-BP or DBCP also reduces the percentage of haploid spermatids. Both 2-BP and DBCP induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation leading to an oxidized cellular environment. Taken together, these results suggest that acute exposure with 2-BP or DBCP causes human germ cell death in vitro by inducing ROS formation. This system represents a unique platform for assessing human reproductive toxicity potential of various environmental toxicants in a rapid, efficient, and unbiased format. PMID:25863443

  16. Biomarkers for assessing human female reproductive health, an interdisciplinary approach.

    PubMed Central

    Lasley, B L; Overstreet, J W

    1998-01-01

    Identification of environmental hazards to reproductive health and characterization of the adverse outcomes necessitate a multidisciplinary approach. Epidemiologic studies are required for the identification of adverse health effects in human populations and then to confirm that specific exposures are responsible. Clinical studies are required to develop assays for reproductive biomarkers and to validate these assays prior to their application in the field. Assays for field use must be formatted and streamlined for large-scale applications and, whenever possible, computer algorithms should be developed to interpret biomarker data. Appropriate animal models must be identified, biomarker assays validated for that model, and animal experiments conducted to identify the mode of action and target organ of a putative reproductive toxicant. Finally, in vitro studies at the level of the cell and cell organelle are essential for mechanisms for toxicity to be clearly identified and understood. In this article we describe the interdisciplinary approach that we have developed for study of the effects of environmental agents on female reproductive functions. This effort requires specific skills of toxicologists, epidemiologists, physicians, biochemists, and physiologists. PMID:9703478

  17. Human cerebral response to animal affective vocalizations.

    PubMed

    Belin, Pascal; Fecteau, Shirley; Charest, Ian; Nicastro, Nicholas; Hauser, Marc D; Armony, Jorge L

    2008-03-07

    It is presently unknown whether our response to affective vocalizations is specific to those generated by humans or more universal, triggered by emotionally matched vocalizations generated by other species. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging in normal participants to measure cerebral activity during auditory stimulation with affectively valenced animal vocalizations, some familiar (cats) and others not (rhesus monkeys). Positively versus negatively valenced vocalizations from cats and monkeys elicited different cerebral responses despite the participants' inability to differentiate the valence of these animal vocalizations by overt behavioural responses. Moreover, the comparison with human non-speech affective vocalizations revealed a common response to the valence in orbitofrontal cortex, a key component on the limbic system. These findings suggest that the neural mechanisms involved in processing human affective vocalizations may be recruited by heterospecific affective vocalizations at an unconscious level, supporting claims of shared emotional systems across species.

  18. Prokineticins in central and peripheral control of human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Traboulsi, Wael; Brouillet, Sophie; Sergent, Frederic; Boufettal, Houssine; Samouh, Naima; Aboussaouira, Touria; Hoffmann, Pascale; Feige, Jean Jacques; Benharouga, Mohamed; Alfaidy, Nadia

    2015-11-01

    Prokineticin 1 (PROK1) and (PROK2), are two closely related proteins that were identified as the mammalian homologs of their two amphibian homologs, mamba intestinal toxin (MIT-1) and Bv8. PROKs activate two G-protein linked receptors (prokineticin receptor 1 and 2, PROKR1 and PROKR2). Both PROK1 and PROK2 have been found to regulate a stunning array of biological functions. In particular, PROKs stimulate gastrointestinal motility, thus accounting for their family name "prokineticins". PROK1 acts as a potent angiogenic mitogen, thus earning its other name, endocrine gland-derived vascular endothelial factor. In contrast, PROK2 signaling pathway has been shown to be a critical regulator of olfactory bulb morphogenesis and sexual maturation. During the last decade, strong evidences established the key roles of prokineticins in the control of human central and peripheral reproductive processes. PROKs act as main regulators of the physiological functions of the ovary, uterus, placenta, and testis, with marked dysfunctions in various pathological conditions such as recurrent pregnancy loss, and preeclampsia. PROKs have also been associated to the tumor development of some of these organs. In the central system, prokineticins control the migration of GnRH neurons, a key process that controls reproductive functions. Importantly, mutations in PROK2 and PROKR2 are associated to the development of Kallmann syndrome, with direct consequences on the reproductive system. This review describes the finely tuned actions of prokineticins in the control of the central and peripheral reproductive processes. Also, it discusses future research directions for the use of these cytokines as diagnostic markers for several reproductive diseases.

  19. Affect in Human-Robot Interaction

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-01-01

    even without deliberately modeling them: for example, if a robot backs away from a staircase it might be interpreted as a fear of falling by a person...chosen to deliberately embed explicit models of affect into robots, with the express purpose of enhancing the relationship between the human and robot...many psychological models of human affect have been explored. Two examples that have had commercial success are described

  20. Chromothripsis: how does such a catastrophic event impact human reproduction?

    PubMed

    Pellestor, Franck

    2014-03-01

    The recent discovery of a new kind of massive chromosomal rearrangement, baptized chromothripsis (chromo for chromosomes, thripsis for shattering into pieces), greatly modifies our understanding of molecular mechanisms implicated in the repair of DNA damage and the genesis of complex chromosomal rearrangements. Initially described in cancers, and then in constitutional rearrangements, chromothripsis is characterized by the shattering of one (or a few) chromosome(s) segments followed by a chaotic reassembly of the chromosomal fragments, occurring during one unique cellular event. The diversity and the high complexity of chromothripsis events raise questions about their origin, their ties to chromosome instability and their impact in pathology. Several causative mechanisms, involving abortive apoptosis, telomere erosion, mitotic errors, micronuclei formation and p53 inactivation, have been proposed. The remarkable point is that all these mechanisms have been identified in the field of human reproduction as causal factors for reproductive failures and chromosomal abnormalities. Consequently, it seems important to consider this unexpected catastrophic phenomenon in the context of fertilization and early embryonic development in order to discuss its potential impact on human reproduction.

  1. Reproductive ectogenesis: the third era of human reproduction and some moral consequences.

    PubMed

    Welin, Stellan

    2004-10-01

    In a well known story Derek Parfit describes a disconnection between two entities that normally (in real life) travel together through space and time, namely your personal identity consisting of both mind and body. Realising the possibility of separation, even if it might never happen in real life, new questions arise that cast doubt on old solutions. In human reproduction, in real life, at present the fetus spends approximately nine months inside the pregnant woman. But, we might envisage other possibilities. Historically, the first era is the normal conception inside the woman, the growth of the fetus in the womb and then, after nine months, birth and the appearance of a new individual. The second era is In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). The fetus starts outside the woman as a fertilised egg, moves to the body of the woman and spends nine month there, where the body of the woman and the fetus travel together in space-time to separate at birth. In the third era of reproductive ectogenesis, the two never travel together. The fetus spends its gestational time entirely outside the woman's body. We have two entities separated in space-time the whole time. The intimate connection consisting in the fetus being a part of the woman's body is gone. In this paper I will briefly comment on the three eras of human reproduction--and primarily on the relationship between the new individual and the woman--and then spend some time with a fictional story illustrating some moral consequences of the third era. The story is from Pig Pharmaceuticals Limited and how they in the year 2050 report the successful development of pig-related pregnancies with transgenic pigs as surrogate mothers.

  2. Telocytes in female reproductive system (human and animal).

    PubMed

    Aleksandrovych, Veronika; Walocha, Jerzy A; Gil, Krzysztof

    2016-06-01

    Telocytes (TCs) are a newly discovered type of cell with numerous functions. They have been found in a large variety of organs: heart (endo-, myo-, epi- and pericardium, myocardial sleeves, heart valves); digestive tract and annex glands (oesophagus, stomach, duodenum, jejunum, liver, gallbladder, salivary gland, exocrine pancreas); respiratory system (trachea and lungs); urinary system (kidney, renal pelvis, ureters, bladder, urethra); female reproductive system (uterus, Fallopian tube, placenta, mammary gland); vasculature (blood vessels, thoracic duct); serous membranes (mesentery and pleura); and other organs (skeletal muscle, meninges and choroid plexus, neuromuscular spindles, fascia lata, skin, eye, prostate, bone marrow). Likewise, TCs are widely distributed in vertebrates (fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, including human). This review summarizes particular features of TCs in the female reproductive system, emphasizing their involvement in physiological and pathophysiological processes.

  3. Chlamydia trachomatis and Genital Mycoplasmas: Pathogens with an Impact on Human Reproductive Health

    PubMed Central

    Ljubin-Sternak, Sunčanica; Meštrović, Tomislav

    2014-01-01

    The most prevalent, curable sexually important diseases are those caused by Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis) and genital mycoplasmas. An important characteristic of these infections is their ability to cause long-term sequels in upper genital tract, thus potentially affecting the reproductive health in both sexes. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), tubal factor infertility (TFI), and ectopic pregnancy (EP) are well documented complications of C. trachomatis infection in women. The role of genital mycoplasmas in development of PID, TFI, and EP requires further evaluation, but growing evidence supports a significant role for these in the pathogenesis of chorioamnionitis, premature membrane rupture, and preterm labor in pregnant woman. Both C. trachomatis and genital mycoplasmas can affect the quality of sperm and possibly influence the fertility of men. For the purpose of this paper, basic, epidemiologic, clinical, therapeutic, and public health issue of these infections were reviewed and discussed, focusing on their impact on human reproductive health. PMID:25614838

  4. Human Leukocyte Antigen-G Within the Male Reproductive System: Implications for Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Hviid, Thomas Vauvert F

    2015-01-01

    In sexual reproduction in humans, a man has a clear interest in ensuring that the immune system of his female partner accepts the semi-allogenic fetus. Increasing attention has been given to soluble immunomodulatory molecules in the seminal fluid as one mechanism of ensuring this, possibly by "priming" the woman's immune system before conception and at conception. Recent studies have demonstrated the presence of the immunoregulatory and tolerance-inducible human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-G in the male reproductive organs. The expression of HLA-G in the blastocyst and by extravillous trophoblast cells in the placenta during pregnancy has been well described. Highly variable amounts of soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) in seminal plasma from different men have been reported, and the concentration of sHLA-G is associated with HLA-G genotype. A first pilot study indicates that the level of sHLA-G in seminal plasma may even be associated with the chance of pregnancy in couples, where the male partner has reduced semen quality. More studies are needed to verify these preliminary findings.

  5. 75 FR 51815 - National Toxicology Program (NTP); Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-23

    ... (NTP); Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR); Evaluation of the Health... reproduction and/or development and provide opinion on whether these substances are hazardous for...

  6. Inflammatory bowel diseases and human reproduction: A comprehensive evidence-based review

    PubMed Central

    Palomba, Stefano; Sereni, Giuliana; Falbo, Angela; Beltrami, Marina; Lombardini, Silvia; Boni, Maria Chiara; Fornaciari, Giovanni; Sassatelli, Romano; La Sala, Giovanni Battista

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate the effects of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) on human reproduction, we reviewed the current literature using a systematic search for published studies (articles and/or abstracts) without limits for English language. We searched on Medline (through PubMed), the Institute for Scientific Information, the Web of Science and the websites for the registration of controlled trials (http://controlled-trials.com/). Bibliographies of retrieved articles, books, expert opinion review articles and reviewed bibliographies from subject experts were manually searched. Titles and abstracts were screened initially, and potential relevant articles were identified and reviewed. Whenever possible, data were analyzed by comparing IBD patients vs healthy controls, and patients with active IBDs vs those with disease in remission. The effects of IBDs on female fertility, fertility in infertile couples, pregnancy and male infertility were examined separately. Patients with IBDs in remission have normal fertility. At the moment, there is no established guideline for the preservation of fertility in women with IBD undergoing surgery. Further data are needed regarding guidelines for the management of these patients. Data regarding IBDs and infertility are currently completely lacking. Considering the prevalence of intestinal pathology in young adults of childbearing age, this field is of great scientific and clinical interest, opening up important future perspectives. Another important and as yet unexplored point is the response to treatments for infertility in patients with IBDs. In particular, the question is whether the reproductive outcomes (clinical and biological) can be influenced by the IBD of one of the partners. The goals for successful reproductive outcomes in IBD population are correct counseling and disease remission. IBDs significantly affect several reproductive aspects of human (female, male, couple) reproduction. Further data are needed to develop guidelines

  7. Group competition, reproductive leveling, and the evolution of human altruism.

    PubMed

    Bowles, Samuel

    2006-12-08

    Humans behave altruistically in natural settings and experiments. A possible explanation-that groups with more altruists survive when groups compete-has long been judged untenable on empirical grounds for most species. But there have been no empirical tests of this explanation for humans. My empirical estimates show that genetic differences between early human groups are likely to have been great enough so that lethal intergroup competition could account for the evolution of altruism. Crucial to this process were distinctive human practices such as sharing food beyond the immediate family, monogamy, and other forms of reproductive leveling. These culturally transmitted practices presuppose advanced cognitive and linguistic capacities, possibly accounting for the distinctive forms of altruism found in our species.

  8. The special programme of research in human reproduction: forty years of activities to achieve reproductive health for all.

    PubMed

    Benagiano, Giuseppe; d'Arcangues, Catherine; Harris Requejo, Jennifer; Schafer, Alessandra; Say, Lale; Merialdi, Mario

    2012-01-01

    The Special Programme of Research in Human Reproduction (HRP), co-sponsored by the UNDP, UNFPA, WHO, and the World Bank, is celebrating 40 years of activities with an expansion of its mandate and new co-sponsors. When it began, in 1972, the main focus was on evaluating the acceptability, effectiveness, and safety of existing fertility-regulating methods, as well as developing new, improved modalities for family planning. In 1994, HRP not only made major contributions to the Plan of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD); it also broadened its scope of work to include other aspects of health dealing with sexuality and reproduction, adding a specific perspective on gender issues and human rights. In 2002, HRP's mandate was once again broadened to include sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS and in 2003 it was further expanded to research activities on preventing violence against women and its many dire health consequences. Today, the work of the Programme includes research on: the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents, women, and men; maternal and perinatal health; reproductive tract and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV/AIDS); family planning; infertility; unsafe abortion; sexual health; screening for cancer of the cervix in developing countries, and gender and reproductive rights. Additional activities by the Programme have included: fostering international cooperation in the field of human reproduction; the elaboration of WHO's first Global Reproductive Health Strategy; work leading to the inclusion of ICPD's goal 'reproductive health for all by 2015' into the Millennium Development Goal framework; the promotion of critical interagency statements on the public health, legal, and human rights implications of female genital mutilation and gender-biased sex selection. Finally, HRP has been involved in the creation of guidelines and tools, such as the 'Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use

  9. Male seminal fluid substances affect sperm competition success and female reproductive behavior in a seed beetle.

    PubMed

    Yamane, Takashi; Goenaga, Julieta; Rönn, Johanna Liljestrand; Arnqvist, Göran

    2015-01-01

    Male seminal fluid proteins are known to affect female reproductive behavior and physiology by reducing mating receptivity and by increasing egg production rates. Such substances are also though to increase the competitive fertilization success of males, but the empirical foundation for this tenet is restricted. Here, we examined the effects of injections of size-fractioned protein extracts from male reproductive organs on both male competitive fertilization success (i.e., P2 in double mating experiments) and female reproduction in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We found that extracts of male seminal vesicles and ejaculatory ducts increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 1 day after the females' initial mating, while extracts from accessory glands and testes increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 2 days after the females' initial mating. Moreover, different size fractions of seminal fluid proteins had distinct and partly antagonistic effects on male competitive fertilization success. Collectively, our experiments show that several different seminal fluid proteins, deriving from different parts in the male reproductive tract and of different molecular weight, affect male competitive fertilization success in C. maculatus. Our results highlight the diverse effects of seminal fluid proteins and show that the function of such proteins can be contingent upon female mating status. We also document effects of different size fractions on female mating receptivity and egg laying rates, which can serve as a basis for future efforts to identify the molecular identity of seminal fluid proteins and their function in this model species.

  10. Male Seminal Fluid Substances Affect Sperm Competition Success and Female Reproductive Behavior in a Seed Beetle

    PubMed Central

    Yamane, Takashi; Goenaga, Julieta; Rönn, Johanna Liljestrand; Arnqvist, Göran

    2015-01-01

    Male seminal fluid proteins are known to affect female reproductive behavior and physiology by reducing mating receptivity and by increasing egg production rates. Such substances are also though to increase the competitive fertilization success of males, but the empirical foundation for this tenet is restricted. Here, we examined the effects of injections of size-fractioned protein extracts from male reproductive organs on both male competitive fertilization success (i.e., P2 in double mating experiments) and female reproduction in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We found that extracts of male seminal vesicles and ejaculatory ducts increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 1 day after the females’ initial mating, while extracts from accessory glands and testes increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 2 days after the females’ initial mating. Moreover, different size fractions of seminal fluid proteins had distinct and partly antagonistic effects on male competitive fertilization success. Collectively, our experiments show that several different seminal fluid proteins, deriving from different parts in the male reproductive tract and of different molecular weight, affect male competitive fertilization success in C. maculatus. Our results highlight the diverse effects of seminal fluid proteins and show that the function of such proteins can be contingent upon female mating status. We also document effects of different size fractions on female mating receptivity and egg laying rates, which can serve as a basis for future efforts to identify the molecular identity of seminal fluid proteins and their function in this model species. PMID:25893888

  11. Is there a role for vitamin D in human reproduction?

    PubMed

    Nandi, Anindita; Sinha, Nandita; Ong, Erwyn; Sonmez, Halis; Poretsky, Leonid

    2016-01-01

    Vitamin D is a steroid hormone with canonical roles in calcium metabolism and bone modeling. However, in recent years there has been a growing body of literature presenting associations between vitamin D levels and a variety of disease processes, including metabolic disorders such as diabetes and prediabetes and autoimmune conditions such as thyroid disease. This review focuses on the potential role of vitamin D in both male and female reproductive function. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is expressed throughout central and peripheral organs of reproduction. VDR is often co-localized with its metabolizing enzymes, suggesting the importance of tissue specific modulation of active vitamin D levels. Both animal and human studies in males links vitamin D deficiency with hypogonadism and decreased fertility. In females, there is evidence for its role in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, leiomyomas, in-vitro fertilization, and pregnancy outcomes. Studies evaluating the effects of replacing vitamin D have shown variable results. There remains some concern that the effects of vitamin D on reproduction are not direct, but rather secondary to the accompanying hypocalcemia or estrogen dysregulation.

  12. How do humans affect wildlife nematodes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weinstein, Sara B.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2015-01-01

    Human actions can affect wildlife and their nematode parasites. Species introductions and human-facilitated range expansions can create new host–parasite interactions. Novel hosts can introduce parasites and have the potential to both amplify and dilute nematode transmission. Furthermore, humans can alter existing nematode dynamics by changing host densities and the abiotic conditions that affect larval parasite survival. Human impacts on wildlife might impair parasites by reducing the abundance of their hosts; however, domestic animal production and complex life cycles can maintain transmission even when wildlife becomes rare. Although wildlife nematodes have many possible responses to human actions, understanding host and parasite natural history, and the mechanisms behind the changing disease dynamics might improve disease control in the few cases where nematode parasitism impacts wildlife.

  13. How do humans affect wildlife nematodes?

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Sara B; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2015-05-01

    Human actions can affect wildlife and their nematode parasites. Species introductions and human-facilitated range expansions can create new host-parasite interactions. Novel hosts can introduce parasites and have the potential to both amplify and dilute nematode transmission. Furthermore, humans can alter existing nematode dynamics by changing host densities and the abiotic conditions that affect larval parasite survival. Human impacts on wildlife might impair parasites by reducing the abundance of their hosts; however, domestic animal production and complex life cycles can maintain transmission even when wildlife becomes rare. Although wildlife nematodes have many possible responses to human actions, understanding host and parasite natural history, and the mechanisms behind the changing disease dynamics might improve disease control in the few cases where nematode parasitism impacts wildlife.

  14. Food availability during migratory stopover affects testis growth and reproductive behaviour in a migratory passerine.

    PubMed

    Bauchinger, Ulf; Van't Hof, Thomas; Biebach, Herbert

    2009-03-01

    Long-distance migratory passerines initiate testicular recrudescence during spring migration to meet the demands of timely reproduction upon immediate arrival on the breeding grounds. The degree of testicular development is known to depend on environmental factors like stopover habitat quality; reproductive performance may be strongly impacted by testicular maturation upon arrival on the breeding grounds. We investigated the effect of stopover food availability on subsequent reproductive performance in garden warblers (Sylvia borin). Spring migration was simulated by repeated food deprivation and re-feeding to imitate the alternation of flight and stopover periods. During the two final stopover periods, males were either kept under ad libitum food (ad libitum males) or under limited food conditions (limited males). After simulated arrival in the breeding area, manipulation of previous stopover food availability resulted in significantly slower testicular recrudescence (p<0.001) and decreased plasma testosterone (p<0.01) in limited males compared to ad libitum males. Body mass change was not significantly different between the two groups (p=0.38). Limited males also exhibited reduced performance in reproductive behaviours employed in territorial and sexual contexts. Limited males had a longer 'freezing' interval (p<0.05) and decreased activity (p<0.01) when challenged with a live male decoy. In direct confrontation between limited and ad libitum males in the presence of a female, limited males exhibited significantly fewer behavioural traits in sexual context, i.e. directed to the female (p<0.001). Therefore, we suggest that conditions encountered during previous migratory stopover may affect subsequent annual reproductive success by influencing key reproductive behaviours.

  15. Human rights advances in women's reproductive health in Africa.

    PubMed

    Ngwena, Charles G; Brookman-Amissah, Eunice; Skuster, Patty

    2015-05-01

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights recently adopted General Comment No 2 to interpret provisions of Article 14 of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights Women. The provisions relate to women's rights to fertility control, contraception, family planning, information and education, and abortion. The present article highlights the General Comment's potential to promote women's sexual and reproductive rights in multiple ways. The General Comment's human rights value goes beyond providing states with guidance for framing their domestic laws, practices, and policies to comply with treaty obligations. General Comment No 2 is invaluable in educating all stakeholders-including healthcare providers, lawyers, policymakers, and judicial officers at the domestic level-about pertinent jurisprudence. Civil society and human rights advocates can use the General Comment to render the state accountable for failure to implement its treaty obligations.

  16. Impact of mutations in kisspeptin and neurokinin B signaling pathways on human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Silveira, Leticia Gontijo; Tusset, Cintia; Latronico, Ana Claudia

    2010-12-10

    The involvement of kisspeptin and neurokinin in B pathways in the reproductive axis was first suspected by linkage analysis in consanguineous families with isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH). Since then, several loss-of-function mutations affecting the kisspeptin receptor and neurokinin B and its receptor were associated with sporadic and familial IHH without olfactory abnormalities or other associated developmental alterations. Clinical manifestations were indistinguishable in individuals with mutations affecting these pathways. Micropenis and cryptorchidism were common findings among male patients. Response to acute GnRH stimulation varied from blunted to normal, and many affected males and females were successfully treated for infertility with either exogenous gonadotropins or long term pulsatile GnRH infusion. More recently, rare activating mutations of the kisspeptin and its receptor were identified in children with idiopathic central precocious puberty, supporting the crucial role of this system in the human pubertal onset. Kisspeptin is a potent excitatory regulator of the GnRH secretion, whereas the role of neurokinin B in the neuroendocrine control of the reproductive axis is still poorly understood. Interestingly, kisspeptin and neurokinin B are coexpressed in the arcuate nucleus in the mammalian hypothalamus, suggesting that these systems are closely related and potential partners of the regulation of the reproductive axis.

  17. Human therapeutic cloning (NTSC): applying research from mammalian reproductive cloning.

    PubMed

    French, Andrew J; Wood, Samuel H; Trounson, Alan O

    2006-01-01

    Human therapeutic cloning or nuclear transfer stem cells (NTSC) to produce patient-specific stem cells, holds considerable promise in the field of regenerative medicine. The recent withdrawal of the only scientific publications claiming the successful generation of NTSC lines afford an opportunity to review the available research in mammalian reproductive somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) with the goal of progressing human NTSC. The process of SCNT is prone to epigenetic abnormalities that contribute to very low success rates. Although there are high mortality rates in some species of cloned animals, most surviving clones have been shown to have normal phenotypic and physiological characteristics and to produce healthy offspring. This technology has been applied to an increasing number of mammals for utility in research, agriculture, conservation, and biomedicine. In contrast, attempts at SCNT to produce human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have been disappointing. Only one group has published reliable evidence of success in deriving a cloned human blastocyst, using an undifferentiated hESC donor cell, and it failed to develop into a hESC line. When optimal conditions are present, it appears that in vitro development of cloned and parthenogenetic embryos, both of which may be utilized to produce hESCs, may be similar to in vitro fertilized embryos. The derivation of ESC lines from cloned embryos is substantially more efficient than the production of viable offspring. This review summarizes developments in mammalian reproductive cloning, cell-to-cell fusion alternatives, and strategies for oocyte procurement that may provide important clues facilitating progress in human therapeutic cloning leading to the successful application of cell-based therapies utilizing autologous hESC lines.

  18. Reproductive health policy affecting low-income women: historical precedents and current need for social work action.

    PubMed

    Averitt Taylor, Jessica

    2014-01-01

    This article provides an overview of the historical arguments surrounding reproductive health policy and current policy initiatives. Because reproductive policy itself is a vast subject matter with sometimes blurry boundaries, the struggle concerning the advent of birth control is used to illustrate the historic complexities of policy affecting such a wide array of individuals. The battle over introduction of the birth control pill is pertinent because the very same arguments are used today in debates over reproductive health policy.

  19. 75 FR 76995 - National Toxicology Program (NTP); Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-10

    ... Reproduction (CERHR); NTP Workshop: Role of Environmental Chemicals in the Development of Diabetes and Obesity... established the NTP Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) in 1998 (63 FR 68782) to... (collectively referred to as ``substances'') cause adverse effects on reproduction and development and...

  20. Caterpillar biomass depends on temperature and precipitation, but does not affect bird reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schöll, Eva Maria; Ohm, Judith; Hoffmann, Konstantin Frank; Hille, Sabine Marlene

    2016-07-01

    Complex changes in phenological events appear as temperatures are increasing: In deciduous forests bud burst, hatching of herbivorous caterpillars, egg laying and nestling time of birds when feeding chicks on caterpillars, may differentially shift into early season and alter synchronization. If timing of bird reproduction has to match with short periods of food availability, phenological mismatch could negatively affect reproductive success. Using a unique empirical approach along an altitudinal temperature gradient, we firstly asked whether besides temperature, also precipitation and leaf phenology interplay and affect caterpillar biomass, since impacts of rainfall on caterpillars have been largely neglected so far. Secondly, we asked whether abundance of caterpillars and thereby body mass of great tit nestlings, which are mainly fed with caterpillars, vary along the altitudinal temperature gradient. We demonstrated that next to temperature also precipitation and leaf phenology affected caterpillar biomass. In our beech forest, even along altitudes, caterpillars were available throughout the great tit breeding season but in highly variable amounts. Our findings revealed that although timing of leaf phenology and great tit breeding season were delayed with decreasing temperature, caterpillars occurred synchronously and were not delayed according to altitude. However, altitude negatively affected caterpillar biomass, but body mass of fledglings at high altitude sites was not affected by lower amounts of caterpillar biomass. This might be partially outweighed by larger territory sizes in great tits.

  1. Cryopreservation of embryos and oocytes in human assisted reproduction.

    PubMed

    Konc, János; Kanyó, Katalin; Kriston, Rita; Somoskői, Bence; Cseh, Sándor

    2014-01-01

    Both sperm and embryo cryopreservation have become routine procedures in human assisted reproduction and oocyte cryopreservation is being introduced into clinical practice and is getting more and more widely used. Embryo cryopreservation has decreased the number of fresh embryo transfers and maximized the effectiveness of the IVF cycle. The data shows that women who had transfers of fresh and frozen embryos obtained 8% additional births by using their cryopreserved embryos. Oocyte cryopreservation offers more advantages compared to embryo freezing, such as fertility preservation in women at risk of losing fertility due to oncological treatment or chronic disease, egg donation, and postponing childbirth, and eliminates religious and/or other ethical, legal, and moral concerns of embryo freezing. In this review, the basic principles, methodology, and practical experiences as well as safety and other aspects concerning slow cooling and ultrarapid cooling (vitrification) of human embryos and oocytes are summarized.

  2. SEX DIFFERENCES AND REPRODUCTIVE HORMONE INFLUENCES ON HUMAN ODOR PERCEPTION

    PubMed Central

    Doty, Richard L.; Cameron, E. Leslie

    2009-01-01

    The question of whether men and women differ in their ability to smell has been the topic of scientific investigation for over a hundred years. Although conflicting findings abound, most studies suggest that, for at least some odorants, women outperform men on tests of odor detection, identification, discrimination, and memory. Most functional imaging and electrophysiological studies similarly imply that, when sex differences are present, they favor women. In this review we examine what is known about sex-related alterations in human smell function, including influences of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, gonadectomy, and hormone replacement therapy on a range of olfactory measures. We conclude that the relationship between reproductive hormones and human olfactory function is complex and that simple associations between circulating levels of gonadal hormones and measures of olfactory function are rarely present. PMID:19272398

  3. Conspecific reproductive success affects age of recruitment in a great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis, colony.

    PubMed

    Frederiksen, M; Bregnballe, T

    2001-07-22

    Few studies have addressed the proximate factors affecting the age at which individuals of long-lived bird species are recruited into the breeding population. We use capture-recapture analysis of resightings of 16 birth cohorts of colour-ringed great cormorants, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis, in a Danish colony to assess the evidence for two hypotheses: conspecific attraction (earlier recruitment when the colony is large) and conspecific reproductive success (earlier recruitment following years of high breeding success). For both males and females, conspecific reproductive success was the most important covariate explaining the interannual variation in age of recruitment; colony size was also important for females. These covariates explained nearly 60% of the year-to-year variation for both sexes. The age of recruitment increased for cohorts born after 1990, and this increase was correlated with a decline in breeding success in the colony; we interpret this as an indirect and delayed density-dependent effect. Females were recruited earlier than males (mean age of recruitment for cohorts born before 1990: 2.98 years versus 3.53 years); the most plausible reason for this is a skewed sex ratio in favour of males in the adult population. Recruitment of males may thus, to some extent, be constrained by the availability of females. This study provides the first evidence that conspecific reproductive success can affect the age at which individual birds start to breed.

  4. Biomedical research with human embryos: changes in the legislation on assisted reproduction in Spain.

    PubMed

    Vidal Martínez, Jaime

    2006-01-01

    This study deals with issues of research with human embryos obtained through in vitro fertilization in the context of the Spanish Law. The paper focuses on Act 14/2006 on techniques of human assisted reproduction, which replaces the previous Act from 1988. The author claims that the main goals of Act 14/2006 are, on the one hand, to eliminate the restrictions affecting research with human embryos put in place by Act 45/2003 and, on the other, to pave the way for a future legislation on biomedical research. This paper argues for the need of an effective and adequate juridical protection of human embryos obtained in vitro according to responsibility and precautionary principles.

  5. Evaluation of reproductive health indicators in women affected by East Azarbaijan earthquake on August 2012

    PubMed Central

    Bahmanjanbeh, Farideh; Kohan, Shahnaz; Yarmohammadian, Mohammad Hossein; Haghshenas, Abbas

    2016-01-01

    Background: Ignoring reproductive health services during natural disasters leads to some negative consequences such as reduced access to contraceptive methods, sexual disorders, and pregnancy complications. Despite previous researches, there is still more need for research on this area of health. This study attempts to identify the indicators of reproductive health in the women affected by the East Azarbaijan earthquake on August 2012. Materials and Methods: In this descriptive study, reproductive health information pertaining to the years before, during, and after the earthquake were collected and compared in the health centers of the three affected cities including Ahar, Heriss, and Varzaghan as well as the health and forensics centers of the East Azarbaijan province in Iran by census method. Results: Findings indicated a decrease in live birth rate, general marriage fertility rate, stillbirth rate, contraceptive methods coverage, and prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases during and after the earthquake. Moreover, important indicators such as neonatal mortality rate and percentage of infants screened for breast milk, decreased during the disaster year in comparison with the years before and after. Other indicators such as preconception care, pregnancy first visit, rate of caesarian delivery, and under 1-year formula milk-fed infants’ percentages increased during the year of disaster in comparison with the years before and after. Conclusions: During the earthquake, some indicators of reproductive health have been reported to decrease whereas some others have gone through negative changes. Despite the partly favorable status of services, decision-makers and health service providers should pay more attention to the needs of women during disasters. PMID:27904635

  6. You Are What You Eat: Food Limitation Affects Reproductive Fitness in a Sexually Cannibalistic Praying Mantid

    PubMed Central

    Barry, Katherine L.

    2013-01-01

    Resource limitation during the juvenile stages frequently results in developmental delays and reduced size at maturity, and dietary restriction during adulthood can affect longevity and reproductive output. Variation in food intake can also result in alteration to the normal pattern of resource allocation among body parts or life-history stages. My primary aim in this study was to determine how varying juvenile and/or adult feeding regimes affect particular female and male traits in the sexually cannibalistic praying mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata. Praying mantids are sit-and-wait predators whose resource intake can vary dramatically depending on environmental conditions within and across seasons, making them useful for studying the effects of feeding regime on various facets of reproductive fitness. In this study, there was a significant trend/difference in development and morphology for males and females as a result of juvenile feeding treatment, however, its effect on the fitness components measured for males was much greater than on those measured for females. Food-limited males were less likely to find a female during field enclosure experiments and smaller males were slower at finding a female in field-based experiments, providing some of the first empirical evidence of a large male size advantage for scrambling males. Only adult food limitation affected female fecundity, and the ability of a female to chemically attract males was also most notably affected by adult feeding regime (although juvenile food limitation did play a role). Furthermore, the significant difference/trend in all male traits and the lack of difference in male trait ratios between treatments suggests a proportional distribution of resources and, therefore, no trait conservation by food-limited males. This study provides evidence that males and females are under different selective pressures with respect to resource acquisition and is also one of very few to show an effect of juvenile

  7. You are what you eat: food limitation affects reproductive fitness in a sexually cannibalistic praying mantid.

    PubMed

    Barry, Katherine L

    2013-01-01

    Resource limitation during the juvenile stages frequently results in developmental delays and reduced size at maturity, and dietary restriction during adulthood can affect longevity and reproductive output. Variation in food intake can also result in alteration to the normal pattern of resource allocation among body parts or life-history stages. My primary aim in this study was to determine how varying juvenile and/or adult feeding regimes affect particular female and male traits in the sexually cannibalistic praying mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata. Praying mantids are sit-and-wait predators whose resource intake can vary dramatically depending on environmental conditions within and across seasons, making them useful for studying the effects of feeding regime on various facets of reproductive fitness. In this study, there was a significant trend/difference in development and morphology for males and females as a result of juvenile feeding treatment, however, its effect on the fitness components measured for males was much greater than on those measured for females. Food-limited males were less likely to find a female during field enclosure experiments and smaller males were slower at finding a female in field-based experiments, providing some of the first empirical evidence of a large male size advantage for scrambling males. Only adult food limitation affected female fecundity, and the ability of a female to chemically attract males was also most notably affected by adult feeding regime (although juvenile food limitation did play a role). Furthermore, the significant difference/trend in all male traits and the lack of difference in male trait ratios between treatments suggests a proportional distribution of resources and, therefore, no trait conservation by food-limited males. This study provides evidence that males and females are under different selective pressures with respect to resource acquisition and is also one of very few to show an effect of juvenile

  8. An ancient founder mutation in PROKR2 impairs human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Avbelj Stefanija, Magdalena; Jeanpierre, Marc; Sykiotis, Gerasimos P; Young, Jacques; Quinton, Richard; Abreu, Ana Paula; Plummer, Lacey; Au, Margaret G; Balasubramanian, Ravikumar; Dwyer, Andrew A; Florez, Jose C; Cheetham, Timothy; Pearce, Simon H; Purushothaman, Radhika; Schinzel, Albert; Pugeat, Michel; Jacobson-Dickman, Elka E; Ten, Svetlana; Latronico, Ana Claudia; Gusella, James F; Dode, Catherine; Crowley, William F; Pitteloud, Nelly

    2012-10-01

    Congenital gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) deficiency manifests as absent or incomplete sexual maturation and infertility. Although the disease exhibits marked locus and allelic heterogeneity, with the causal mutations being both rare and private, one causal mutation in the prokineticin receptor, PROKR2 L173R, appears unusually prevalent among GnRH-deficient patients of diverse geographic and ethnic origins. To track the genetic ancestry of PROKR2 L173R, haplotype mapping was performed in 22 unrelated patients with GnRH deficiency carrying L173R and their 30 first-degree relatives. The mutation's age was estimated using a haplotype-decay model. Thirteen subjects were informative and in all of them the mutation was present on the same ~123 kb haplotype whose population frequency is ≤10%. Thus, PROKR2 L173R represents a founder mutation whose age is estimated at approximately 9000 years. Inheritance of PROKR2 L173R-associated GnRH deficiency was complex with highly variable penetrance among carriers, influenced by additional mutations in the other PROKR2 allele (recessive inheritance) or another gene (digenicity). The paradoxical identification of an ancient founder mutation that impairs reproduction has intriguing implications for the inheritance mechanisms of PROKR2 L173R-associated GnRH deficiency and for the relevant processes of evolutionary selection, including potential selective advantages of mutation carriers in genes affecting reproduction.

  9. Genetic selection for temperament affects behaviour and the secretion of adrenal and reproductive hormones in sheep subjected to stress.

    PubMed

    Hawken, P A R; Luckins, N; Tilbrook, A; Fiol, C; Martin, G B; Blache, D

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the effect of genetic selection for temperament on the way that stressors affect the behaviour and the adrenal and reproductive axes of sheep. We tested three hypotheses: (i) isolation would increase cortisol secretion and decrease luteinising hormone (LH) secretion more in nervous sheep than in calm sheep; (ii) isolation combined with simulated human presence would increase cortisol secretion and decrease LH secretion more in nervous sheep than in calm sheep and (iii) isolation combined with stressors that were not specific to the selection process (i.e. non-selection stressors) would increase cortisol secretion and decrease LH secretion equally in calm and nervous sheep. Isolation alone increased cortisol secretion and decreased LH secretion in nervous sheep but not in calm sheep. Compared to calm sheep, nervous sheep were more agitated during the first 2 h of isolation but not during the second 2 h of isolation. Exposure to non-selection stressors increased cortisol secretion, decreased LH pulse amplitude and the mean plasma concentrations of LH in both calm and nervous sheep. We conclude that genetic selection for temperament affects the behavioural expression of the stress response and the secretion of adrenal and reproductive hormones during isolation, but has less impact on their reactivity to non-selection stressors.

  10. Humans process dog and human facial affect in similar ways.

    PubMed

    Schirmer, Annett; Seow, Cui Shan; Penney, Trevor B

    2013-01-01

    Humans share aspects of their facial affect with other species such as dogs. Here we asked whether untrained human observers with and without dog experience are sensitive to these aspects and recognize dog affect with better-than-chance accuracy. Additionally, we explored similarities in the way observers process dog and human expressions. The stimulus material comprised naturalistic facial expressions of pet dogs and human infants obtained through positive (i.e., play) and negative (i.e., social isolation) provocation. Affect recognition was assessed explicitly in a rating task using full face images and images cropped to reveal the eye region only. Additionally, affect recognition was assessed implicitly in a lexical decision task using full faces as primes and emotional words and pseudowords as targets. We found that untrained human observers rated full face dog expressions from the positive and negative condition more accurately than would be expected by chance. Although dog experience was unnecessary for this effect, it significantly facilitated performance. Additionally, we observed a range of similarities between human and dog face processing. First, the facial expressions of both species facilitated lexical decisions to affectively congruous target words suggesting that their processing was equally automatic. Second, both dog and human negative expressions were recognized from both full and cropped faces. Third, female observers were more sensitive to affective information than were male observers and this difference was comparable for dog and human expressions. Together, these results extend existing work on cross-species similarities in facial emotions and provide evidence that these similarities are naturally exploited when humans interact with dogs.

  11. Humans Process Dog and Human Facial Affect in Similar Ways

    PubMed Central

    Schirmer, Annett; Seow, Cui Shan; Penney, Trevor B.

    2013-01-01

    Humans share aspects of their facial affect with other species such as dogs. Here we asked whether untrained human observers with and without dog experience are sensitive to these aspects and recognize dog affect with better-than-chance accuracy. Additionally, we explored similarities in the way observers process dog and human expressions. The stimulus material comprised naturalistic facial expressions of pet dogs and human infants obtained through positive (i.e., play) and negative (i.e., social isolation) provocation. Affect recognition was assessed explicitly in a rating task using full face images and images cropped to reveal the eye region only. Additionally, affect recognition was assessed implicitly in a lexical decision task using full faces as primes and emotional words and pseudowords as targets. We found that untrained human observers rated full face dog expressions from the positive and negative condition more accurately than would be expected by chance. Although dog experience was unnecessary for this effect, it significantly facilitated performance. Additionally, we observed a range of similarities between human and dog face processing. First, the facial expressions of both species facilitated lexical decisions to affectively congruous target words suggesting that their processing was equally automatic. Second, both dog and human negative expressions were recognized from both full and cropped faces. Third, female observers were more sensitive to affective information than were male observers and this difference was comparable for dog and human expressions. Together, these results extend existing work on cross-species similarities in facial emotions and provide evidence that these similarities are naturally exploited when humans interact with dogs. PMID:24023954

  12. Reproduction of Pseudocalanus newmani (Copepoda: Calanoida) is deleteriously affected by diatom blooms A field study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halsband-Lenk, Claudia; Pierson, James J.; Leising, Andrew W.

    2005-11-01

    Copepod secondary production has traditionally been linked to the spring diatom bloom in temperate and high latitudes, but laboratory studies have recently challenged this view and have shown either reduced fecundity or viability of offspring when copepods were fed high concentrations of - mostly unialgal - diatoms. However, field evidence that diatoms affect copepod reproduction is still scarce. We analyzed the reproductive response of a common, small calanoid copepod of the boreal Pacific, Pseudocalanus newmani, to spring diatom blooms in Dabob Bay, a semi-enclosed fjord of Puget Sound, Washington, USA. Abundance patterns, egg production rates, egg hatching success, and naupliar viability of the egg-carrying copepod were examined between February and early May in the years 2002-2004. The population underwent strong variations in abundance during both years, with high abundance of all stages from February to mid-March, but dramatically decreasing individual numbers later in spring. A recovery to higher numbers occurred in July. While egg production rates were independent of chlorophyll concentrations, the reproductive success of P. newmani was negatively affected by certain phytoplankton bloom conditions. Hatching success and - more markedly - naupliar survival were reduced following peaks of Thalassiosira species that were producing anti-mitotic aldehydes, but were high during periods when phytoplankton blooms were more diverse or dominated by other prey taxa including diatoms. As a consequence, recruitment of the naupliar population was considerably affected by the Thalassiosira blooms. This study shows for the first time that the so-called diatom effect operates in nature when all prerequisites - (1) high concentration of aldehyde producers, (2) few prey alternatives, and (3) feeding of copepods on these algae - are given. However, the effect was transient in Dabob Bay and may be so in other pelagic ecosystems. It remains to discern the potential sources of

  13. The potential for new methods to assess human reproductive genotoxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Mendelsohn, M.L.

    1987-09-01

    The immediate prospects are not good for practical methods for measuring the human heritable mutation rate. The methods discussed here range from speculative to impractical, and at best are sensitive enough only for large numbers of subjects. Given the rapid development of DNA methods and the current status of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, there is some hope that the intermediate prospects may be better. In contrast, the prospects for useful cellular-based male germinal methods seem more promising and immediate. Effective specific locus methods for sperm are already conceivable and may be practical in a few years. Obviously such methods will not predict heritable effects definitively, but they will provide direct information on reproductive genotoxicity and should contribute significantly to many current medical and environmental situations where genetic damage is suspected. 22 refs.

  14. [Role of leptin in human reproduction (anorexia, bulimia)].

    PubMed

    Pilka, L; Rumpík, D; Pilka, R

    2012-12-01

    Leptin may act as the critical link between adipose tissue and the reproductive system, indicating whether adequate energy reserves are presenting for normal reproductive functions. Future interventional studies involving leptin administration are excepted to further clarify this role of leptin and may provide new therapeutic options for the reproductive dysfunctions associated with states of relative leptin deficiency or resistance.

  15. NTP-CERHR Monograph on the Potential Human Reproductive and Developmental Effects of Di-Isodecyl Phthalate (DIDP).

    PubMed

    2003-04-01

    The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) conducted an evaluation of the potential for di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP) to cause adverse effects on reproduction and development in humans. DIDP is one of 7 phthalate chemicals evaluated by the NTP CERHR Phthalates Expert Panel. These phthalates were selected for evaluation because of high production volume, extent of human exposures, use in children's products, and/or published evidence of reproductive or developmental toxicity. DIDP is a mixture of branched, C-10 phthalate isomers used to add flexibility to a wide variety of polyvinylchloride (PVC) plastic products such as artificial leather, toys, carpet backing, and pool liners. The results of this evaluation on DIDP are published in a NTP-CERHR monograph which includes: 1) the NTP Brief, 2) the Expert Panel Report on the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of Di-Isodecyl Phthalate, and 3) public comments received on the Expert Panel Report. As stated in the NTP Brief, the NTP reached the following conclusions regarding the possible effects of exposure to DIDP on human development and reproduction. First, although DIDP could possibly affect human development if exposures are sufficiently high, there is minimal concern for developmental effects in fetuses and children at current proposed/estimated exposure levels. There is no direct evidence that exposure of people to DIDP adversely affects reproduction or development, but show that oral exposure of pregnant rats to high doses (200 and 1000 mg/kg bodyweight/day) of DIDP can adversely affect fetal development. Human exposure information for DIDP was not available, but it was assumed that the general US population would be exposed to 3-30 mug/kg body weight/day, based upon the range of estimated exposures for DEHP, a more widely used phthalate. Second, there is negligible concern for reproductive toxicity in exposed adults. Studies evaluated showed that, at

  16. Superior reproductive success on human blood without sugar is not limited to highly anthropophilic mosquito species.

    PubMed

    Braks, M A H; Juliano, S A; Lounibos, L P

    2006-03-01

    Anthropophilic mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti L. (Diptera: Culicidae) have been shown to have superior reproductive success on human blood when sugar is not available. Life-table experiments were conducted with Aedes albopictus Skuse and Ae. aegypti to compare the effects of sugar availability on age-specific survivorship, lifetime and daily fecundity, and blood-feeding frequency when offered human blood daily. There were no significant interactions between the effects of sugar availability and mosquito species for these four variables, indicating similar effects of sugar availability for both species. Lifetime fecundity was not significantly affected by sugar availability, but sugar-deprived females had significantly reduced age-specific survivorship than did sugar-fed females. In absence of sugar, females took bloodmeals twice as often, resulting in a higher daily fecundity. The results indicate that superior reproductive success on human blood without sugar does not seem to be limited to highly anthropophilic mosquito species, such as Ae. aegypti. We conclude that evolution of a highly anthropophilic feeding strategy is not an inevitable result of the ability to thrive on human blood alone.

  17. A Study of Seventh-Graders Comprehensions of Human Reproduction Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd Harley

    1977-01-01

    Study of an Iowa junior high school revealed that: (1) seventh grade pupils' knowledge levels were raised after studying human reproduction concepts and that (2) the pupils were of the opinion that human reproduction studies should be included in life science classes. (MB)

  18. Cloning Mice and Men: Prohibiting the Use of iPS Cells for Human Reproductive Cloning

    PubMed Central

    Lo, Bernard; Parham, Lindsay; Alvarez-Buylla, Arturo; Cedars, Marcelle; Conklin, Bruce; Fisher, Susan; Gates, Elena; Giudice, Linda; Halme, Dina Gould; Hershon, William; Kriegstein, Arnold; Kwok, Pui-Yan; Wagner, Richard

    2014-01-01

    The use of iPSCs and tetraploid complementation for human reproductive cloning would raise profound ethical objections. Professional standards and laws that ban human reproductive cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer should be revised to also forbid it by other methods, such as iPSCs via tetraploid complementation. PMID:20085739

  19. Cloning mice and men: prohibiting the use of iPS cells for human reproductive cloning.

    PubMed

    Lo, Bernard; Parham, Lindsay; Alvarez-Buylla, Arturo; Cedars, Marcelle; Conklin, Bruce; Fisher, Susan; Gates, Elena; Giudice, Linda; Halme, Dina Gould; Hershon, William; Kriegstein, Arnold; Kwok, Pui-Yan; Wagner, Richard

    2010-01-08

    The use of iPSCs and tetraploid complementation for human reproductive cloning would raise profound ethical objections. Professional standards and laws that ban human reproductive cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer should be revised to also forbid it by other methods, such as iPSCs via tetraploid complementation.

  20. Fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) reproduction is impaired in aged oil sands process-affected waters.

    PubMed

    Kavanagh, Richard J; Frank, Richard A; Oakes, Ken D; Servos, Mark R; Young, Rozlyn F; Fedorak, Phillip M; MacKinnon, Mike D; Solomon, Keith R; Dixon, D George; Van Der Kraak, Glen

    2011-01-17

    Large volumes of fluid tailings are generated during the extraction of bitumen from oil sands. As part of their reclamation plan, oil sands operators in Alberta propose to transfer these fluid tailings to end pit lakes and, over time, these are expected to develop lake habitats with productive capabilities comparable to natural lakes in the region. This study evaluates the potential impact of various oil sands process-affected waters (OSPW) on the reproduction of adult fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) under laboratory conditions. Two separate assays with aged OPSW (>15 years) from the experimental ponds at Syncrude Canada Ltd. showed that water containing high concentrations of naphthenic acids (NAs; >25 mg/l) and elevated conductivity (>2000 μS/cm) completely inhibited spawning of fathead minnows and reduced male secondary sexual characteristics. Measurement of plasma sex steroid levels showed that male fathead minnows had lower concentrations of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone whereas females had lower concentrations of 17β-estradiol. In a third assay, fathead minnows were first acclimated to the higher salinity conditions typical of OSPW for several weeks and then exposed to aged OSPW from Suncor Energy Inc. (NAs ∼40 mg/l and conductivity ∼2000 μS/cm). Spawning was significantly reduced in fathead minnows held in this effluent and male fathead minnows had lower concentrations of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that aged OSPW has the potential to negatively affect the reproductive physiology of fathead minnows and suggest that aquatic habitats with high NAs concentrations (>25 mg/l) and conductivities (>2000 μS/cm) would not be conducive for successful fish reproduction.

  1. Hormonal, biochemical, and hematological profiles in female camels (Camelus dromedarius) affected with reproductive disorders.

    PubMed

    Ali, A; Tharwat, M; Al-Sobayil, F A

    2010-04-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the blood profiles in female camels affected with common reproductive disorders. Estradiol-17beta (E(2)), progesterone (P(4)), thyroxin (T(4)), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides, total protein, albumin, globulin, hematocrite, and total and differential white blood cell counts (WBC) were determined in blood of female camels affected with endometritis (n=15), vaginal adhesions (n=15), and ovarian cysts (n=15). Normal cyclic animals were used as controls (n=15). Diagnosis of reproductive disorders was based on transrectal palpation, ultrasonographic examination, and exploration of the vagina. Increased WBC counts (P=0.03) and a tendency for neutrophelia (P=0.05) were noted in female camels with vaginal adhesions. These animals were also characterized by having higher concentration of serum P(4) (P=0.0001), T(4) (P=0.001) and total protein (P=0.007), in comparison with female camels with endometritis, ovarian cysts, or controls. Animals having ovarian cysts with thin walls and homogenous hypoechogenic contents had greater serum E(2) (P=0.001) and P(4) (P=0.0001) than those having ovarian cysts with thick walls and non-homogenous echogenic contents. Animals with endometritis, vaginal adhesions, and ovarian cysts revealed lower serum Zn concentration than that of control group (P=0.003). Other blood parameters did not differ significantly compared to controls. In conclusion, this is the first report characterizing blood constituents in female camels with various reproductive disorders. These profiles may be valuable in clarifying the etio-pathogenesis of these disorders.

  2. Removal of the local geomagnetic field affects reproductive growth in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chunxiao; Wei, Shufeng; Lu, Yan; Zhang, Yuxia; Chen, Chuanfang; Song, Tao

    2013-09-01

    The influence of the geomagnetic field-removed environment on Arabidopsis growth was investigated by cultivation of the plants in a near-null magnetic field and local geomagnetic field (45 µT) for the whole growth period under laboratory conditions. The biomass accumulation of plants in the near-null magnetic field was significantly suppressed at the time when plants were switching from vegetative growth to reproductive growth compared with that of plants grown in the local geomagnetic field, which was caused by a delay in the flowering of plants in the near-null magnetic field. At the early or later growth stage, no significant difference was shown in the biomass accumulation between the plants in the near-null magnetic field and local geomagnetic field. The average number of siliques and the production of seeds per plant in the near-null magnetic field was significantly lower by about 22% and 19%, respectively, than those of control plants. These resulted in a significant reduction of about 20% in the harvest index of plants in the near-null magnetic field compared with that of the controls. These results suggest that the removal of the local geomagnetic field negatively affects the reproductive growth of Arabidopsis, which thus affects the yield and harvest index.

  3. Exploring the world of human development and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Red-Horse, Kristy; Drake, Penelope M; Fisher, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Susan Fisher has spent her career studying human development, proteomics, and the intersection between the two. When she began studying human placentation, there had been extensive descriptive studies of this fascinating organ that intertwines with the mother's vasculature during pregnancy. Susan can be credited with numerous major findings on the mechanisms that regulate placental cytotrophoblast invasion. These include the discovery that cytotrophoblasts undergo vascular mimicry to insert themselves into uterine arteries, the finding that oxygen tension greatly effects placentation, and identifying how these responses go awry in pregnancy complications such as preeclamsia. Other important work has focused on the effect of post-translational modifications such as glycosylation on bacterial adhesion and reproduction. Susan has also forayed into the world of proteomics to identify cancer biomarkers. Because her work is truly groundbreaking, many of these findings inspire research in other laboratories around the world resulting in numerous follow up papers. Likewise, her mentoring and support inspires young scientists to go on and make their own important discoveries. In this interview, Susan shares what drove her science, how she continued to do important research while balancing other aspects of life, and provides insights for the next generation.

  4. The transmission of light affect the color reproduction of plastic print

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jie; Zhang, Yi-xin; Shi, Gongcheng

    2011-01-01

    By analyzing the different paths that the incident light traverses in the printing, the paper aims to study the effect the transmission of light produces on the color reproduction of the plastic printing. The article also analyzes object characteristics about the three color properties and the color density, so as to make an accurate prediction on the color reproduction of the printing where ink is printed on the end of the plastic base directly. In the research, the incident light on the plastic print are divided into two parts: the reflection of diffuse light in the ink and the optical multi-layer internal reflection of the light through ink layer onto the plastic substrate. In this paper, we use kubelka-munk theory to analyze the transmission of the incident light on the surface of the printing product and Clapper-Yule theory to analyze the incident light which through the ink to the plastic film surface. When the incident light through the ink to the film surface, we have a series of mutually parallel reflected beam and refracted beam, and then obtain the synthesis of the reflected light complex amplitude, using the similar methods to obtain the total reflected and refraction light intensity. Combining the total reflection light intensity through the plastic substrate and the overall reflectivity through a plastic print surface by the kubelka-munk theory, color density and light transmission factor of the plastic substrate can be drawn in the formula: D ∞ f (δ,d,i1 ). From the above equation, we can find that optical phase retardation δ, the thickness of plastic d and the angle of incidence on the plastic surface i1 affect the color reproduction of plastic print.

  5. Delayed breeding affects lifetime reproductive success differently in male and female green woodhoopoes.

    PubMed

    Hawn, Amanda T; Radford, Andrew N; du Plessis, Morné A

    2007-05-15

    In cooperatively breeding species, many individuals only start breeding long after reaching physiological maturity [1], and this delay is expected to reduce lifetime reproductive success (LRS) [1-3]. Although many studies have investigated how nonbreeding helpers might mitigate the assumed cost of delayed breeding (reviewed in [3]), few have directly quantified the cost itself [4, 5] (but see [6, 7]). Moreover, although life-history tradeoffs frequently influence the sexes in profoundly different ways [8, 9], it has been generally assumed that males and females are similarly affected by a delayed start to breeding [7]. Here, we use 24 years of data to investigate the sex-specific cost of delayed breeding in the cooperatively breeding green woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus) and show that age at first breeding is related to LRS differently in males and females. As is traditionally expected, males that started to breed earlier in life had greater LRS than those that started later. However, females showed the opposite pattern: Those individuals that started to breed later in life actually had greater LRS than those that started earlier. In both sexes, the association between age at first breeding and LRS was driven by differences in breeding-career length, rather than per-season productivity. We hypothesize that the high mortality rate of young female breeders, and thus their short breeding careers, is related to a reduced ability to deal with the high physiological costs of reproduction in this species. These results demonstrate the importance of considering sex-specific reproductive costs when estimating the payoffs of life-history decisions and bring into question the long-held assumption that delayed breeding is necessarily costly.

  6. Zoonotic helminths affecting the human eye

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Nowaday, zoonoses are an important cause of human parasitic diseases worldwide and a major threat to the socio-economic development, mainly in developing countries. Importantly, zoonotic helminths that affect human eyes (HIE) may cause blindness with severe socio-economic consequences to human communities. These infections include nematodes, cestodes and trematodes, which may be transmitted by vectors (dirofilariasis, onchocerciasis, thelaziasis), food consumption (sparganosis, trichinellosis) and those acquired indirectly from the environment (ascariasis, echinococcosis, fascioliasis). Adult and/or larval stages of HIE may localize into human ocular tissues externally (i.e., lachrymal glands, eyelids, conjunctival sacs) or into the ocular globe (i.e., intravitreous retina, anterior and or posterior chamber) causing symptoms due to the parasitic localization in the eyes or to the immune reaction they elicit in the host. Unfortunately, data on HIE are scant and mostly limited to case reports from different countries. The biology and epidemiology of the most frequently reported HIE are discussed as well as clinical description of the diseases, diagnostic considerations and video clips on their presentation and surgical treatment. Homines amplius oculis, quam auribus credunt Seneca Ep 6,5 Men believe their eyes more than their ears PMID:21429191

  7. Honey and honey-based sugars partially affect reproductive trade-offs in parasitoids exhibiting different life-history and reproductive strategies.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Jeffrey A; Essens, Tijl A; Las, Rutger A; van Veen, Cindy; Visser, Bertanne; Ellers, Jacintha; Heinen, Robin; Gols, Rieta

    2016-12-23

    Adult dietary regimes in insects may affect egg production, fecundity and ultimately fitness. This is especially relevant in parasitoid wasps where many species serve as important biological control agents of agricultural pests. Here, we tested the effect of honey and sugar diets on daily fecundity schedules, lifetime reproductive success and longevity in four species of parasitoid wasps when reared on their respective hosts. The parasitoid species were selected based on dichotomies in host usage strategies and reproductive traits. Gelis agilis and G. areator are idiobiont ecto-parasitoids that develop in non-growing hosts, feed on protein-rich host fluids to maximize reproduction as adults and produce small numbers of large eggs. Meteorus pulchricornis and Microplitis mediator are koinobiont endoparasitoids that develop inside the bodies of growing hosts, do not host-feed, and produce greater numbers of small eggs. Parasitoids were reared on diets of either pure honey (containing trace amounts of proteins), heated honey (with denatured proteins) and a honey-mimic containing sugars only. We hypothesized that the benefits of proteins in honey would enhance reproduction in the ectoparasitoids due to their high metabolic investment per egg, but not in the koinobionts. Pure honey diet resulted in higher lifetime fecundity in G. agilis compared with the honey-mimic, whereas in both koinobionts, reproductive success did not vary significantly with diet. Longevity was less affected by diet in all of the parasitoids, although there were variable trade-offs between host access and longevity in the four species. We argue that there are both trait-based and association-specific effects of supplementary nutrients in honey on reproductive investment and success in parasitoid wasps.

  8. Pollinator diversity affects plant reproduction and recruitment: the tradeoffs of generalization.

    PubMed

    Gómez, José M; Bosch, Jordi; Perfectti, Francisco; Fernández, Juande; Abdelaziz, Mohamed

    2007-09-01

    One outstanding and unsolved challenge in ecology and conservation biology is to understand how pollinator diversity affects plant performance. Here, we provide evidence of the functional role of pollination diversity in a plant species, Erysimum mediohispanicum (Brassicaceae). Pollinator abundance, richness and diversity as well as plant reproduction and recruitment were determined in eight plant populations. We found that E. mediohispanicum was generalized both at the regional and local (population) scale, since its flowers were visited by more than 100 species of insects with very different morphology, size and behaviour. However, populations differed in the degree of generalization. Generalization correlated with pollinator abundance and plant population size, but not with habitat, ungulate damage intensity, altitude or spatial location. More importantly, the degree of generalization had significant consequences for plant reproduction and recruitment. Plants from populations with intermediate generalization produced more seeds than plants from populations with low or high degrees of generalization. These differences were not the result of differences in number of flowers produced per plant. In addition, seedling emergence in a common garden was highest in plants from populations with intermediate degree of generalization. This outcome suggests the existence of an optimal level of generalizations even for generalized plant species.

  9. Factors affecting reproductive success in three entomophilous orchid species in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Vojtkó, Anna E; Sonkoly, Judit; Lukács, Balázs András; Molnár V, Attila

    2015-06-01

    The reproductive success of orchids is traditionally estimated by determining the fruit-set of individuals. Here, we investigated both the fruit and the seed production of three orchid species and the factors that may affect individual fruit-set, like pollination strategy, individual traits or the annual amount of precipitation. The species [Dactylorhiza sambucina (L.) Soó, Dactylorhiza majalis (Rchb.) P. F. Hunt & Summerhayes and Platanthera bifolia (L.) L. C. M. Richard] were studied in three consecutive years (2010-2012) in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary. All three species were proved to be non-autogamous by a bagging experiment. Data analyses showed significant differences between seed numbers but not between fruit-sets of species. There was no statistical difference in individual reproductive success between wet and dry years, however, the effect of the annual amount of precipitation is significant on the population level. Comparison of published fruit-set data revealed accordance with our results in P. bifolia, but not in D. sambucina and D. majalis. We assume that the surprisingly high fruit-set values of the two Dactylorhiza species may be due to the fact that the pollination crisis reported from Western European countries is not an actual problem in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary.

  10. Off-road vehicles affect nesting behaviour and reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Borneman, Tracy E.; Rose, Eli T.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2016-01-01

    As human populations and associated development increase, interactions between humans and wildlife are occurring with greater frequency. The effects of these interactions, particularly on species whose populations are declining, are of great interest to ecologists, conservationists, land managers and natural resource policy-makers. The American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus, a species of conservation concern in the USA, nests on coastal beaches subject to various forms of anthropogenic disturbance, including aircraft overflights, off-road vehicles and pedestrians. This study assessed the effects of these human disturbances on the incubation behaviour and reproductive success of nesting American Oystercatchers at Cape Lookout National Seashore, on the Atlantic coast of the USA. We expanded on-going monitoring of Oystercatchers at Cape Lookout National Seashore by supplementing periodic visual observations with continuous 24-h video and audio recording at nests. Aircraft overflights were not associated with changes in Oystercatcher incubation behaviour, and we found no evidence that aircraft overflights influenced Oystercatcher reproductive success. However, Oystercatchers were on their nests significantly less often during off-road vehicle and pedestrian events than they were during control periods before the events, and an increase in the number of off-road vehicles passing a nest during incubation was consistently associated with significant reductions in daily nest survival (6% decrease in daily nest survival for a one-vehicle increase in the average number of vehicles passing a nest each day; odds ratio = 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.90, 0.98) and hatching success (12% decrease in hatching success for a one-vehicle increase in the average number of vehicles passing a nest each day; odds ratio = 0.88; 95% CI 0.76, 0.97). Management of vehicles and pedestrians in areas of Oystercatcher breeding is important for the conservation of American

  11. Human freezing in response to affective films.

    PubMed

    Hagenaars, Muriel A; Roelofs, Karin; Stins, John F

    2014-01-01

    Human freezing has been objectively assessed using a passive picture viewing paradigm as an analog for threat. These results should be replicated for other stimuli in order to determine their stability and generalizability. Affective films are used frequently to elicit affective responses, but it is unknown whether they also elicit freezing-like defense responses. To test whether this is the case, 50 participants watched neutral, pleasant and unpleasant film fragments while standing on a stabilometric platform and wearing a polar band to assess heart rate. Freezing-like responses (indicated by overall reduced body sway and heart rate deceleration) were observed for the unpleasant film only. The unpleasant film also elicited early reduced body sway (1-2 s after stimulus onset). Heart rate and body sway were correlated during the unpleasant film only. The results suggest that ecologically valid stimuli like films are adequate stimuli in evoking defense responses. The results also underscore the importance of including time courses in human experimental research on defense reactions in order to delineate different stages in the defense response.

  12. Canada's Assisted Human Reproductive Act: is it scientific censorship, or a reasoned approach to the regulation of rapidly emerging reproductive technologies?

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Colin

    2004-01-01

    After more than a decade of study, discussion and debate, the Canadian House of Commons and Senate have approved the Assisted Human Reproduction Act. Building on the earlier Bill C-47, which died on the order paper in 1997, the Act bans human cloning for reproductive or therapeutic purposes, payment for surrogacy arrangements, and trading in human reproductive materials or their use without informed consent. In addition, the Act significantly restricts research using human reproductive materials. This article compares the Act to legislative regimes in other nations with advanced human reproductive science. It concludes that while the Act has many laudable goals, it is flawed in that it tries to cover too much legislative ground. As a result it unreasonable impairs the ability of Canadian scientists to compete in areas such as stem cell research, and area that is expected to yield significant new approaches to treating human disease.

  13. Landscape composition, patch size, and distance to edges: Interactions affecting duck reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Horn, David Joseph; Phillips, Michael L.; Koford, Rolf R.; Clark, William R.; Sovada, Marsha A.; Greenwood, Raymond J.

    2005-01-01

    Prairies and other North American grasslands, although highly fragmented, provide breeding habitat for a diverse array of species, including species of tremendous economic and ecological importance. Conservation and management of these species requires some understanding of how reproductive success is affected by edge effects, patch size, and characteristics of the landscape. We examined how differences in the percentage of grassland in the landscape influenced the relationships between the success of nests of upland-nesting ducks and (1) field size and (2) distance to nearest field and wetland edges. We collected data on study areas composed of 15–20% grassland and areas composed of 45–55% grassland in central North Dakota, USA during the 1996 and 1997 nesting seasons. Daily survival rates (DSRs) of duck nests were greater in study areas with 45–55% grassland than with 15–20% grassland. Within study areas, we detected a curvilinear relationship between DSR and field size: DSRs were highest in small and large fields and lowest in moderately sized fields. In study areas with 15–20% grassland, there was no relationship between probability of hatching and distance to nearest field edge, whereas in study areas with 45–55% grassland, there was a positive relationship between these two variables. Results of this study support the conclusion that both landscape composition and configuration affect reproductive success of ground-nesting birds. We are prompted to question conservation strategies that favor clustering moderately sized patches of nesting habitat within agricultural landscapes because our results show that such patches would have low nest success, most likely caused by predation. Understanding the pattern of nest success, and the predator–prey mechanisms that produce the pattern, will enable design of patch configurations that are most conducive to meeting conservation goals.

  14. NTP-CERHR monograph on the potential human reproductive and developmental effects of hydroxyurea.

    PubMed

    2008-10-01

    , and serious concern. The NTP expresses serious concern that exposure of men to therapeutic doses of hydroxyurea may adversely affect sperm production. This level of concern is for all males who have reached puberty. The NTP concurs with the Expert Panel that there is concern that exposure of pregnant women to hydroxyurea may result in birth defects, abnormalities of fetal growth, or abnormal postnatal development in offspring. The NTP concurs with the Expert Panel that there is minimal concern that exposure of children to therapeutic doses of hydroxyurea at 5 -15 years of age will adversely affect growth. NTP will transmit the NTP-CERHR Monograph on the Potential Human Reproductive and Developmental Effects of Hydroxyurea to federal and state agencies, interested parties, and the public and make it available in electronic PDF format on the CERHR web site (http://cerhr niehs nih gov) and in printed text or CD from CERHR.

  15. Gonadal function and reproductive health in women with human immunodeficiency virus infection.

    PubMed

    Yalamanchi, Swaytha; Dobs, Adrian; Greenblatt, Ruth M

    2014-09-01

    Most human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections among women occur early in reproductive life, which highlights the importance of understanding the impact of HIV on reproductive functions, and also the potential implications of reproductive function and aging on the course of HIV disease. Ovarian function is a crucial component of reproductive biology in women, but standard assessment methods are of limited applicability to women with chronic diseases such as HIV. Pregnancy can now be achieved without transmission of HIV to sexual partner or newborn, but complications of pregnancy may be more common in women infected with HIV than uninfected women.

  16. [The right to human reproduction. Should surrogate maternity be allowed?].

    PubMed

    Corral García, Eduardo

    2013-01-01

    Is addressed in this work if you can accept that in Spain a reproductive rights through the use of assisted reproductive techniques, especially when the client is a single woman and when the baby has undergone a substitution pregnancy or surrogacy, regardless of those who have come to this possibility, which still continues to be considered without any efficacy in the rules governing the matter.

  17. Early menarche as an alternative reproductive tactic in human females: an evolutionary approach to reproductive health issues.

    PubMed

    Gillette, Meghan T; Folinsbee, Kaila E

    2012-12-20

    The age at which a female reaches sexual maturity is critical in determining her future reproductive health and success. Thus, a worldwide decline in menarcheal age (timing of first menstrual period) may have serious long-term consequences. Early menarcheal timing (first menstrual period before age 12) can have a negative effect on fecundity, as well as the quality and quantity of offspring, and may consequently influence population growth or decline. In this paper, we apply an evolutionary framework to modern human health, and assess both proximate and ultimate consequences of declining menarcheal age. Examination of human reproductive health within an evolutionary framework is innovative and essential, because it illuminates the ultimate consequences of a declining age of menarche and facilitates new ways of thinking about the long-term and intergenerational transmission of health and disease; thus, an evolutionary framework lends itself to innovative public health and policy programs. In this paper, we examine whether or not early menarche is an alternative reproductive tactic that modern human females employ in response to a stressful environment, and whether or not early menarche is ultimately beneficial.

  18. Epigenetic Alterations in Density Selected Human Spermatozoa for Assisted Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Bolan; Zhou, Hua; Liu, Min; Zheng, Ting; Jiang, Lu; Zhao, Mei; Xu, Xiaoxie; Huang, Zhaofeng

    2015-01-01

    Epidemiological evidence indicates that assisted reproductive technologies (ART) may be associated with several epigenetic diseases such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) or Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS). Selection of sperm by density-gradients in ART has improved DNA integrity and sperm quality; however, epigenetic alterations associated with this approach are largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated DNA methylation and histone retention profiles in raw sperm and selected sperm derived from the same individual and separated by using density-gradients. Results from a study group consisting of 93 males demonstrated that both global DNA methylation and histone retention levels decreased in density selected sperm. Compared to unselected raw sperm, histone transition rates decreased by an average of 27.2% in selected sperm, and the global methylation rate was 3.8% in unselected sperm and 3.3% in the selected sperm. DNA methylation and histone retention location profiling analyses suggested that these alterations displayed specific location patterns in the human genome. Changes in the pattern of hypomethylation largely occurred in transcriptional factor gene families such as HOX, FOX, and GATA. Histone retention increased in 67 genes, whereas it was significantly clustered in neural development-related gene families, particularly the olfactory sensor gene family. Although a causative relationship could not be established, the results of the present study suggest the possibility that sperm with good density also possess unique epigenetic profiles, particularly for genes involved in neural and olfactory development. As increasing evidence demonstrates that epigenetics plays a key role in embryonic development and offspring growth characteristics, the specific epigenetic alterations we observed in selected sperm may influence the transcriptional process and neural development in embryos. PMID:26709917

  19. Intermittent fasting during winter and spring affects body composition and reproduction of a migratory duck

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barboza, P.S.; Jorde, D.G.

    2002-01-01

    We compared food intake, body mass and body composition of male and female black ducks (Anas rubripes) during winter (January-March). Birds were fed the same complete diet ad libitum on consecutive days each week without fasting (control; nine male; nine female) or with either short fasts (2 day.week-1; nine male; nine female), or long fasts (4 day.week-1; eleven male; twelve female). We continued treatments through spring (March-May) to measure the effect of intermittent fasts on body mass and egg production. Daily food intake of fasted birds was up to four times that of unfasted birds. Weekly food intake of males was similar among treatments (364 g.kg-1.week-1) but fasted females consumed more than unfasted females in January (363 g.kg-1.week-1 vs. 225 g.kg-1.week-1). Although both sexes lost 10-14% body mass, fasted females lost less mass and lipid than unfasted females during winter. Total body nitrogen was conserved over winter in both sexes even though the heart and spleen lost mass while the reproductive tract and liver gained mass. Intermittent fasting increased liver, intestinal tissue and digesta mass of females but not of males. Fasting delayed egg production in spring but did not affect size, fertility or hatching of the clutch. Females on long fasts were still heavier than controls after laying eggs. Thus black ducks combine flexibility of food intake with plasticity of digestive tract, liver and adipose tissue when food supply is interrupted during winter. Females modulate body mass for survival and defer reproduction when food supply is interrupted in spring.

  20. Introduction: MicroRNAs in human reproduction: small molecules with crucial regulatory roles.

    PubMed

    Imbar, Tal; Galliano, Daniela; Pellicer, Antonio; Laufer, Neri

    2014-06-01

    MicroRNAs constitute a large family of approximately 21-nucleotide-long, noncoding RNAs. They emerged more than 20 years ago as key posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression. The regulatory role of these small RNA molecules has recently begun to be explored in the human reproductive system. In this issue's Views and Reviews, the authors present the current knowledge regarding the involvement of microRNAs in several aspects of human reproduction and discuss its future implications for clinical practice.

  1. Reproductive investment in pre-industrial humans: the consequences of offspring number, gender and survival.

    PubMed Central

    Lummaa, V.

    2001-01-01

    The number and gender of offspring produced in a current reproductive event can affect a mother's future reproductive investment and success. I studied the subsequent reproductive outcome of pre-industrial (1752-1850) Finnish mothers producing twins versus singletons of differing gender. I predicted that giving birth to and raising twins instead of singletons, and males instead of females, would incur a greater reproductive effort and, hence, lead to larger future reproductive costs for mothers. I compared the mothers' likelihood of reproducing again in the future, their time to next reproduction and the gender and survival of their next offspring. I found that mothers who produced twins were more likely to stop breeding or breed unsuccessfully in the future as compared with women of a similar age and reproductive history who produced a same-gender singleton child. As predicted, the survival and gender of the offspring produced modified the costs of reproduction for the mothers. Giving birth to and raising males generally appeared to be the most expensive strategy, but this effect was only detected in mothers who produced twins and, thus, suffering from higher overall costs of reproduction. PMID:11571043

  2. Reproductive investment in pre-industrial humans: the consequences of offspring number, gender and survival.

    PubMed

    Lummaa, V

    2001-10-07

    The number and gender of offspring produced in a current reproductive event can affect a mother's future reproductive investment and success. I studied the subsequent reproductive outcome of pre-industrial (1752-1850) Finnish mothers producing twins versus singletons of differing gender. I predicted that giving birth to and raising twins instead of singletons, and males instead of females, would incur a greater reproductive effort and, hence, lead to larger future reproductive costs for mothers. I compared the mothers' likelihood of reproducing again in the future, their time to next reproduction and the gender and survival of their next offspring. I found that mothers who produced twins were more likely to stop breeding or breed unsuccessfully in the future as compared with women of a similar age and reproductive history who produced a same-gender singleton child. As predicted, the survival and gender of the offspring produced modified the costs of reproduction for the mothers. Giving birth to and raising males generally appeared to be the most expensive strategy, but this effect was only detected in mothers who produced twins and, thus, suffering from higher overall costs of reproduction.

  3. Environmental estrogens and reproductive health: a discussion of the human and environmental data.

    PubMed

    Daston, G P; Gooch, J W; Breslin, W J; Shuey, D L; Nikiforov, A I; Fico, T A; Gorsuch, J W

    1997-01-01

    Estrogenic activity of certain xenobiotics is an established mechanism of toxicity that can impair reproductive function in adults of either sex, lead to irreversible abnormalities when administered during development, or cause cancer. The concern has been raised that exposure to ambient levels of estrogenic xenobiotics may be having widespread adverse effects on reproductive health of humans and wildlife. The purpose of this review is to evaluate (a) the nature of the evidence supporting this concern, and (b) the adequacy of toxicity screening to detect, and risk assessment procedures to establish safe levels for, agents acting by this mechanism. Observations such as adverse developmental effects after maternal exposure to therapeutic levels of the potent estrogen diethylstilbestrol or male fertility problems after exposure to high levels of the weak estrogen chlordecone clearly demonstrate that estrogenicity is active as a toxic mechanism in humans. High level exposures to estrogenic compounds have also been shown to affect specific wildlife populations. However, there is little direct evidence to indicate that exposures to ambient levels of estrogenic xenobiotics are affecting reproductive health. Reports of historical trends showing decreasing reproductive capacity (e.g., decreased sperm production over the last 50 years) are either inconsistent with other data or have significant methodologic inadequacies that hinder interpretation. More reliable historical trend data show an increase in breast cancer rate, but the most comprehensive epidemiology study to data failed to show an association between exposure to persistent, estrogenic organochlorine compounds and breast cancer. Clearly, more work needs to be done to characterize historical trends in humans and background incidence of abnormalities in wildlife populations, and to test hypotheses about ambient exposure to environmental contaminants and toxic effects, before conclusions can be reached about the

  4. Is Boric Acid Toxic to Reproduction in Humans? Assessment of the Animal Reproductive Toxicity Data and Epidemiological Study Results.

    PubMed

    Duydu, Yalçın; Başaran, Nurşen; Ustündağ, Aylin; Aydın, Sevtap; Undeğer, Ulkü; Ataman, Osman Yavuz; Aydos, Kaan; Düker, Yalçın; Ickstadt, Katja; Waltrup, Brita Schulze; Golka, Klaus; Bolt, Hermann Maximilian

    2016-01-01

    Boric acid and sodium borates are classified as toxic to reproduction in the CLP Regulation under "Category 1B" with the hazard statement of "H360FD". This classification is based on the reprotoxic effects of boric acid and sodium borates in animal experiments at high doses. However, boron mediated reprotoxic effects have not been proven in epidemiological studies so far. The epidemiological study performed in Bandırma boric acid production plant is the most comprehensive published study in this field with 204 voluntarily participated male workers. Sperm quality parameters (sperm morphology, concentration and motility parameters), FSH, LH and testosterone levels were determined in all participated employees as the reproductive toxicity biomarkers of males. However, boron mediated unfavorable effects on reproduction in male workers have not been determined even in the workers under very high daily boron exposure (0.21 mg B/kg-bw/day) conditions. The NOAEL for rat reproductive toxicity is equivalent to a blood boron level of 2020 ng/g. This level is higher than the mean blood boron concentration (223.89 ± 69.49 ng/g) of the high exposure group workers in Bandırma boric acid production plant (Turkey) by a factor of 9. Accordingly, classifying boric acid and sodium borates under "Category 1B" as "presumed reproductive human toxicant in the CLP regulation seems scientifically not reasonable. The results of the epidemiological studies (including the study performed in China) support for a down-classification of boric acid from the category 1B, H360FD to category 2, H361d, (suspected of damaging the unborn child).

  5. Corticotropin-releasing hormone, stress and human reproduction: an update.

    PubMed

    Kalantaridou, S N; Zoumakis, E; Makrigiannakis, A; Lavasidis, L G; Vrekoussis, T; Chrousos, G P

    2010-05-01

    The stress system has suppressive effects on female and male reproductive function. Corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), the principal regulator of stress, has been identified in the female and male reproductive system. Reproductive CRH participates in various reproductive functions that have an inflammatory component, where it serves as an autocrine and paracrine modulator. These include ovarian and endometrial CRH, which may participate in the regulation of steroidogenesis and the inflammatory processes of the ovary (ovulation and luteolysis) and the endometrium (decidualization and blastocyst implantation) and placental CRH, which is secreted mostly during the latter half of pregnancy and is responsible for the onset of labor. It has been suggested that there is a "CRH placental clock" which determines the length of gestation and the timing of parturition and delivery. The potential use of CRH-antagonists is presently under intense investigation. CRH-R1 antagonists have been used in animal studies to elucidate the role of CRH in blastocyst implantation and invasion, early fetal immunotolerance and premature labor. The present review article focuses on the potential roles of CRH on the physiology and pathophysiology of reproduction and highlights its participation in crucial steps of pregnancy, such as implantation, fetal immune tolerance, parturition and fetal programming of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

  6. Cryobiology in human assisted reproductive technology. Would Hippocrates approve?

    PubMed

    Bredkjaer, H E; Grudzinskas, J G

    2001-07-01

    Recent advances in human cryobiology have been substantially greater than the first slow step from freezing spermatozoa in animals in Italy, published in 1776 to observing motility in frozen-thawed human sperm in 1938(1). Reports on cryopreservation of rabbit oocytes (1947)(1) and births from fertilised frozen-thawed mice oocytes in 1977(1) were soon followed by the first human pregnancy (1983)(1) and birth (1984)1 following transfer of frozen-thawed embryos after in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). Whereas cryopreservation of human sperm and embryos in tertiary level fertility centres is now commonplace, the full clinical, scientific and sociological consequences of progress in this rapidly moving field are to be determined. These include pregnancy with frozen-thawed human mature, oocytes after conventional IVF (1986)4, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)(5) (1996), pregnancies following use of frozen-thawed mature (1995)(5,6) and immature oocytes (1999)(7), ovarian tissue banking (8) and possible autografting (1999)(9) as well as repeated freeze-thawing of male gametes and of embryos (10,11). Cryopreservation of female and male gametes instead of embryos offer solutions of obvious religious, ethical, legal and clinical problems. In addition, there may be benefits in reducing the cost of infertility treatment, improving the safety of fertility treatment with respect to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and repeated treatment with controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, prevention of diseases such as sexually transmitted diseases and hereditary disorders and preventing infertility by possible long-term storage of gametes, gonadal tissue and even embryos. The benefits of cryopreservation of sperm, oocytes and embryos in the management of subfertile couples, many being self-evident to some, bear emphasis. Cryopreservation of sperm offers substantial organisational, cost and social advantages in IVF/ICSI treatment, in that it is no longer necessary for both partners to be

  7. 40 CFR 230.76 - Actions affecting human use.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 26 2012-07-01 2011-07-01 true Actions affecting human use. 230.76... Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.76 Actions affecting human use. Minimization of adverse effects on human use... aquatic areas; (c) Timing the discharge to avoid the seasons or periods when human recreational...

  8. 40 CFR 230.76 - Actions affecting human use.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 26 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Actions affecting human use. 230.76... Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.76 Actions affecting human use. Minimization of adverse effects on human use... aquatic areas; (c) Timing the discharge to avoid the seasons or periods when human recreational...

  9. 40 CFR 230.76 - Actions affecting human use.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Actions affecting human use. 230.76... Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.76 Actions affecting human use. Minimization of adverse effects on human use... aquatic areas; (c) Timing the discharge to avoid the seasons or periods when human recreational...

  10. 40 CFR 230.76 - Actions affecting human use.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Actions affecting human use. 230.76... Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.76 Actions affecting human use. Minimization of adverse effects on human use... aquatic areas; (c) Timing the discharge to avoid the seasons or periods when human recreational...

  11. 40 CFR 230.76 - Actions affecting human use.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Actions affecting human use. 230.76... Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.76 Actions affecting human use. Minimization of adverse effects on human use... aquatic areas; (c) Timing the discharge to avoid the seasons or periods when human recreational...

  12. Epigenetic deregulation of genomic imprinting in human disorders and following assisted reproduction.

    PubMed

    Arnaud, Philippe; Feil, Robert

    2005-06-01

    Imprinted genes play important roles in the regulation of growth and development, and several have been shown to influence behavior. Their allele-specific expression depends on inheritance from either the mother or the father, and is regulated by "imprinting control regions" (ICRs). ICRs are controlled by DNA methylation, which is present on one of the two parental alleles only. These allelic methylation marks are established in either the female or the male germline, following the erasure of preexisting DNA methylation in the primordial germ cells. After fertilization, the allelic DNA methylation at ICRs is maintained in all somatic cells of the developing embryo. This epigenetic "life cycle" of imprinting (germline erasure, germline establishment, and somatic maintenance) can be disrupted in several human diseases, including Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS), Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), Angelman syndrome and Hydatidiform mole. In the neurodevelopmental Rett syndrome, the way the ICR mediates imprinted expression is perturbed. Recent studies indicate that assisted reproduction technologies (ART) can sometimes affect the epigenetic cycle of imprinting as well, and that this gives rise to imprinting disease syndromes. This finding warrants careful monitoring of the epigenetic effects, and absolute risks, of currently used and novel reproduction technologies.

  13. Altered expression of the bZIP transcription factor DRINK ME affects growth and reproductive development in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Lozano-Sotomayor, Paulina; Chávez Montes, Ricardo A; Silvestre-Vañó, Marina; Herrera-Ubaldo, Humberto; Greco, Raffaella; Pablo-Villa, Jeanneth; Galliani, Bianca M; Diaz-Ramirez, David; Weemen, Mieke; Boutilier, Kim; Pereira, Andy; Colombo, Lucia; Madueño, Francisco; Marsch-Martínez, Nayelli; de Folter, Stefan

    2016-11-01

    Here we describe an uncharacterized gene that negatively influences Arabidopsis growth and reproductive development. DRINK ME (DKM; bZIP30) is a member of the bZIP transcription factor family, and is expressed in meristematic tissues such as the inflorescence meristem (IM), floral meristem (FM), and carpel margin meristem (CMM). Altered DKM expression affects meristematic tissues and reproductive organ development, including the gynoecium, which is the female reproductive structure and is determinant for fertility and sexual reproduction. A microarray analysis indicates that DKM overexpression affects the expression of cell cycle, cell wall, organ initiation, cell elongation, hormone homeostasis, and meristem activity genes. Furthermore, DKM can interact in yeast and in planta with proteins involved in shoot apical meristem maintenance such as WUSCHEL, KNAT1/BP, KNAT2 and JAIBA, and with proteins involved in medial tissue development in the gynoecium such as HECATE, BELL1 and NGATHA1. Taken together, our results highlight the relevance of DKM as a negative modulator of Arabidopsis growth and reproductive development.

  14. The need for interaction between assisted reproduction technology and genetics: recommendations of the European Societies of Human Genetics and Human Reproduction and Embryology.

    PubMed

    2006-08-01

    Infertility and reproductive genetic risk are both increasing in our societies because of lifestyle changes and possibly environmental factors. Owing to the magnitude of the problem, they have implications not only at the individual and family levels but also at the community level. This leads to an increasing demand for access to assisted reproduction technology (ART) and genetic services, especially when the cause of infertility may be genetic in origin. The increasing application of genetics in reproductive medicine and vice versa requires closer collaboration between the two disciplines. ART and genetics are rapidly evolving fields where new technologies are currently introduced without sufficient knowledge of their potential long-term effects. As for any medical procedures, there are possible unexpected effects which need to be envisaged to make sure that the balance between benefits and risks is clearly on the benefit side. The development of ART and genetics as scientific activities is creating an opportunity to understand the early stages of human development, which is leading to new and challenging findings/knowledge. However, there are opinions against investigating the early stages of development in humans who deserve respect and attention. For all these reasons, these two societies, European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) and European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), have joined efforts to explore the issues at stake and to set up recommendations to maximize the benefit for the couples in need and for the community.

  15. The devil we know: the implications of bill C-38 for assisted human reproduction in Canada.

    PubMed

    Cattapan, Alana; Cohen, Sara R

    2013-07-01

    In June 2012, the Canadian House of Commons passed the so-called omnibus budget bill, making several important changes to the governance of assisted reproduction in Canada. The bill (Bill C-38) was widely criticized for its unwieldy size and rapid passage through Parliament, preventing adequate parliamentary debate and public scrutiny. Given the substantive nature of the amendments to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act made by Bill C-38, and the lack of relevant discussion about these changes both before and following its passage, this commentary is intended to identify how Bill C-38 may alter the governance of reproductive technologies in Canada. In this commentary, we address some of the more significant changes made by Bill C-38 to the regulation of reproductive medicine in Canada. We identify the benefits and challenges of closing Assisted Human Reproduction Canada, noting that doing so eliminates a much-needed forum for stakeholder consultation in this field. Further, we explore the implications of moving the regulation of donor semen from the Food and Drugs Act to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act; these include increased liability for physicians, and opportunities to expand the existing regulations to account for the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer Canadians using donor gametes and recent advances in reproductive technologies. Overall, we argue that although the implementation of a policy framework in this field remains highly dependent on yet-to-be written regulations, the changes to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act enabled by Bill C-38 may significantly alter how Canadians interact with reproductive technologies.

  16. The ecology and evolutionary endocrinology of reproduction in the human female.

    PubMed

    Vitzthum, Virginia J

    2009-01-01

    Human reproductive ecology (HRE) is the study of the mechanisms that link variation in reproductive traits with variation in local habitats. Empirical and theoretical contributions from biological anthropology, physiology, and demography have established the foundation necessary for developing a comprehensive understanding, grounded in life history theory (LHT), of temporal, individual, and populational variation in women's reproductive functioning. LHT posits that natural selection leads to the evolution of mechanisms that tend to allocate resources to the competing demands of growth, reproduction, and survival such that fitness is locally maximized. (That is, among alternative allocation patterns exhibited in a population, those having the highest inclusive fitness will become more common over generational time.) Hence, strategic modulation of reproductive effort is potentially adaptive because investment in a new conception may risk one's own survival, future reproductive opportunities, and/or current offspring survival. The hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis is the principal neuroendocrine pathway by which the human female modulates reproductive functioning according to the changing conditions in her habitat. Adjustments of reproductive investment in a potential conception are manifested in temporal and individual variation in ovarian cycle length, ovulation, hormone levels, and the probability of conception. Understanding the extent and causes of adaptive and non-adaptive variation in ovarian functioning is fundamental to ascertaining the proximate and remote determinants of human reproductive patterns. In this review I consider what is known and what still needs to be learned of the ecology of women's reproductive biology, beginning with a discussion of the principal explanatory frameworks in HRE and the biometry of ovarian functioning. Turning next to empirical studies, it is evident that marked variation between cycles, women, and populations is the

  17. Reproductive health concerns in six conflict-affected areas of Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Kottegoda, Sepali; Samuel, Kumudini; Emmanuel, Sarala

    2008-05-01

    This article draws on a study conducted by the Women and Media Collective between 2004 and 2005 to highlight some of the reproductive health concerns of women from Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim ethnic groups, living in situations of conflict in Sri Lanka. The study focussed on women from six conflict-affected areas in the north and east of the country: Jaffna (Northern Province), Mannar and Puttalam (North-Western Province), Polonnaruwa (North-Central Province), Batticaloa and Ampara (Eastern Province). Higher levels of poverty, higher rates of school drop-out, low pay and precarious access to work, mainly in the informal sector, higher rates of early marriage, pregnancy and home births, higher levels of maternal mortality and lower levels of contraceptive use were found. Economic, social and physical insecurity were key to these phenomena. Physically and psychologically, women were at high risk of sexual and physical violence, mainly from their partners/spouses but also from family members, often related to dowry. The article brings out the voices of women whose lives have been overshadowed by conflict and displacement, and the nature of structural barriers that impede their right to health care services, to make informed decisions about their lives and to live free of familial violence.

  18. An insulin-like signaling pathway affects both longevity and reproduction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Tissenbaum, H A; Ruvkun, G

    1998-01-01

    Mutations in daf-2 and age-1 cause a dramatic increase in longevity as well as developmental arrest at the dauer diapause stage in Caenorhabditis elegans. daf-2 and age-1 encode components of an insulin-like signaling pathway. Both daf-2 and age-1 act at a similar point in the genetic epistasis pathway for dauer arrest and longevity and regulate the activity of the daf-16 gene. Mutations in daf-16 cause a dauer-defective phenotype and are epistatic to the diapause arrest and life span extension phenotypes of daf-2 and age-1 mutants. Here we show that mutations in this pathway also affect fertility and embryonic development. Weak daf-2 alleles, and maternally rescued age-1 alleles that cause life span extension but do not arrest at the dauer stage, also reduce fertility and viability. We find that age-1(hx546) has reduced both maternal and zygotic age-1 activity. daf-16 mutations suppress all of the daf-2 and age-1 phenotypes, including dauer arrest, life span extension, reduced fertility, and viability defects. These data show that insulin signaling, mediated by DAF-2 through the AGE-1 phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase, regulates reproduction and embryonic development, as well as dauer diapause and life span, and that DAF-16 transduces these signals. The regulation of fertility, life span, and metabolism by an insulin-like signaling pathway is similar to the endocrine regulation of metabolism and fertility by mammalian insulin signaling. PMID:9504918

  19. Offspring size at weaning affects survival to recruitment and reproductive performance of primiparous gray seals

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, William D; den Heyer, Cornelia E; McMillan, Jim I; Iverson, Sara J

    2015-01-01

    Offspring size affects survival and subsequent reproduction in many organisms. However, studies of offspring size in large mammals are often limited to effects on juveniles because of the difficulty of following individuals to maturity. We used data from a long-term study of individually marked gray seals (Halichoerus grypus; Fabricius, 1791) to test the hypothesis that larger offspring have higher survival to recruitment and are larger and more successful primiparous mothers than smaller offspring. Between 1998 and 2002, 1182 newly weaned female pups were branded with unique permanent marks on Sable Island, Canada. Each year through 2012, all branded females returning to the breeding colony were identified in weekly censuses and a subset were captured and measured. Females that survived were significantly longer offspring than those not sighted, indicating size-selective mortality between weaning and recruitment. The probability of female survival to recruitment varied among cohorts and increased nonlinearly with body mass at weaning. Beyond 51.5 kg (mean population weaning mass) weaning mass did not influence the probability of survival. The probability of female survival to recruitment increased monotonically with body length at weaning. Body length at primiparity was positively related to her body length and mass at weaning. Three-day postpartum mass (proxy for birth mass) of firstborn pups was also positively related to body length of females when they were weaned. However, females that were longer or heavier when they were weaned did not wean heavier firstborn offspring. PMID:25897381

  20. No evidence for external genital morphology affecting cryptic female choice and reproductive isolation in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    LeVasseur-Viens, Hélène; Polak, Michal; Moehring, Amanda J

    2015-07-01

    Genitalia are one of the most rapidly diverging morphological features in animals. The evolution of genital morphology is proposed to be driven by sexual selection via cryptic female choice, whereby a female selectively uptakes and uses a particular male's sperm on the basis of male genital morphology. The resulting shifts in genital morphology within a species can lead to divergence in genitalia between species, and consequently to reproductive isolation and speciation. Although this conceptual framework is supported by correlative data, there is little direct empirical evidence. Here, we used a microdissection laser to alter the morphology of the external male genitalia in Drosophila, a widely used genetic model for both genital shape and cryptic female choice. We evaluate the effect of precision alterations to lobe morphology on both interspecific and intraspecific mating, and demonstrate experimentally that the male genital lobes do not affect copulation duration or cryptic female choice, contrary to long-standing assumptions regarding the role of the lobes in this model system. Rather, we demonstrate that the lobes are essential for copulation to occur. Moreover, slight alterations to the lobes significantly reduced copulatory success only in competitive environments, identifying precopulatory sexual selection as a potential contributing force behind genital diversification.

  1. Female reproductive function in areas affected by radiation after the Chernobyl power station accident

    SciTech Connect

    Kulakov, V.I.; Sokur, T.N.; Volobuev, A.I.

    1993-07-01

    This paper reports the results of a comprehensive survey of the effects of the accidental release of radiation caused by the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in April 1986. The accident and the resulting release of radiation and radioactive products into the atmosphere produced the most serious environmental contamination so far recorded. We have concentrated on evaluating the outcomes and health risks to women, their reproductive situation, and consequences for their progeny. We have concentrated on two well-defined areas: the Chechersky district of the Gomel region in Belorussia and the Polessky district of the Kiev region in the Ukraine. A number of investigations were carried out on 688 pregnant women and their babies, and data were obtained from 7000 labor histories of the development of newborns for a period of 8 years (3 years before the accident and 5 years after it). Parameters examined included birth rate, thyroid pathology, extragenital pathology such as anemias, renal disorders, hypertension, and abnormalities in the metabolism of fats, complications of gestation, spontaneous abortions, premature deliveries, perinatal morbidity and mortality, stillbirths and early neonatal mortality, infections and inflammatory diseases, neurological symptoms and hemic disturbances in both mothers and infants, trophic anomalies, and biochemical and structural changes in the placenta. Several exogenous, complicating influences were also considered such as psycho-emotional factors, stress, lifestyle changes, and others caused directly by the hazardous situation and by its consequences such as treatment, removal from affected areas, etc. 9 figs.

  2. Adult diet affects lifespan and reproduction of the fruit-feeding butterfly Charaxes fulvescens.

    PubMed

    Molleman, Freerk; Ding, Jimin; Wang, Jane-Ling; Zwaan, Bas J; Carey, James R; Brakefield, Paul M

    2008-10-01

    Fruit-feeding butterflies are among the longest lived Lepidoptera. While the use of pollen-derived amino acids by Heliconius butterflies has been interpreted as important for the evolution of extended lifespans, very little is known about the life-history consequences of frugivory. This issue is addressed by investigating effects of four adult diets (sugar, sugar with amino acids, banana, and moistened banana) on lifespan and reproduction in the fruit-feeding butterfly Charaxes fulvescens Aurivillius (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Female butterflies were collected from Kibale National Park, Uganda, and kept individually in cages near their natural habitat and data were collected on lifespan, oviposition, and hatching of eggs. Lifespan in captivity was longer for the sugar and the amino acid cohort, than for the banana cohorts. The longitudinal pattern of oviposition was erratic, with many days without oviposition and few periods with high numbers of eggs laid. Butterflies typically did not lay eggs during their 1st week in captivity and the length of the period between capture and first reproduction was significantly shorter for butterflies fed moistened banana. The length of the reproduction period (first reproduction-last reproduction in captivity) and the reproduction rate (total number of eggs/length of the reproduction period) did not differ significantly between the diet treatments. Those fed with amino acid and moistened banana had significantly higher egg hatchability than those fed with sugar and banana. We found no evidence for a lifespan cost of reproduction. Our results show that (1) female C. fulvescens can use amino acids in their diet for laying fertile eggs, (2) more wing-wear does correlate with lower survival in captivity (indicating aging in the wild), but not with intensity of reproduction (providing no evidence for reproductive aging), and (3) fruit-feeding butterflies may be dietary restricted in the field.

  3. Determination of factors affecting relapse of vaginitis among reproductive-aged women: An experimental study

    PubMed Central

    Parsapour, Roxana; Majlessi, Fereshteh; Rahimiforoushani, Abbas; Sadeghi, Roya

    2017-01-01

    Introduction Vaginitis is a common problem for women, especially in reproductive-aged women. It is a worldwide health problem with many side effects but could be prevented by a health-promoting lifestyle related to vagina health. The aim of this study was to determine the factors affecting relapse of vaginitis. Methods In this experimental study, 350 reproductive-aged women with vaginitis were selected from 10 health centers in Kermanshah (Iran) during 2015 and were equally included in the intervention and control groups. To collect data, a researcher-created questionnaire, which included sociodemographic and health-promoting lifestyle questions, was used. The educational intervention was performed over 20 sessions, each lasting 25–35 minutes. An intervention group was educated by face-to-face education, pamphlets, phone contacts, text messages, and social media. Another group continued the routine clinic education and treatment without contacting the intervention group. Data were analyzed through chi-square and a logistics regression model using IBM-SPSS version 20. Results The results of the study indicated a significant relation between sociodemographic characteristics such as women and their husbands’ literacy, job, family size, income, area for each member of family, tendency of pregnancy, body mass index (BMI), and caesarean experience (p<0.001) and vaginitis. In addition, significant relationships between health-promoting lifestyle dimensions and prevention of vaginitis were identified. Relapse after intervention in the intervention group was 27.7% and 72.3% in the control group. According to the logistic regression analysis, chance for relapse of vaginitis in the group that did not receive intervention was more than the same chance in the intervention group (OR=5.14). Conclusion Health-promoting lifestyle intervention influences prevention of vaginitis. Health-promoting lifestyle, literacy promotion, prevention of caesarian, and obesity are beneficial

  4. Abdominally implanted satellite transmitters affect reproduction and survival rather than migration of large shorebirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hooijmeijer, Jos C. E. W.; Gill, Robert E.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Kentie, Rosemarie; Gerritsen, Gerrit J.; Bruinzeel, Leo W.; Tijssen, David C.; Harwood, Christopher M.; Piersma, Theunis

    2014-01-01

    Satellite telemetry has become a common technique to investigate avian life-histories, but whether such tagging will affect fitness is a critical unknown. In this study, we evaluate multi-year effects of implanted transmitters on migratory timing and reproductive performance in shorebirds. Shorebirds increasingly are recognized as good models in ecology and evolution. That many of them are of conservation concern adds to the research responsibilities. In May 2009, we captured 56 female Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa during late incubation in The Netherlands. Of these, 15 birds were equipped with 26-g satellite transmitters with a percutaneous antenna (7.8 % ± 0.2 SD of body mass), surgically implanted in the coelom. We compared immediate nest survival, timing of migration, subsequent nest site fidelity and reproductive behaviour including egg laying with those of the remaining birds, a comparison group of 41 females. We found no effects on immediate nest survival. Fledging success and subsequent southward and northward migration patterns of the implanted birds conformed to the expectations, and arrival time on the breeding grounds in 2010–2012 did not differ from the comparison group. Compared with the comparison group, in the year after implantation, implanted birds were equally faithful to the nest site and showed equal territorial behaviour, but a paucity of behaviours indicating nests or clutches. In the 3 years after implantation, the yearly apparent survival of implanted birds was 16 % points lower. Despite intense searching, we found only three eggs of two implanted birds; all were deformed. A similarly deformed egg was reported in a similarly implanted Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus returning to breed in central Alaska. The presence in the body cavity of an object slightly smaller than a normal egg may thus lead to egg malformation and, likely, reduced egg viability. That the use of implanted satellite transmitters in these large shorebirds

  5. Impact of gene polymorphisms of gonadotropins and their receptors on human reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Casarini, Livio; Santi, Daniele; Marino, Marco

    2015-12-01

    Gonadotropins and their receptors' genes carry several single-nucleotide polymorphisms resulting in endocrine genotypes modulating reproductive parameters, diseases, and lifespan leading to important implications for reproductive success and potential relevance during human evolution. Here we illustrate common genotypes of the gonadotropins and gonadotropin receptors' genes and their clinical implications in phenotypes relevant for reproduction such as ovarian cycle length, age of menopause, testosterone levels, polycystic ovary syndrome, and cancer. We then discuss their possible role in human reproduction and adaptation to the environment. Gonadotropins and their receptors' variants are differently distributed among human populations. Some hints suggest that they may be the result of natural selection that occurred in ancient times, increasing the individual chance of successful mating, pregnancy, and effective post-natal parental cares. The gender-related differences in the regulation of the reproductive endocrine systems imply that many of these genotypes may lead to sex-dependent effects, increasing the chance of mating and reproductive success in one sex at the expenses of the other sex. Also, we suggest that sexual conflicts within the FSH and LH-choriogonadotropin receptor genes contributed to maintain genotypes linked to subfertility among humans. Because the distribution of polymorphic markers results in a defined geographical pattern due to human migrations rather than natural selection, these polymorphisms may have had only a weak impact on reproductive success. On the contrary, such genotypes could acquire relevant consequences in the modern, developed societies in which parenthood attempts often occur at a later age, during a short, suboptimal reproductive window, making clinical fertility treatments necessary.

  6. Reproductive Hazards

    MedlinePlus

    ... such as lead and mercury Chemicals such as pesticides Cigarettes Some viruses Alcohol For men, a reproductive hazard can affect the sperm. For a woman, a reproductive hazard can cause different effects during pregnancy, depending on when she is exposed. ...

  7. NTP-CERHR Monograph on the Potential Human Reproductive and Developmental Effects of Di-isononyl Phthalate (DINP).

    PubMed

    2003-03-01

    The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) conducted an evaluation of the potential for di-isononyl phthalate (DINP) to cause adverse effects on reproduction and development in humans. DINP is one of 7 phthalate chemicals evaluated by the NTP CERHR Phthalates Expert Panel. These phthalates were selected for evaluation because of high production volume, extent of human exposures, use in children's products, and/or published evidence of reproductive or developmental toxicity. DINP is a mixture of branched, C-9 phthalate isomers used to add flexibility to a wide variety of plastic products such as toys, garden hoses, flooring tiles, tarps, and pool liners. The results of this evaluation on DINP are published in a NTP-CERHR monograph which includes: 1) the NTP Brief, 2) the Expert Panel Report on the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of Di-isononyl Phthalate, and 3) public comments received on the Expert Panel Report. As stated in the NTP Brief, the NTP reached the following conclusions regarding the possible effects of exposure to DINP on human development and reproduction. First, although DINP could possibly affect human development if exposures are sufficiently high, there is minimal concern for DINP causing adverse effects to human reproduction or fetal development. There is no direct evidence that exposure of people to DINP adversely affects reproduction or development, but studies show that oral exposure of pregnant rats to high doses (500 and 1000 mg/kg bodyweight/day) of DINP can adversely affect fetal development. Effects on pup growth were noted in a 2-generation reproductive toxicity study in rats at doses of 143-285 mg/kg body weight/day. Human exposure information for DINP was not available but it was assumed that the general US population would be exposed to 3-30 mug/kg body weight/day, based upon the range of estimated exposures for DEHP, a more widely used phthalate. Second, based on

  8. Adult diet affects lifespan and reproduction of the fruit-feeding butterfly Charaxes fulvescens

    PubMed Central

    Molleman, Freerk; Ding, Jimin; Wang, Jane-Ling; Zwaan, Bas J.; Carey, James R.; Brakefield, Paul M.

    2009-01-01

    Fruit-feeding butterflies are among the longest lived Lepidoptera. While the use of pollen-derived amino acids by Heliconius butterflies has been interpreted as important for the evolution of extended lifespans, very little is known about the life-history consequences of frugivory. This issue is addressed by investigating effects of four adult diets (sugar, sugar with amino acids, banana, and moistened banana) on lifespan and reproduction in the fruit-feeding butterfly Charaxes fulvescens Aurivillius (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Female butterflies were collected from Kibale National Park, Uganda, and kept individually in cages near their natural habitat and data were collected on lifespan, oviposition, and hatching of eggs. Lifespan in captivity was longer for the sugar and the amino acid cohort, than for the banana cohorts. The longitudinal pattern of oviposition was erratic, with many days without oviposition and few periods with high numbers of eggs laid. Butterflies typically did not lay eggs during their 1st week in captivity and the length of the period between capture and first reproduction was significantly shorter for butterflies fed moistened banana. The length of the reproduction period (first reproduction–last reproduction in captivity) and the reproduction rate (total number of eggs/length of the reproduction period) did not differ significantly between the diet treatments. Those fed with amino acid and moistened banana had significantly higher egg hatchability than those fed with sugar and banana. We found no evidence for a lifespan cost of reproduction. Our results show that (1) female C. fulvescens can use amino acids in their diet for laying fertile eggs, (2) more wing-wear does correlate with lower survival in captivity (indicating aging in the wild), but not with intensity of reproduction (providing no evidence for reproductive aging), and (3) fruit-feeding butterflies may be dietary restricted in the field. PMID:19774093

  9. Expression of Attractin in male reproductive tract of human and mice and its correlation with male reproduction.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Dan; Ming, Yu; Li, Jie; Chi, Yan; Li, Hong-Gang; Zou, Yu-Jie; Xiong, Cheng-Liang

    2014-10-01

    The expression of Attractin mRNA and protein in testis and semen of human and male mice was investigated. Human testis and semen samples were all collected from Reproductive Center of Renmin Hospital, Wuhan University in December, 2012. Testis samples were collected from 7 cases of obstructive azoospermias when they were subjected to diagnosed testis biopsy, and 30 normal human semen samples were obtained from those cases of semen analysis. Adult mice testis tissues were obtained from 10 2-month-old male BALB/c mice, and 60 male mice at different ages were classified into 10 groups (day 1, 5, 10, 15, 21, 28, 35, 42, 56, and 120 respectively, n=6 each). The expression of Attractin mRNA and protein in testis was detected by RT-PCR and Western blotting respectively. Human semen samples were centrifuged into sperm plasma (SP) and sperm extract (SE), and mice sperm samples were collected from the epididymis of 10 adult male BALB/c mice. Western blotting was used to determine the Attractin protein expression level. Attractin mRNA and protein were expressed in the testis of both patients with obstructive azoospermias and adult Bcl/B mice. Quantitative RT-PCR revealed that no Attractin mRNA was detectable in day 1 male BALB/c mice group. The Attractin mRNA and protein levels were low on the day 10, and increased with age until day 56. On the day 120, the expression levels of Attractin were decreased. As for human semen samples, Attractin protein was expressed in both SP and SE, but didn't exist in samples from the epididymis of male BALB/c mice. It was suggested that Attractin acted as a novel active substance and was involved in male reproduction in both human and BALB/c mice, but it exerted a different expression profile in different mammal species.

  10. Conditions during adulthood affect cohort-specific reproductive success in an Arctic-nesting goose population

    PubMed Central

    Bearhop, Stuart; Hilton, Geoff M.; Walsh, Alyn; Fox, Anthony David

    2016-01-01

    Variation in fitness between individuals in populations may be attributed to differing environmental conditions experienced among birth (or hatch) years (i.e., between cohorts). In this study, we tested whether cohort fitness could also be explained by environmental conditions experienced in years post-hatch, using 736 lifelong resighting histories of Greenland white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons flavirostris) marked in their first winter. Specifically, we tested whether variation in age at first successful reproduction, the size of the first successful brood and the proportion of successful breeders by cohort was explained by environmental conditions experienced on breeding areas in west Greenland during hatch year, those in adulthood prior to successful reproduction and those in the year of successful reproduction, using North Atlantic Oscillation indices as proxies for environmental conditions during these periods. Fifty-nine (8%) of all marked birds reproduced successfully (i.e., were observed on wintering areas with young) only once in their lifetime and 15 (2%) reproduced successfully twice or thrice. Variation in age at first successful reproduction was explained by the environmental conditions experienced during adulthood in the years prior to successful reproduction. Birds bred earliest (mean age 4) when environmental conditions were ‘good’ prior to the year of successful reproduction. Conversely, birds successfully reproduced at older ages (mean age 7) if they experienced adverse conditions prior to the year of successful reproduction. Hatch year conditions and an interaction between those experienced prior to and during the year of successful reproduction explained less (marginally significant) variation in age at first successful reproduction. Environmental conditions did not explain variation in the size of the first successful brood or the proportion of successful breeders. These findings show that conditions during adulthood prior to the year of

  11. Wolbachia Affects Reproduction and Population Dynamics of the Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei): Implications for Biological Control

    PubMed Central

    Mariño, Yobana A.; Verle Rodrigues, José C.; Bayman, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Wolbachia are widely distributed endosymbiotic bacteria that influence the reproduction and fitness of their hosts. In recent years the manipulation of Wolbachia infection has been considered as a potential tool for biological control. The coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei, is the most devastating coffee pest worldwide. Wolbachia infection in the CBB has been reported, but until now the role of Wolbachia in CBB reproduction and fitness has not been tested. To address this issue we reared the CBB in artificial diets with and without tetracycline (0.1% w/v) for ten generations. Tetracycline reduced significantly the relative proportion of Wolbachia in the CBB microbiota from 0.49% to 0.04%. This reduction affected CBB reproduction: females fed with tetracycline had significantly fewer progeny, lower fecundity, and fewer eggs per female. Tetracycline also reduced the population growth rate (λ), net reproductive rate (R0), and mean generation time (T) in CBB; the reduction in population growth was mostly due to variation in fertility, according to life time response experiments (LTREs) analysis. Our results suggest that Wolbachia contribute to the reproductive success of the CBB and their manipulation represents a possible approach to CBB biocontrol mediated by microbiome management. PMID:28085049

  12. Wolbachia Affects Reproduction and Population Dynamics of the Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei): Implications for Biological Control.

    PubMed

    Mariño, Yobana A; Verle Rodrigues, José C; Bayman, Paul

    2017-01-11

    Wolbachia are widely distributed endosymbiotic bacteria that influence the reproduction and fitness of their hosts. In recent years the manipulation of Wolbachia infection has been considered as a potential tool for biological control. The coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei, is the most devastating coffee pest worldwide. Wolbachia infection in the CBB has been reported, but until now the role of Wolbachia in CBB reproduction and fitness has not been tested. To address this issue we reared the CBB in artificial diets with and without tetracycline (0.1% w/v) for ten generations. Tetracycline reduced significantly the relative proportion of Wolbachia in the CBB microbiota from 0.49% to 0.04%. This reduction affected CBB reproduction: females fed with tetracycline had significantly fewer progeny, lower fecundity, and fewer eggs per female. Tetracycline also reduced the population growth rate (λ), net reproductive rate (R₀), and mean generation time (T) in CBB; the reduction in population growth was mostly due to variation in fertility, according to life time response experiments (LTREs) analysis. Our results suggest that Wolbachia contribute to the reproductive success of the CBB and their manipulation represents a possible approach to CBB biocontrol mediated by microbiome management.

  13. Environmental Endocrine Disruptors: Effects on the human male reproductive system

    PubMed Central

    Sweeney, M.F.; Hasan, N.; Soto, A.M.; Sonnenschein, C.

    2016-01-01

    Incidences of altered development and neoplasia of male reproductive organs have increased during the last 50 years, as shown by epidemiological data. These data are associated with the increased presence of environmental chemicals, specifically “endocrine disruptors,” that interfere with normal hormonal action. Much research has gone into testing the effects of specific endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on the development of male reproductive organs and endocrine-related cancers in both in vitro and in vivo models. Efforts have been made to bridge the accruing laboratory findings with the epidemiological data to draw conclusions regarding the relationship between EDCs, altered development and carcinogenesis. The ability of EDCs to predispose target fetal and adult tissues to neoplastic transformation is best explained under the framework of the tissue organization field theory of carcinogenesis (TOFT), which posits that carcinogenesis is development gone awry. Here, we focus on the available evidence, from both empirical and epidemiological studies, regarding the effects of EDCs on male reproductive development and carcinogenesis of endocrine target tissues. We also critique current research methodology utilized in the investigation of EDCs effects and outline what could possibly be done to address these obstacles moving forward. PMID:26847433

  14. Environmental endocrine disruptors: Effects on the human male reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Sweeney, M F; Hasan, N; Soto, A M; Sonnenschein, C

    2015-12-01

    Incidences of altered development and neoplasia of male reproductive organs have increased during the last 50 years, as shown by epidemiological data. These data are associated with the increased presence of environmental chemicals, specifically "endocrine disruptors," that interfere with normal hormonal action. Much research has gone into testing the effects of specific endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on the development of male reproductive organs and endocrine-related cancers in both in vitro and in vivo models. Efforts have been made to bridge the accruing laboratory findings with the epidemiological data to draw conclusions regarding the relationship between EDCs, altered development and carcinogenesis. The ability of EDCs to predispose target fetal and adult tissues to neoplastic transformation is best explained under the framework of the tissue organization field theory of carcinogenesis (TOFT), which posits that carcinogenesis is development gone awry. Here, we focus on the available evidence, from both empirical and epidemiological studies, regarding the effects of EDCs on male reproductive development and carcinogenesis of endocrine target tissues. We also critique current research methodology utilized in the investigation of EDCs effects and outline what could possibly be done to address these obstacles moving forward.

  15. [The juridical desprotection of the human embryos post the new law of human assisted reproduction and the law of biomedical investigation].

    PubMed

    Corral García, Eduardo

    2009-01-01

    This research try to analyse the juridical statute of the human embryos in accordance with two recent laws which contain ordesr what affects him: the new Law of assisted reproduction technology -Law 14/2006, of 26 may (LRA)-, and the law of biomedical investigation -Law 14/2007, of 3 july (LIB)-, because the embryos in vitro is considered devoid of the quality what give the human dignity, why is allowed not only to research and to test with the remaining preembryos of assisted reproduction, but also to clone embryos with therapeutic purposes and to make a embryonic selection in order to cure other sons of the woman that recourse to fertilization in vitro through the donation of genetic material from the future baby.

  16. [Affective computing--a mysterious tool to explore human emotions].

    PubMed

    Li, Xin; Li, Honghong; Dou, Yi; Hou, Yongjie; Li, Changwu

    2013-12-01

    Perception, affection and consciousness are basic psychological functions of human being. Affection is the subjective reflection of different kinds of objects. The foundation of human being's thinking is constituted by the three basic functions. Affective computing is an effective tool of revealing the affectiveness of human being in order to understand the world. Our research of affective computing focused on the relation, the generation and the influent factors among different affections. In this paper, the affective mechanism, the basic theory of affective computing, is studied, the method of acquiring and recognition of affective information is discussed, and the application of affective computing is summarized as well, in order to attract more researchers into this working area.

  17. High summer temperatures affect the survival and reproduction of olive fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin-Geng; Johnson, Marshall W; Daane, Kent M; Nadel, Hannah

    2009-10-01

    The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (Diptera: Tephritidae), is an invasive pest in California. Identifying environmental constraints that affect the geographic distribution and abundance of any invasive insect pest is fundamental to its effective management. California's Central Valley, where most commercial olives are grown, is extremely hot during the summer, with maximum daily temperatures consistently >35.0 degrees C. This study examined the effects of two diurnal temperature regimens (low 18.3 degrees C, high 35.0 or 37.8 degrees C) reflecting summer conditions in the valley, and one control temperature regimen (low 18.3 degrees C, high 23.9 degrees C) on the fly's survival and reproductive success in the laboratory. The temperature regimen of 18.3-35.0 degrees C resulted in delayed egg maturation and reduced production of mature eggs compared with the control temperature regimen. Egg maturation was possible at the higher temperature regimen when females were provided with water and food, and egg-laying occurred during the cold phase of the temperature cycle. Access to olive fruit and oviposition itself further promoted egg maturation. Under exposure to the 18.3-35.0 degrees C temperature regimen, approximately 50% of eggs died, and the remainder that hatched died as first instars. No egg hatch occurred at the temperature treatment of 18.3-37.8 degrees C. We confirmed these laboratory results through field cage studies with adult B. oleae, conducted in the summer of 2007 and 2008. Under ambient summer temperatures, adult B. oleae survived for 1-2 wk, and females readily laid eggs when provided water and food. No offspring developed in midsummer of 2007, and <2% of the offspring developed to adults in summer 2008 trials. These results suggest that high summer temperatures limit the fly's abundance in California's Central Valley.

  18. ANDROGENS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ANTIANDROGENS AFFECT REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT AND PLAY BEHAVIOR IN THE SPRAGUE-DAWLEY RAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract: In mammals, exposure to androgens early in development is essential for masculinization of the male reproductive phenotype. Male fetuses exposed to antiandrogens during perinatal life are permanently demasculinized in their morphology and physiology, whereas exposure to...

  19. Exploring an Alternative Model of Human Reproductive Capability: A Creative Learning Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cherif, Abour H.; Jedlicka, Dianne M.

    2012-01-01

    Biological and social evolutionary processes, along with social and cultural developments, have allowed humans to separate procreation from pleasurable/recreational sexual activity. As a class learning project, an alternative, hypothetical reproductive scenario is presented: "What if humans were biologically ready to conceive only during one…

  20. 75 FR 2545 - National Toxicology Program (NTP); Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-15

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Toxicology Program (NTP); Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR); Availability of the Final Expert Panel Report on...

  1. Perceived Risk of Predation Affects Reproductive Life-History Traits in Gambusia holbrooki, but Not in Heterandria formosa

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Shomen; Heithaus, Michael R.; Trexler, Joel C.; Ray-Mukherjee, Jayanti; Vaudo, Jeremy

    2014-01-01

    Key to predicting impacts of predation is understanding the mechanisms through which predators impact prey populations. While consumptive effects are well-known, non-consumptive predator effects (risk effects) are increasingly being recognized as important. Studies of risk effects, however, have focused largely on how trade-offs between food and safety affect fitness. Less documented, and appreciated, is the potential for predator presence to directly suppress prey reproduction and affect life-history characteristics. For the first time, we tested the effects of visual predator cues on reproduction of two prey species with different reproductive modes, lecithotrophy (i.e. embryonic development primarily fueled by yolk) and matrotrophy (i.e. energy for embryonic development directly supplied by the mother to the embryo through a vascular connection). Predation risk suppressed reproduction in the lecithotrophic prey (Gambusia holbrokii) but not the matrotroph (Heterandria formosa). Predator stress caused G. holbrooki to reduce clutch size by 43%, and to produce larger and heavier offspring compared to control females. H. formosa, however, did not show any such difference. In G. holbrooki we also found a significantly high percentage (14%) of stillbirths in predator-exposed treatments compared to controls (2%). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first direct empirical evidence of predation stress affecting stillbirths in prey. Our results suggest that matrotrophy, superfetation (clutch overlap), or both decrease the sensitivity of mothers to environmental fluctuation in resource (food) and stress (predation risk) levels compared to lecithotrophy. These mechanisms should be considered both when modeling consequences of perceived risk of predation on prey-predator population dynamics and when seeking to understand the evolution of reproductive modes. PMID:24551171

  2. Perceived risk of predation affects reproductive life-history traits in Gambusia holbrooki, but not in Heterandria formosa.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Shomen; Heithaus, Michael R; Trexler, Joel C; Ray-Mukherjee, Jayanti; Vaudo, Jeremy

    2014-01-01

    Key to predicting impacts of predation is understanding the mechanisms through which predators impact prey populations. While consumptive effects are well-known, non-consumptive predator effects (risk effects) are increasingly being recognized as important. Studies of risk effects, however, have focused largely on how trade-offs between food and safety affect fitness. Less documented, and appreciated, is the potential for predator presence to directly suppress prey reproduction and affect life-history characteristics. For the first time, we tested the effects of visual predator cues on reproduction of two prey species with different reproductive modes, lecithotrophy (i.e. embryonic development primarily fueled by yolk) and matrotrophy (i.e. energy for embryonic development directly supplied by the mother to the embryo through a vascular connection). Predation risk suppressed reproduction in the lecithotrophic prey (Gambusia holbrokii) but not the matrotroph (Heterandria formosa). Predator stress caused G. holbrooki to reduce clutch size by 43%, and to produce larger and heavier offspring compared to control females. H. formosa, however, did not show any such difference. In G. holbrooki we also found a significantly high percentage (14%) of stillbirths in predator-exposed treatments compared to controls (2%). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first direct empirical evidence of predation stress affecting stillbirths in prey. Our results suggest that matrotrophy, superfetation (clutch overlap), or both decrease the sensitivity of mothers to environmental fluctuation in resource (food) and stress (predation risk) levels compared to lecithotrophy. These mechanisms should be considered both when modeling consequences of perceived risk of predation on prey-predator population dynamics and when seeking to understand the evolution of reproductive modes.

  3. Male reproductive system parameters in a two-generation reproduction study of ammonium perfluorooctanoate in rats and human relevance.

    PubMed

    York, Raymond G; Kennedy, Gerald L; Olsen, Geary W; Butenhoff, John L

    2010-04-30

    Ammonium perfluorooctanoate (ammonium PFOA) is an industrial surfactant that has been used primarily as a processing aid in the manufacture of fluoropolymers. The environmental and metabolic stability of PFOA together with its presence in human blood and long elimination half-life have led to extensive toxicological studies in laboratory animals. Two recent publications based on observations from the Danish general population have reported: (1) a negative association between serum concentrations of PFOA in young adult males and their sperm counts and (2) a positive association among women with time to pregnancy. A two-generation reproduction study in rats was previously published (2004) in which no effects on functional reproduction were observed at doses up to 30mg ammonium PFOA/kg body weight. The article contained the simple statement: "In males, fertility was normal as were all sperm parameters". In order to place the recent human epidemiological data in perspective, herein we provide the detailed male reproductive parameters from that study, including sperm quality and testicular histopathology. Sperm parameters in rats from the two-generation study in all ammonium PFOA treatment groups were unaffected by treatment with ammonium PFOA. These observations reflected the normal fertility observations in these males. No evidence of altered testicular and sperm structure and function was observed in ammonium PFOA-treated rats whose mean group serum PFOA concentrations ranged up to approximately 50,000ng/mL. Given that median serum PFOA in the Danish cohorts was approximately 5ng/mL, it seems unlikely that concentrations observed in the general population, including those recently reported in Danish general population, could be associated causally with a real decrement in sperm number and quality.

  4. Reproductive rate, not dominance status, affects fecal glucocorticoid levels in breeding female meerkats.

    PubMed

    Barrette, Marie-France; Monfort, Steven L; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Clutton-Brock, Tim H; Russell, Andrew F

    2012-04-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) have been studied intensively to understand the associations between physiological stress and reproductive skew in animal societies. However, we have little appreciation of the range of either natural levels within and among individuals, or the associations among dominance status, reproductive rate and GCs levels during breeding. To address these shortcomings, we examined variation in fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (fGC) during breeding periods in free-ranging female meerkats (Suricata suricatta) over 11 years. The vast majority of variation in fGC levels was found within breeding events by the same female (~87%), with the remaining variation arising among breeding events and among females. Concentrations of fGC generally tripled as pregnancy progressed. However, females with a high reproductive rate, defined as those conceiving within a month following parturition (mean = 9 days postpartum), showed significant reductions in fGC in the final 2 weeks before parturition. Despite these reductions, females with a high reproductive rate had higher fGC levels at conception of the following litter than those breeding at a low rate. After controlling for the higher reproductive rate of dominants, we found no association between levels of fGC and either age or dominance status. Our results suggest that one should be cautious about interpreting associations between dominance status, reproductive skew and GCs levels, without knowledge of the natural variation in GCs levels within and among females.

  5. Developmental and reproductive outcomes in humans and animals after glyphosate exposure: a critical analysis.

    PubMed

    Williams, Amy Lavin; Watson, Rebecca E; DeSesso, John M

    2012-01-01

    Glyphosate is the active ingredient of several widely used herbicide formulations. Glyphosate targets the shikimate metabolic pathway, which is found in plants but not in animals. Despite the relative safety of glyphosate, various adverse developmental and reproductive problems have been alleged as a result of exposure in humans and animals. To assess the developmental and reproductive safety of glyphosate, an analysis of the available literature was conducted. Epidemiological and animal reports, as well as studies on mechanisms of action related to possible developmental and reproductive effects of glyphosate, were reviewed. An evaluation of this database found no consistent effects of glyphosate exposure on reproductive health or the developing offspring. Furthermore, no plausible mechanisms of action for such effects were elucidated. Although toxicity was observed in studies that used glyphosate-based formulations, the data strongly suggest that such effects were due to surfactants present in the formulations and not the direct result of glyphosate exposure. To estimate potential human exposure concentrations to glyphosate as a result of working directly with the herbicide, available biomonitoring data were examined. These data demonstrated extremely low human exposures as a result of normal application practices. Furthermore, the estimated exposure concentrations in humans are >500-fold less than the oral reference dose for glyphosate of 2 mg/kg/d set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA 1993). In conclusion, the available literature shows no solid evidence linking glyphosate exposure to adverse developmental or reproductive effects at environmentally realistic exposure concentrations.

  6. A comparative analysis of reproductive biology of insect vectors of human disease

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, W. Robert; Attardo, Geoffrey M.; Aksoy, Serap

    2015-01-01

    Studying the reproductive strategies of insect species that transmit diseases to humans can identify new exploitable targets for the development of vector control methods. Here we describe shared characteristics and individual features of the reproductive biology of three major disease vectors: Anopheles gambiae, Aedes aegypti and Glossina morsitans. Current studies are identifying i) species-specific molecular cascades that determine female monandrous behavior, ii) core aspects of egg development that could be disrupted for controlling natural populations, and iii) the increasingly apparent role of resident microbiota in shaping reproductive success and disease transmission potential. The recent completion of multiple genome sequencing projects is allowing comparative genomics studies that not only increase our knowledge of reproductive processes but also facilitate the identification of novel targets for vector control. PMID:26140265

  7. Pulsed resources affect the timing of first breeding and lifetime reproductive success of tawny owls.

    PubMed

    Millon, A; Petty, S J; Lambin, X

    2010-03-01

    1. According to life-history theory, environmental variability and costs of reproduction account for the prevalence of delayed reproduction in many taxa. Empirical estimates of the fitness consequences of different ages at first breeding in a variable environment are few however such that the contributions of environmental and individual variability remains poorly known. 2. Our objectives were to elucidate processes that underpin variation in delayed reproduction and to assess lifetime consequences of the age of first breeding in a site-faithful predator, the tawny owl Strix aluco L. subjected to fluctuating selection linked to cyclical variation in vole density (typically 3-year cycles with low, increasing and decreasing vole densities in successive years). 3. A multistate capture-recapture model revealed that owl cohorts had strikingly different juvenile survival prospects, with estimates ranging from 0.08 to 0.33 respectively for birds born in Decrease and Increase phases of the vole cycle. This resulted in a highly skewed population structure with >75% of local recruits being reared during Increase years. In contrast, adult survival remained constant throughout a vole cycle. The probability of commencing reproduction was lower at age 1 than at older ages, and especially so for females. From age 2 onwards, pre-breeders had high probabilities of entering the breeding population. 4. Variation in lifetime reproductive success was driven by the phase of the vole cycle in which female owls started their breeding career (26-47% of variance explained, whether based on the number of local recruits or fledglings), more than by age at first breeding or by conditions experienced at birth. Females who postponed reproduction to breed for the first time at age 3 during an Increase phase, produced more recruits, even when accounting for birds that may have died before reproduction. No such effects were detected for males. 5. Sex-specific costs of early reproduction may have

  8. Chocolate and other cocoa products: effects on human reproduction and pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Brillo, Eleonora; Di Renzo, Gian Carlo

    2015-11-18

    Chocolate and other cocoa products are not all alike. They differ between themselves in term of nutrients, calories, and bioactive constituents. Therefore, some of them are unhealthy foods, whereas others do not affect health and still others are healthy foods. One wonders which chocolate and other cocoa derivatives can be considered as biofunctional food products. This review explores the constituents of cocoa and chocolate and summarizes evidence about the role of cocoa and chocolate components on human health and particularly on reproduction. On the basis of the literature review, it can be asserted that some kinds of cocoa products have favorable effects on human health at different stages of life. Women seem to be particularly favored by consuming of cocoa products, and chocolate with specific features can also be a good supplementary source of energy for pregnant woman. However, many aspects remain to be investigated and others are still to be clarified. Future studies and systematic reviews will shed light on some preventive effects and health benefits of cocoa products.

  9. Infrasound from Wind Turbines Could Affect Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salt, Alec N.; Kaltenbach, James A.

    2011-01-01

    Wind turbines generate low-frequency sounds that affect the ear. The ear is superficially similar to a microphone, converting mechanical sound waves into electrical signals, but does this by complex physiologic processes. Serious misconceptions about low-frequency sound and the ear have resulted from a failure to consider in detail how the ear…

  10. Human rights and reproductive health: political realities and pragmatic choices for married adolescent women living in urban slums, Bangladesh

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In Bangladesh, particularly in urban slums, married adolescent women’s human rights to life, health, and reproductive and sexual health remain adversely affected because of the structural inequalities and political economic, social and cultural conditions which shape how rights are understood, negotiated and lived. Methods The focus of the research and methods was anthropological. An initial survey of 153 married adolescent women was carried out and from this group, 50 in-depth interviews were conducted with selected participants and, from the in-depth interviews, a further eight case studies of women and their families were selected for in-depth repeated interviews and case histories. Results This paper speaks of the unanticipated complexities when writing on reproductive rights for poor adolescent women living in the slums, where the discourses on ‘universal human rights’ are often removed from the reality of adolescent women’s everyday lives. Married adolescent women and their families remain extremely vulnerable in the unpredictable, crime-prone and insecure urban slum landscape because of their age, gender and poverty. Adolescent women’s understanding of their rights such as the decision to marry early, have children, terminate pregnancies and engage in risky sexual behaviour, are different from the widely accepted discourse on rights globally, which assumes a particular kind of individual thinking and discourse on rights and a certain autonomy women have over their bodies and their lives. This does not necessarily exist in urban slum populations. Conclusions The lived experiences and decisions made pertaining to sexual and reproductive health and ‘rights’ exercised by married adolescent women, their families and slum communities, allow us to reflect on the disconnect between the international legal human rights frameworks as applied to sexual and reproductive health rights, and how these are played out on the ground. These notions are

  11. Novel domains of expression for orphan receptor tyrosine kinase Ror2 in the human and mouse reproductive system

    PubMed Central

    Arora, Ripla; Altman, Eran; Tran, Nam D; Laird, Diana J

    2014-01-01

    Background The non-canonical Wnt receptor and tyrosine kinase Ror2 has been associated with Recessive Robinow syndrome (RRS) and dominant Brachydactyly type B1. The phenotypes of mouse mutants implicate Ror2 in the development of the heart, lungs, bone and craniofacial structures, which are affected in RRS. Following a recently identified role of Ror2 in the migration of mouse primordial germ cells, we extensively characterized its expression throughout the fetal internal reproductive system and the postnatal ductal system. Results We show that Ror2 gene products are present in the germ cells and somatic cells of the testis and the ovary of both the mouse and human fetus. In reproductive tract structures, we find that Ror2 is expressed in the mesonephros, developing Wolffian and Müllerian ducts and later in their derivatives, the epididymal epithelium and uterine epithelium. Conclusion This study sets the stage to explore function for this tyrosine kinase receptor in novel regions of expression in the developing reproductive system in both mouse and human. PMID:24753105

  12. The Relationship of Appetitive, Reproductive and Posterior Pituitary Hormones to Alcoholism and Craving in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Kenna, George A.; Swift, Robert M.; Hillemacher, Thomas; Leggio, Lorenzo

    2012-01-01

    A significant challenge for understanding alcoholism lies in discovering why some, but not other individuals, become dependent on alcohol. Genetic, environmental, cultural, developmental, and neurobiological influences are recognized as essential factors underlying a person's risk for becoming alcohol dependent (AD); however, the neurobiological processes that trigger this vulnerability are still poorly understood. Hormones are important in the regulation of many functions and several hormones are strongly associated with alcohol use. While medical consequences are important, the primary focus of this review is on the underlying confluence of appetitive/feeding, reproductive and posterior pituitary hormones associated with distinct phases of alcoholism or assessed by alcohol craving in humans. While these hormones are of diverse origin, the involvement with alcoholism by these hormone systems is unmistakable, and demonstrates the complexity of interactions with alcohol and the difficulty of successfully pursuing effective treatments. Whether alcohol associated changes in the activity of certain hormones are the result of alcohol use or are the result of an underlying predisposition for alcoholism, or a combination of both, is currently of great scientific interest. The evidence we present in this review suggests that appetitive hormones may be markers as they appear involved in alcohol dependence and craving, that reproductive hormones provide an example of the consequences of drinking and are affected by alcohol, and that posterior pituitary hormones have potential for being targets for treatment. A better understanding of the nature of these associations may contribute to diagnosing and more comprehensively treating alcoholism. Pharmacotherapies that take advantage of our new understanding of hormones, their receptors, or their potential relationship to craving may shed light on the treatment of this disorder. PMID:22772772

  13. The relationship of appetitive, reproductive and posterior pituitary hormones to alcoholism and craving in humans.

    PubMed

    Kenna, George A; Swift, Robert M; Hillemacher, Thomas; Leggio, Lorenzo

    2012-09-01

    A significant challenge for understanding alcoholism lies in discovering why some, but not other individuals, become dependent on alcohol. Genetic, environmental, cultural, developmental, and neurobiological influences are recognized as essential factors underlying a person's risk for becoming alcohol dependent (AD); however, the neurobiological processes that trigger this vulnerability are still poorly understood. Hormones are important in the regulation of many functions and several hormones are strongly associated with alcohol use. While medical consequences are important, the primary focus of this review is on the underlying confluence of appetitive/feeding, reproductive and posterior pituitary hormones associated with distinct phases of alcoholism or assessed by alcohol craving in humans. While these hormones are of diverse origin, the involvement with alcoholism by these hormone systems is unmistakable, and demonstrates the complexity of interactions with alcohol and the difficulty of successfully pursuing effective treatments. Whether alcohol associated changes in the activity of certain hormones are the result of alcohol use or are the result of an underlying predisposition for alcoholism, or a combination of both, is currently of great scientific interest. The evidence we present in this review suggests that appetitive hormones may be markers as they appear involved in alcohol dependence and craving, that reproductive hormones provide an example of the consequences of drinking and are affected by alcohol, and that posterior pituitary hormones have potential for being targets for treatment. A better understanding of the nature of these associations may contribute to diagnosing and more comprehensively treating alcoholism. Pharmacotherapies that take advantage of our new understanding of hormones, their receptors, or their potential relationship to craving may shed light on the treatment of this disorder.

  14. Does Globalization Affect Human Well-Being?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsai, Ming-Chang

    2007-01-01

    The prevailing theorizing of globalization's influence of human well-being suggests to assess both the favorable and unfavorable outcomes. This study formulates a dialectical model, adopts a comprehensive globalization measure and uses a three-wave panel data during 1980-2000 to empirically test direct and indirect effects of global flows' human…

  15. Preserving human cells for regenerative, reproductive, and transfusion medicine

    PubMed Central

    Asghar, Waseem; Assal, Rami El; Shafiee, Hadi; Anchan, Raymond M.; Demirci, Utkan

    2014-01-01

    Cell cryopreservation enables maintaining cellular life at sub-zero temperatures by slowing down biochemical processes. Various cell types are routinely cryopreserved in modern reproductive, regenerative, and transfusion medicine. Current cell cryopreservation methods involve freezing (slow/rapid) or vitrifying cells in the presence of a cryoprotective agent (CPA). Although these methods are clinically utilized, cryo-injury due to ice crystals, osmotic shock, and CPA toxicity cause loss of cell viability and function. Recent approaches using minimum volume vitrification provide alternatives to the conventional cryopreservation methods. Minimum volume vitrification provides ultra-high cooling and rewarming rates that enable preserving cells without ice crystal formation. Herein, we review recent advances in cell cryopreservation technology and provide examples of techniques that are utilized in oocyte, stem cell, and red blood cell cryopreservation. PMID:24995723

  16. Ectoparasites from feral pigeons affecting humans.

    PubMed

    Haag-Wackernagel, Daniel; Bircher, Andreas J

    2010-01-01

    Feral pigeons pose a considerable health risk to the human population. They are vectors of infectious diseases and source of antigens causing allergic diseases. Breeding and roosting sites of pigeons harbor parasites that may infest humans. In the present article, a concomitant parasitization of a young female with 3 different ectoparasites, the bedbug Cimex lectularius, the pigeon tick Argas reflexus and the red mite Dermanyssus gallinae, is reported. The parasites invaded the apartment from a balcony used as roost by feral pigeons and infested the patient continuously over a period of more than 2 months. To our knowledge this case presents the first record of a coincidental infestation of a single patient with several ectoparasite species deriving from feral pigeons. Additionally we report general symptoms in the patient probably caused by the high number of stings. Dermatologists should be aware of the possibility of an infestation with ectoparasites deriving from feral pigeons. In a review we give an overview on the most important ectoparasites transmitted from feral pigeons to humans and their importance for the dermatologist.

  17. Tropical photoperiods affect reproductive development in the musk shrew, Suncus murinus.

    PubMed

    Wayne, N L; Rissman, E F

    1991-09-01

    The purpose of the present studies was to determine whether reproductive development in male musk shrews (original stock from Guam Island, 13 degrees N latitude) could be altered by small, ecologically relevant changes in photoperiod. In the first experiment, effects of changes in photoperiod equivalent to those seen between the 2 solstices on Guam Island (90 min) on reproductive maturation were investigated. The results showed that a 90-min difference in photoperiod had a significant effect on weights of various androgen-sensitive target tissues. Furthermore, there was little evidence that the preweaning photoperiod had an effect on the response to the postweaning photoperiod. In the second experiment, effects of changes in photoperiod equivalent to those seen between the equinoxes and solstices on Guam Island (45 min) on reproductive maturation were investigated. The results showed that both a decrease and an increase in photoperiod by 45 min had a significant effect on weights of various androgen-sensitive target tissues. Overall, these results suggest that animals living close to the equator can potentially use small changes in day length to alter or time reproductive function.

  18. Sexual experience affects reproductive behavior and preoptic androgen receptors in male mice

    PubMed Central

    Swaney, William T.; Dubose, Brittany N.; Curley, James P.; Champagne, Frances A.

    2012-01-01

    Reproductive behavior in male rodents is made up of anticipatory and consummatory elements which are regulated in the brain by sensory systems, reward circuits and hormone signaling. Gonadal steroids play a key role in the regulation of male sexual behavior via steroid receptors in the hypothalamus and preoptic area. Typical patterns of male reproductive behavior have been characterized, however these are not fixed but are modulated by adult experience. We assessed the effects of repeated sexual experience on male reproductive behavior of C57BL/6 mice; including measures of olfactory investigation of females, mounting, intromission and ejaculation. The effects of sexual experience on the number of cells expressing either androgen receptor (AR) or estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) in the primary brain nuclei regulating male sexual behavior was also measured. Sexually experienced male mice engaged in less sniffing of females before initiating sexual behavior and exhibited shorter latencies to mount and intromit, increased frequency of intromission, and increased duration of intromission relative to mounting. No changes in numbers of ERα-positive cells were observed, however sexually experienced males had increased numbers of AR-positive cells in the medial preoptic area (MPOA); the primary regulatory nucleus for male sexual behavior. These results indicate that sexual experience results in a qualitative change in male reproductive behavior in mice that is associated with increased testosterone sensitivity in the MPOA and that this nucleus may play a key integrative role in mediating the effects of sexual experience on male behavior. PMID:22266118

  19. Castration affects reproductive but not aggressive behavior in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Olinda; Canário, Adelino V M; Oliveira, Rui F

    2014-10-01

    Gonads are the main source of sex steroids, which have been implicated in the regulation of sexually differentiated behavior, such as reproductive and aggressive displays. In the Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) territorial males have higher androgen levels than non-territorials, express reproductive behavior and use a urine-borne pheromone to signal their social status towards conspecifics. Here we investigated the effects of gonadectomy on the circulating levels of androgens and cortisol, and on the expression of aggressive and reproductive behavior (nest building, courtship behavior, and nuptial coloration). Males were either castrated, urine bladder damaged, or sham-operated and visually exposed to a group of females during 8 consecutive days and subsequently to a male on day 9. The urine bladder damaged treatment was included in the experimental design because a full castration procedure in this species causes quite often damage to the urine bladder. Gonadectomy lowers dramatically the circulating levels of androgens measured at 4 and 8days post-castration and abolishes the expression of nest building, courtship behavior and nuptial coloration, but has no effect on the expression of aggressive behavior. These results confirm the gonads as the main source of androgens in this species and show that androgens are necessary for the expression of reproductive behaviors. However, the expression of aggressive behavior seems to be decoupled from gonadal steroids, namely androgens, suggesting the action of independent central mechanisms.

  20. A microfluidic culture model of the human reproductive tract and 28-day menstrual cycle

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Shuo; Coppeta, Jonathan R.; Rogers, Hunter B.; Isenberg, Brett C.; Zhu, Jie; Olalekan, Susan A.; McKinnon, Kelly E.; Dokic, Danijela; Rashedi, Alexandra S.; Haisenleder, Daniel J.; Malpani, Saurabh S.; Arnold-Murray, Chanel A.; Chen, Kuanwei; Jiang, Mingyang; Bai, Lu; Nguyen, Catherine T.; Zhang, Jiyang; Laronda, Monica M.; Hope, Thomas J.; Maniar, Kruti P.; Pavone, Mary Ellen; Avram, Michael J.; Sefton, Elizabeth C.; Getsios, Spiro; Burdette, Joanna E.; Kim, J. Julie; Borenstein, Jeffrey T.; Woodruff, Teresa K.

    2017-01-01

    The endocrine system dynamically controls tissue differentiation and homeostasis, but has not been studied using dynamic tissue culture paradigms. Here we show that a microfluidic system supports murine ovarian follicles to produce the human 28-day menstrual cycle hormone profile, which controls human female reproductive tract and peripheral tissue dynamics in single, dual and multiple unit microfluidic platforms (Solo-MFP, Duet-MFP and Quintet-MPF, respectively). These systems simulate the in vivo female reproductive tract and the endocrine loops between organ modules for the ovary, fallopian tube, uterus, cervix and liver, with a sustained circulating flow between all tissues. The reproductive tract tissues and peripheral organs integrated into a microfluidic platform, termed EVATAR, represents a powerful new in vitro tool that allows organ–organ integration of hormonal signalling as a phenocopy of menstrual cycle and pregnancy-like endocrine loops and has great potential to be used in drug discovery and toxicology studies. PMID:28350383

  1. Social Variables Affecting Mate Preferences, Copulation and Reproductive Outcome in a Pack of Free-Ranging Dogs

    PubMed Central

    Valsecchi, Paola; Natoli, Eugenia

    2014-01-01

    Mating and reproductive outcome is often determined by the simultaneous operation of different mechanisms like intra-sexual competition, mating preferences and sexual coercion. The present study investigated how social variables affected mating outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs, a species supposed to have lost most features of the social system of wolves during domestication. We found that, although the pack comprised multiple breeding individuals, both male copulation success and female reproductive success were positively influenced by a linear combination of dominance rank, age and leadership. Our results also suggest that mate preferences affect mating outcome by reinforcing the success of most dominant individuals. In particular, during their oestrous period bitches clearly searched for the proximity of high-ranking males who displayed affiliative behaviour towards them, while they were more likely to reject the males who intimidated them. At the same time, male courting effort and male-male competition for receptive females appeared to be stronger in the presence of higher-ranking females, suggesting a male preference for dominant females. To our knowledge, these results provide the first clear evidence of social regulation of reproductive activities in domestic dogs, and suggest that some common organizing mechanisms may contribute to shape the social organization of both dogs and wolves. PMID:24905360

  2. A survey of Canadian mechanical pulp and paper mill effluents: insights concerning the potential to affect fish reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kovacs, Tibor G; Martel, Pierre H; O'Connor, Brian I; Hewitt, L Mark; Parrott, Joanne L; McMaster, Mark E; MacLatchy, Deborah L; Van Der Kraak, Glen J; Van Den Heuvel, Michael R

    2013-01-01

    Building on breakthroughs recently made at kraft mills, a survey of mechanical pulp and paper mill effluents was undertaken to gain insights concerning potential effects on fish reproduction. Effluents from seven Canadian mills were characterized chemically for conventional parameters such as biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS). Each sample was further subjected to solvent extraction followed by gas chromatographic separation for the determination of resin/fatty acids and for the estimation of a gas chromatography (GC) profile index. Each mill effluent was assessed for the potential to affect fish reproduction in the laboratory using a five day adult fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) egg production bioassay with exposures to 100% effluent. The seven effluents were found to have substantial variation both in terms of chemical characterization and effects on fish reproduction. Temporal variations were also noted in effluent quality at mills sampled on different occasions. Similar to what has been observed for kraft mills, a general trend of greater reductions in egg production caused by effluents with greater BOD concentrations and GC profile indices was noted. Effluents with BOD > 25 mg/L and GC Profile indices >5.0 caused a complete cessation of egg production. At the same time, about half of the total effluents sampled had BOD < 25 mg/L and GC profile indices <5.0 and caused no significant effects on egg production, suggesting these values may be useful as effluent quality targets for mechanical pulp and paper mills. However, 3 out of 14 effluents sampled had BOD < 25 mg/L and GC profile indices <5.0 and caused significant reductions in egg production. The reason(s) for reproductive effects caused by such effluents is presently unclear. The effluent quality parameters considered in this study may require further refinement to address their utility in predicting the adverse reproductive effects induced by effluents from mechanical

  3. Intergenerational and sibling conflict under patrilocality. A model of reproductive skew applied to human kinship.

    PubMed

    Ji, Ting; Xu, Jing-Jing; Mace, Ruth

    2014-03-01

    Here we argue that models developed to examine cooperation and conflict in communal breeders, using a "tug-of-war" model of reproductive skew generated by incomplete control, are an appropriate way to model human kinship systems. We apply such models to understand the patterns of effort put into competition between father and son and between brothers in conflict over family resources in a patrilineal kinship system. Co-resident kin do not necessarily emerge with equal shares of the cake in terms of reproductive output. The models show that, depending on the efficiency with which they can gain more control of the resource, on the marriage system, and on the relatedness of the partners in conflict, individuals can do better to help their relatives breed rather than fight each other for the resources needed to reproduce. The models show that when a son's father is still breeding with his mother, sons should not compete for any share of reproduction. However, under polygyny, increased effort is spent on father/son and brother/brother conflict. Fathers will win the majority of reproduction if dominant to sons (in contrast to the finding that daughters-in-law win in conflict over mothers-in-law in patrilocal kinship systems, which has been suggested as explaining the evolution of menopause). Hence who wins in the sharing of reproduction depends not just on which sex disperses but also on the relative competitive ability of all individuals to exploit family resources. Anthropologists have long argued that cultural norms can reduce conflict. These formal evolutionary models help us to quantify the effects of reproductive conflict in families, throwing light on the evolutionary basis not just of patterns of reproductive scheduling, but also human kinship and marriage systems.

  4. 'Even if you're positive, you still have rights because you are a person': human rights and the reproductive choice of HIV-positive persons.

    PubMed

    London, Leslie; Orner, Phyllis J; Myer, Landon

    2008-04-01

    Global debates in approaches to HIV/AIDS control have recently moved away from a uniformly strong human rights-based focus. Public health utilitarianism has become increasingly important in shaping national and international policies. However, potentially contradictory imperatives may require reconciliation of individual reproductive and other human rights with public health objectives. Current reproductive health guidelines remain largely non prescriptive on the advisability of pregnancy amongst HIV-positive couples, mainly relying on effective counselling to enable autonomous decision making by clients. Yet, health care provider values and attitudes may substantially impact on the effectiveness of non prescriptive guidelines,particularly where social norms and stereotypes regarding childbearing are powerful, and where providers are subjected to dual loyalty pressures, with potentially adverse impacts on rights of service users. Data from a study of user experiences and perceptions of reproductive and HIV/AIDS services are used to illustrate a rights analysis of how reproductive health policy should integrate a rights perspective into the way services engage with HIV-positive persons and their reproductive choices. The analysis draws on recognised tools developed to evaluate health policies for their human rights impacts and on a model developed for health equity research in South Africa to argue for greater recognition of agency on the part of persons affected by HIV/AIDS in the development and content of policies on reproductive choices. We conclude by proposing strategies that are based upon a synergy between human rights and public health approaches to policy on reproductive health choices for persons with HIV/AIDS.

  5. Human environmental and occupational exposures to boric acid: reconciliation with experimental reproductive toxicity data.

    PubMed

    Bolt, Hermann M; Başaran, Nurşen; Duydu, Yalçın

    2012-01-01

    The reproductive toxicity of boric acid and borates is a matter of current regulatory concern. Based on experimental studies in rats, no-observed-adverse-effect levels (NOAELs) were found to be 17.5 mg boron (B)/kg body weight (b.w.) for male fertility and 9.6 mg B/kg b.w. for developmental toxicity. Recently, occupational human field studies in highly exposed cohorts were reported from China and Turkey, with both studies showing negative results regarding male reproduction. A comparison of the conditions of these studies with the experimental NOAEL conditions are based on reported B blood levels, which is clearly superior to a scaling according to estimated B exposures. A comparison of estimated daily B exposure levels and measured B blood levels confirms the preference of biomonitoring data for a comparison of human field studies. In general, it appears that high environmental exposures to B are lower than possible high occupational exposures. The comparison reveals no contradiction between human and experimental reproductive toxicity data. It clearly appears that human B exposures, even in the highest exposed cohorts, are too low to reach the blood (and target tissue) concentrations that would be required to exert adverse effects on reproductive functions.

  6. Saving and Reproduction of Human Motion Data by Using Haptic Devices with Different Configurations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsunashima, Noboru; Yokokura, Yuki; Katsura, Seiichiro

    Recently, there has been increased focus on “haptic recording” development of a motion-copying system is an efficient method for the realization of haptic recording. Haptic recording involves saving and reproduction of human motion data on the basis of haptic information. To increase the number of applications of the motion-copying system in various fields, it is necessary to reproduce human motion data by using haptic devices with different configurations. In this study, a method for the above-mentioned haptic recording is developed. In this method, human motion data are saved and reproduced on the basis of work space information, which is obtained by coordinate transformation of motor space information. The validity of the proposed method is demonstrated by experiments. With the proposed method, saving and reproduction of human motion data by using various devices is achieved. Furthermore, it is also possible to use haptic recording in various fields.

  7. Herbivory and competition interact to affect reproductive traits and mating system expression in Impatiens capensis.

    PubMed

    Steets, Janette A; Salla, Rhiannon; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2006-04-01

    As a step toward understanding how community context shapes mating system evolution, we investigated the combined role of two plant antagonisms, vegetative herbivory and intraspecific competition, for reproduction and mating system expression (relative production of selfing, cleistogamous and facultatively outcrossing, chasmogamous flowers and fruits) of Impatiens capensis. In a survey of I. capensis populations, we found that vegetative herbivory and intraspecific competition were positively correlated. In a greenhouse experiment where leaf damage and plant density were manipulated, multispecies interactions had dramatic effects on reproductive and mating system traits. Despite having additive effects on growth, herbivory and competition had nonadditive effects for mating system expression, chasmogamous fruit production, flower number and size, and cleistogamous flower production. Our results demonstrate that competitive interactions influence the effect of herbivory (and vice versa) on fitness components and mating system, and thus antagonisms may have unforeseen consequences for mating system evolution, population genetic diversity, and persistence.

  8. Microcystin-LR impairs zebrafish reproduction by affecting oogenesis and endocrine system.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanyan; Xie, Liqiang; Yan, Yunjun

    2015-02-01

    Previous studies have shown that microcystins (MCs) are able to exert negative effects on the reproductive system of fish. However, few data are actually available on the effects of MC-LR on the reproductive system of female fish. In the present study, female zebrafish were exposed to 2, 10, and 50 μg L(-1) of MC-LR for 21 d, and its effects on oogenesis, sex hormones, transcription of genes on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad (HPG) axis, and reproduction were investigated for the first time. It was observed that egg production significantly declined at ⩾ 10 μg L(-1) MC-LR. MC-LR exposure to zebrafish increased the concentrations of 17β-estradiol (E2) and vitellogenin (VTG) at 10 μg L(-1) level, whereas concentrations of E2, VTG and testosterone declined at 50 μg L(-1) MC-LR. The transcriptions of steroidogenic pathway gene (cyp19a, cyp19b, 17βhsd, cyp17 and hmgra) changed as well after the exposure and corresponded well with the alterations of hormone levels. A number of intra- and extra-ovarian factors, such as gnrh3, gnrhr1, fshβ, fshr, lhr, bmp15, mrpβ, ptgs2 and vtg1 which regulate oogenesis, were significantly changed with a different dose-related effect. Moreover, MC-LR exposure to female zebrafish resulted in decreased fertilization and hatching rates, and may suggest the possibility of trans-generational effects of MC-LR exposure. The results demonstrate that MC-LR could modulate endocrine function and oogenesis, eventually leading to disruption of reproductive performance in female zebrafish. These data suggest there is a risk for aquatic population living in MC polluted areas.

  9. Honeybees enhance reproduction without affecting the outcrossing rate in endemic Pedicularis densispica (Orobanchaceae).

    PubMed

    Xia, J; Sun, S G; Guo, Y H

    2007-11-01

    There has been substantial debate in recent years surrounding the impact of introduced honeybees on native biota. This study reports on an investigation of Pedicularis densispica, a subalpine annual herb endemic to Southwest China, in an attempt to determine the impact of introduced domestic honeybees on pollen dispersal and thus on their reproductive success and mating system. Honeybees were introduced into the study site in 2004, and a sudden seasonal pollinator shift from bumblebees to honeybees was observed. Intra- and inter-plant visits by different pollinators were recorded in the field in 2003 and 2004. Fruit and seed sets prior to and after the pollinator shift were measured. Experimental pollinations were performed to characterize the breeding system. Outcrossing rates at the seed stage were estimated for both years using RAPD markers. Our results indicated that honeybees foraged between plants more frequently than bumblebees did. Our results also revealed that the introduction of honeybees significantly enhanced reproductive success. However, no significant difference was detected between the outcrossing rates due to bumblebee and honeybee pollination. P. densispica was almost completely outcrossing ( T(m) = 0.956 and 0.967, respectively in 2003 and 2004) but partially self-compatible. This study presents the first report of the outcrossing rate in the genus pedicularis and reveals a limited influence of pollination on the mating system in P. densispica. The pollinator shift did not reduce reproductive success of the plants and honeybees may be used to augment pollinator services for nectariferous P. densispica.

  10. Systematic review of the association between oil and natural gas extraction processes and human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Balise, Victoria D; Meng, Chun-Xia; Cornelius-Green, Jennifer N; Kassotis, Christopher D; Kennedy, Rana; Nagel, Susan C

    2016-09-15

    This systematic review identified 45 original published research articles related to oil and gas extraction activities and human reproductive endpoints. Reproductive outcomes were categorized as [1] birth outcomes associated with maternal exposure, [2] semen quality, fertility, and birth outcomes associated with adult paternal exposure, [3] reproductive cancers, and [4] disruption of human sex steroid hormone receptors. The results indicate there is moderate evidence for an increased risk of preterm birth, miscarriage, birth defects, decreased semen quality, and prostate cancer. The quality of the evidence is low and/or inadequate for stillbirth, sex ratio, and birth outcomes associated with paternal exposure, and testicular cancer, female reproductive tract cancers, and breast cancer, and the evidence is inconsistent for an increased risk of low birth weight; therefore, no conclusions can be drawn for these health effects. There is ample evidence for disruption of the estrogen, androgen, and progesterone receptors by oil and gas chemicals, which provides a mechanistic rationale for how exposure to oil and gas activities may increase the health risks we have outlined. The results from this systematic review suggest there is a negative impact on human reproduction from exposure to oil and gas activities. Many of the 45 studies reviewed identified potential human health effects. Most of these studies focused on conventional oil and gas activities. Few studies have been conducted to evaluate the impact of unconventional oil and gas operations on human health. The impact of unconventional oil and gas activities may be greater than that of conventional activity, given that unconventional activities employ many of the same approaches and use dozens of known endocrine-disrupting chemicals in hydraulic fracturing.

  11. From reproductive choice to reproductive justice.

    PubMed

    Cook, Rebecca J; Dickens, Bernard M

    2009-08-01

    Since the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population and Development, the human rights movement has embraced the concept of reproductive rights. These are often pursued, however, by means to which objection is taken. Some conservative political and religious forces continue to resist implementation of several means of protecting and advancing reproductive rights. Individuals' rights to grant and to deny consent to medical procedures affecting their reproductive health and confidentiality have been progressively advanced. However, access to contraceptive services, while not necessarily opposed, is unjustifiably obstructed in some settings. Rights to lawful abortion have been considerably liberalized by legislative and judicial decisions, although resistance remains. Courts are increasingly requiring that lawful services be accommodated under transparent conditions of access and of legal protection. The conflict between rights of resort to lawful reproductive health services and to conscientious objection to participation is resolved by legal duties to refer patients to non-objecting providers.

  12. On making nursing undergraduate human reproductive physiology content meaningful and relevant: discussion of human pleasure in its biological context.

    PubMed

    McClusky, Leon Mendel

    2012-01-01

    The traditional presentation of the Reproductive Physiology component in an Anatomy and Physiology course to nursing undergraduates focuses on the broad aspects of hormonal regulation of reproduction and gonadal anatomy, with the role of the higher centres of the brain omitted. An introductory discussion is proposed which could precede the lectures on the reproductive organs. The discussion gives an overview of the biological significance of human pleasure, the involvement of the neurotransmitter dopamine, and the role of pleasure in the survival of the individual and even species. Pleasure stimuli (positive and negative) and the biological significance of naturally-induced pleasurable experiences are briefly discussed in the context of reproduction and the preservation of genetic material with an aim to foster relevancy between subject material and human behaviour in any type of society. The tenderness of this aspect of the human existence is well-understood because of its invariable association with soul-revealing human expressions such as love, infatuation, sexual flirtations, all of which are underpinned by arousal, desire and/or pleasure. Assuming that increased knowledge correlates with increased confidence, the proposed approach may provide the nurse with an adequate knowledge base to overcome well-known barriers in communicating with their patients about matters of sexual health and intimacy.

  13. Human rights and the politics of risk and blame: lessons from the international reproductive health movement.

    PubMed

    Freedman, L P

    1997-01-01

    Recent debates about the "politicization" of public health obscure the ways in which epidemiological concepts of risk are routinely used in the legal and political systems to apportion blame and responsibility for poor health. This article uses the example of reproductive health and rights to argue that new understandings of the connection between socioeconomic conditions and poor health will only generate change when they are reframed into political claims and pressed by social movements. In this connection, human rights language, principles, and practice hold great potential for the US reproductive rights movement, which has sometimes been constrained by the narrow scope of court rulings.

  14. The effect of reproductive compensation on recessive disorders within consanguineous human populations.

    PubMed

    Overall, A D J; Ahmad, M; Nichols, R A

    2002-06-01

    We investigate the effects of consanguinity and population substructure on genetic health using the UK Asian population as an example. We review and expand upon previous treatments dealing with the deleterious effects of consanguinity on recessive disorders and consider how other factors, such as population substructure, may be of equal importance. For illustration, we quantify the relative risks of recessive lethal disorders by presenting some simple calculations that demonstrate the effect 'reproductive compensation' has on the maintenance of recessive alleles. The results show how reproductive compensation can effectively counteract the purging of deleterious alleles within consanguineous populations. Whereas inbreeding does not elevate the equilibrium frequency of affected individuals, reproductive compensation does. We suggest this effect must be built into interpretations of the incidence of genetic disease within populations such as the UK Asians. Information of this nature will benefit health care workers who inform such communities.

  15. Human evolution, life history theory, and the end of biological reproduction.

    PubMed

    Last, Cadell

    2014-01-01

    Throughout primate history there have been three major life history transitions towards increasingly delayed sexual maturation and biological reproduction, as well as towards extended life expectancy. Monkeys reproduce later and live longer than do prosimians, apes reproduce later and live longer than do monkeys, and humans reproduce later and live longer than do apes. These life history transitions are connected to increased encephalization. During the last life history transition from apes to humans, increased encephalization co-evolved with increased dependence on cultural knowledge for energy acquisition. This led to a dramatic pressure for more energy investment in growth over current biological reproduction. Since the industrial revolution socioeconomic development has led to even more energy being devoted to growth over current biological reproduction. I propose that this is the beginning of an ongoing fourth major primate life history transition towards completely delayed biological reproduction and an extension of the evolved human life expectancy. I argue that the only fundamental difference between this primate life history transition and previous life history transitions is that this transition is being driven solely by cultural evolution, which may suggest some deeper evolutionary transition away from biological evolution is already in the process of occurring.

  16. Skin blood perfusion and oxygenation colour affect perceived human health.

    PubMed

    Stephen, Ian D; Coetzee, Vinet; Law Smith, Miriam; Perrett, David I

    2009-01-01

    Skin blood perfusion and oxygenation depends upon cardiovascular, hormonal and circulatory health in humans and provides socio-sexual signals of underlying physiology, dominance and reproductive status in some primates. We allowed participants to manipulate colour calibrated facial photographs along empirically-measured oxygenated and deoxygenated blood colour axes both separately and simultaneously, to optimise healthy appearance. Participants increased skin blood colour, particularly oxygenated, above basal levels to optimise healthy appearance. We show, therefore, that skin blood perfusion and oxygenation influence perceived health in a way that may be important to mate choice.

  17. Widespread Presence of Human BOULE Homologs among Animals and Conservation of Their Ancient Reproductive Function

    PubMed Central

    Naeem, Villian; Chen, Yanmei; Lee, Terrance; Angeloni, Nicholas; Wang, Yin; Xu, Eugene Yujun

    2010-01-01

    Sex-specific traits that lead to the production of dimorphic gametes, sperm in males and eggs in females, are fundamental for sexual reproduction and accordingly widespread among animals. Yet the sex-biased genes that underlie these sex-specific traits are under strong selective pressure, and as a result of adaptive evolution they often become divergent. Indeed out of hundreds of male or female fertility genes identified in diverse organisms, only a very small number of them are implicated specifically in reproduction in more than one lineage. Few genes have exhibited a sex-biased, reproductive-specific requirement beyond a given phylum, raising the question of whether any sex-specific gametogenesis factors could be conserved and whether gametogenesis might have evolved multiple times. Here we describe a metazoan origin of a conserved human reproductive protein, BOULE, and its prevalence from primitive basal metazoans to chordates. We found that BOULE homologs are present in the genomes of representative species of each of the major lineages of metazoans and exhibit reproductive-specific expression in all species examined, with a preponderance of male-biased expression. Examination of Boule evolution within insect and mammalian lineages revealed little evidence for accelerated evolution, unlike most reproductive genes. Instead, purifying selection was the major force behind Boule evolution. Furthermore, loss of function of mammalian Boule resulted in male-specific infertility and a global arrest of sperm development remarkably similar to the phenotype in an insect boule mutation. This work demonstrates the conservation of a reproductive protein throughout eumetazoa, its predominant testis-biased expression in diverse bilaterian species, and conservation of a male gametogenic requirement in mice. This shows an ancient gametogenesis requirement for Boule among Bilateria and supports a model of a common origin of spermatogenesis. PMID:20657660

  18. Divergence for residual feed intake of Holstein-Friesian cattle during growth did not affect production and reproduction during lactation.

    PubMed

    Macdonald, K A; Thomson, B P; Waghorn, G C

    2016-11-01

    Residual feed intake (RFI) is the difference between actual and predicted dry matter intake (DMI) of individual animals. Recent studies with Holstein-Friesian calves have identified an ~20% difference in RFI during growth (calf RFI) and these groups remained divergent in RFI during lactation. The objective of the experiment described here was to determine if cows selected for divergent RFI as calves differed in milk production, reproduction or in the profiles of BW and body condition score (BCS) change during lactation, when grazing pasture. The cows used in the experiment (n=126) had an RFI of -0.88 and +0.75 kg DM intake/day for growth as calves (efficient and inefficient calf RFI groups, respectively) and were intensively grazed at four stocking rates (SR) of 2.2, 2.6, 3.1 and 3.6 cows/ha on self-contained farmlets, over 3 years. Each SR treatment had equal number of cows identified as low and high calf RFI, with 24, 28, 34 and 40/11 ha farmlet. The cows divergent for calf RFI were randomly allocated to each SR. Although SR affected production, calf RFI group (low or high) did not affect milk production, reproduction, BW, BCS or changes in these parameters throughout lactation. The most efficient animals (low calf RFI) lost similar BW and BCS as the least efficient (high calf RFI) immediately post-calving, and regained similar BW and BCS before their next calving. These results indicate that selection for RFI as calves to increase efficiency of feed utilisation did not negatively affect farm productivity variables (milk production, BCS, BW and reproduction) as adults when managed under an intensive pastoral grazing system.

  19. The contribution of lower vertebrate animal models in human reproduction research.

    PubMed

    Chianese, Rosanna; Chioccarelli, Teresa; Cacciola, Giovanna; Ciaramella, Vincenza; Fasano, Silvia; Pierantoni, Riccardo; Meccariello, Rosaria; Cobellis, Gilda

    2011-03-01

    Many advances have been carried out on the estrogens, GnRH and endocannabinoid system that have impact in the reproductive field. Indeed, estrogens, the generally accepted female hormones, have performed an unsuspected role in male sexual functions thanks to studies on non-mammalian vertebrates. Similarly, these animal models have provided important contributions to the identification of several GnRH ligand and receptor variants and their possible involvement in sexual behavior and gonadal function regulation. Moreover, the use of non-mammalian animal models has contributed to a better comprehension about the endocannabinoid system action in several mammalian reproductive events. We wish to highlight here how non-mammalian vertebrate animal model research contributes to advancements with implications on human health as well as providing a phylogenetic perspective on the evolution of reproductive systems in vertebrates.

  20. Safety, identity and consent: a limited defense of reproductive human cloning.

    PubMed

    Lane, Robert

    2006-06-01

    Some opponents of reproductive human cloning have argued that, because of its experimental nature, any attempt to create a child by way of cloning would risk serious birth defects or genetic abnormalities and would therefore be immoral. Some versions of this argument appeal to the consent of the person to be conceived in this way. In particular, they assume that if an experimental reproductive technology has not yet been shown to be safe, then, before we use it, we are morally obligated to get either the actual consent or the presumed consent of the person to be conceived. In this article, I attempt to explain the appeal of such consent-based arguments as deriving from a mistaken view of personal identity. I then argue that since this view is false, such arguments are unsound. Finally, I argue that even if reproductive cloning is unsafe, it may still be morally permissible in some circumstances.

  1. Subtle reproductive impairment through nitric oxide-mediated mechanisms in sea urchins from an area affected by harmful algal blooms

    PubMed Central

    Migliaccio, Oriana; Castellano, Immacolata; Di Cioccio, Davide; Tedeschi, Gabriella; Negri, Armando; Cirino, Paola; Romano, Giovanna; Zingone, Adriana; Palumbo, Anna

    2016-01-01

    The health of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, a key species in the Mediterranean Sea, is menaced by several pressures in coastal environments. Here, we aimed at assessing the reproductive ability of apparently healthy P. lividus population in a marine protected area affected by toxic blooms of Ostreospsis cf. ovata. Wide-ranging analyses were performed in animals collected prior to and during the bloom, as well as at several times thereafter, during the reproductive season. Adults showed a low fertilization rate, along with high nitric oxide (NO) levels in the gonads and the nitration of the major yolk protein toposome, which is an important player in sea urchin development. Serious developmental anomalies were observed in the progeny, which persist several months after the bloom. NO levels were high in the different developmental stages, which also showed variations in the transcription of several genes that were found to be directly or indirectly modulated by NO. These results highlight subtle but important reproductive flaws transmitted from the female gonads to the offspring with the NO involvement. Despite a recovery along time after the bloom, insidious damages can be envisaged in the local sea urchin population, with possible reverberation on the whole benthic system. PMID:27192939

  2. A single hot event that does not affect survival but decreases reproduction in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Zhao, Fei; Hoffmann, Ary A; Ma, Chun-Sen

    2013-01-01

    Extremely hot events (usually involving a few hours at extreme high temperatures in summer) are expected to increase in frequency in temperate regions under global warming. The impact of these events is generally overlooked in insect population prediction, since they are unlikely to cause widespread mortality, however reproduction may be affected by them. In this study, we examined such stress effects in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. We simulated a single extreme hot day (maximum of 40°C lasting for 3, 4 or 5 h) increasingly experienced under field conditions. This event had no detrimental effects on immediate mortality, copulation duration, mating success, longevity or lifetime fecundity, but stressed females produced 21% (after 3 or 4 h) fewer hatched eggs because of a decline in the number and hatching success of eggs laid on the first two days. These negative effects on reproduction were no longer evident in the following days. Male heat exposure led to a similar but smaller effect on fertile egg production, and exposure extended pre-mating period in both sexes. Our results indicate that a single hot day can have detrimental effects on reproduction, particularly through maternal effects on egg hatching, and thereby influence the population dynamics of diamondback moth.

  3. Subtle reproductive impairment through nitric oxide-mediated mechanisms in sea urchins from an area affected by harmful algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliaccio, Oriana; Castellano, Immacolata; di Cioccio, Davide; Tedeschi, Gabriella; Negri, Armando; Cirino, Paola; Romano, Giovanna; Zingone, Adriana; Palumbo, Anna

    2016-05-01

    The health of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, a key species in the Mediterranean Sea, is menaced by several pressures in coastal environments. Here, we aimed at assessing the reproductive ability of apparently healthy P. lividus population in a marine protected area affected by toxic blooms of Ostreospsis cf. ovata. Wide-ranging analyses were performed in animals collected prior to and during the bloom, as well as at several times thereafter, during the reproductive season. Adults showed a low fertilization rate, along with high nitric oxide (NO) levels in the gonads and the nitration of the major yolk protein toposome, which is an important player in sea urchin development. Serious developmental anomalies were observed in the progeny, which persist several months after the bloom. NO levels were high in the different developmental stages, which also showed variations in the transcription of several genes that were found to be directly or indirectly modulated by NO. These results highlight subtle but important reproductive flaws transmitted from the female gonads to the offspring with the NO involvement. Despite a recovery along time after the bloom, insidious damages can be envisaged in the local sea urchin population, with possible reverberation on the whole benthic system.

  4. A Single Hot Event That Does Not Affect Survival but Decreases Reproduction in the Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wei; Zhao, Fei; Hoffmann, Ary A.; Ma, Chun-Sen

    2013-01-01

    Extremely hot events (usually involving a few hours at extreme high temperatures in summer) are expected to increase in frequency in temperate regions under global warming. The impact of these events is generally overlooked in insect population prediction, since they are unlikely to cause widespread mortality, however reproduction may be affected by them. In this study, we examined such stress effects in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. We simulated a single extreme hot day (maximum of 40°C lasting for 3, 4 or 5 h) increasingly experienced under field conditions. This event had no detrimental effects on immediate mortality, copulation duration, mating success, longevity or lifetime fecundity, but stressed females produced 21% (after 3 or 4 h) fewer hatched eggs because of a decline in the number and hatching success of eggs laid on the first two days. These negative effects on reproduction were no longer evident in the following days. Male heat exposure led to a similar but smaller effect on fertile egg production, and exposure extended pre-mating period in both sexes. Our results indicate that a single hot day can have detrimental effects on reproduction, particularly through maternal effects on egg hatching, and thereby influence the population dynamics of diamondback moth. PMID:24116081

  5. Plants and Photosynthesis: Level III, Unit 3, Lesson 1; The Human Digestive System: Lesson 2; Functions of the Blood: Lesson 3; Human Circulation and Respiration: Lesson 4; Reproduction of a Single Cell: Lesson 5; Reproduction by Male and Female Cells: Lesson 6; The Human Reproductive System: Lesson 7; Genetics and Heredity: Lesson 8; The Nervous System: Lesson 9; The Glandular System: Lesson 10. Advanced General Education Program. A High School Self-Study Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manpower Administration (DOL), Washington, DC. Job Corps.

    This self-study program for the high-school level contains lessons in the following subjects: Plants and Photosynthesis; The Human Digestive System; Functions of the Blood; Human Circulation and Respiration; Reproduction of a Single Cell; Reproduction by Male and Female Cells; The Human Reproductive System; Genetics and Heredity; The Nervous…

  6. Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Queen Reproductive Potential Affects Queen Mandibular Gland Pheromone Composition and Worker Retinue Response

    PubMed Central

    Böröczky, Katalin; Schal, Coby; Tarpy, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive division of labor is one of the defining traits of honey bees (Apis mellifera), with non-reproductive tasks being performed by workers while a single queen normally monopolizes reproduction. The decentralized organization of a honey bee colony is maintained in large part by a bouquet of queen-produced pheromones, the distribution of which is facilitated by contact among workers throughout the hive. Previous studies have shown that the developmental fate of honey bee queens is highly plastic, with queens raised from younger worker larvae exhibiting higher measures of reproductive potential compared to queens raised from older worker larvae. We investigated differences in the chemical composition of the mandibular glands and attractiveness to workers of “high-quality” queens (i.e., raised from first instar worker larvae; more queen-like) and “low-quality” queens (i.e., raised from third instar worker larvae; more worker-like). We characterized the chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of high-quality queens and low-quality queens using GC-MS and used the worker retinue response as a measure of the attractiveness to workers of high-quality queens vs. low-quality queens. We found that queen quality affected the chemical profiles of mandibular gland contents differently across years, showing significant differences in the production of the queen mandibular pheromone (“QMP”) components HVA and 9-HDA in 2010, but no significant differences of any glandular compound in 2012. We also found that workers were significantly more attracted to high-quality queens than to low-quality queens in 2012, possibly because of increased attractiveness of their mandibular gland chemical profiles. Our results indicate that the age at which honey bee larvae enter the “queen-specific” developmental pathway influences the chemical composition of queen mandibular glands and worker behavior. However, these changes are not consistent across years, suggesting

  7. Variable NK cell receptors and their MHC class I ligands in immunity, reproduction and human evolution.

    PubMed

    Parham, Peter; Moffett, Ashley

    2013-02-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells have roles in immunity and reproduction that are controlled by variable receptors that recognize MHC class I molecules. The variable NK cell receptors found in humans are specific to simian primates, in which they have progressively co-evolved with MHC class I molecules. The emergence of the MHC-C gene in hominids drove the evolution of a system of NK cell receptors for MHC-C molecules that is most elaborate in chimpanzees. By contrast, the human system of MHC-C receptors seems to have been subject to different selection pressures that have acted in competition on the immunological and reproductive functions of MHC class I molecules. We suggest that this compromise facilitated the development of the bigger brains that enabled archaic and modern humans to migrate out of Africa and populate other continents.

  8. Factors affecting reproduction in rehabilitant female orangutans: young age at first birth and short inter-birth interval.

    PubMed

    Kuze, Noko; Dellatore, David; Banes, Graham L; Pratje, Peter; Tajima, Tomoyuki; Russon, Anne E

    2012-04-01

    This study investigated the reproductive parameters of free-ranging rehabilitant female orangutans. We aimed to assess the factors that influence these parameters and provide information that could assist with the management of orangutan reintroduction programs. We analyzed the birth records of free-ranging female rehabilitants at Bukit Lawang, Bukit Tigapuluh, Sepilok, Camp Leakey, Kaja Island, Sungai Wain, and Meratus and compared them with reproductive parameters reported in wild and zoo populations. Females' ages at first birth were 10.6-14.7 years, significantly earlier than those of wild and zoo orangutans. Computed inter-birth intervals (IBIs) calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method were 65.1-90.1 months; the values for Camp Leakey and Bukit Lawang rehabilitants were significantly shorter than those reported for wild Sumatran orangutans. Infant mortality rates were 18-61%; the values for Bukit Lawang and Sepilok were significantly higher than those reported for wild Sumatran and zoo orangutans. In rehabilitants, young ages at first birth and shorter IBIs may result from the high energy intake enabled by provisioning, although the possibility exists that they reflect underestimations of age on arrival at rehabilitation centers. The observed high infant mortality rate may reflect poor mothering skills due to human rearing and/or increased disease transmission. This study demonstrates that accelerated reproductive rates (younger age at first birth and shorter IBI) are common in provisioned rehabilitant females on both Sumatra and Borneo.

  9. Functional neuroimaging of human vocalizations and affective speech.

    PubMed

    Frühholz, Sascha; Sander, David; Grandjean, Didier

    2014-12-01

    Neuroimaging studies have verified the important integrative role of the basal ganglia during affective vocalizations. They, however, also point to additional regions supporting vocal monitoring, auditory-motor feedback processing, and online adjustments of vocal motor responses. For the case of affective vocalizations, we suggest partly extending the model to fully consider the link between primate-general and human-specific neural components.

  10. Toward an Affective Pedagogy of Human Rights Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Ruyu

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the notion of Affective Pedagogy of Human Rights Education (APHRE) on a theoretical level and suggests a concept of curricular framework. APHRE highlights the significance of affectivity and body in the process of learning, factors usually neglected in the mainstream intellectualistic approach to learning, especially in areas…

  11. Factors affecting the reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus on the outer banks of North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schulte, Shiloh A.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2015-01-01

    We used an information-theoretic approach to assess the factors affecting the reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We evaluated survival with respect to nesting island, year, time of season, brood age, distance to tide (m), presence of off-road vehicles and proximity of foraging habitat. The daily nest survival (mean 0.981, standard error [SE] 0.002) was affected by year and island, and declined over the nesting season. Mammals were responsible for 54% of identified nest failures. Daily brood survival (mean 0.981, SE 0.002) varied by island and increased non-linearly with age, with highest mortality in the seven days after hatching. Model results indicate direct access to foraging sites has a positive effect on brood survival, whereas presence of off-road vehicles has a negative effect. We studied chick behavior and survival using radio telemetry and direct observation and found that vehicles caused mortality and affected behavior and resource use by oystercatcher chicks. We identified the source of mortality for 37 radio-tagged chicks. Six (16%) were killed by vehicles, 21 (57%) by predators, and 10 (27%) by exposure and starvation. From 1995 to 2008, 25 additional oystercatcher chicks were found dead, 13 (52%) killed by vehicles. Chicks on beaches closed to vehicles used beach and intertidal zones more frequently than chicks on beaches open to vehicles. Chick predators included Great Horned Owls Bubo virginianus, Fish Crows Corvus ossifragus, cats Felis catus, mink Mustela vison, raccoons Procyon lotor, and ghost crabs Ocypode albicans. The factors affecting reproductive success differed between the incubation and chick-rearing stages.  Management actions that influence chick survival will have a larger effect on total productivity than actions affecting nest survival.

  12. Methuselah-like genes affect development, stress resistance, lifespan and reproduction in Tribolium castaneum.

    PubMed

    Li, Chengjun; Zhang, Yi; Yun, Xiaopei; Wang, Yanyun; Sang, Ming; Liu, Xing; Hu, Xingxing; Li, Bin

    2014-10-01

    Methuselah (Mth) is associated with lifespan, stress resistance and reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster, but Mth is not present in nondrosophiline insects. A number of methuselah-likes (mthls) have been identified in nondrosophiline insects, but it is unknown whether the functions of mth are shared by mthls or are divergent from them. Five mthls have been identified in Tribolium castaneum. Although they have different developmental expression patterns, they all enhance resistance to starvation. Only mthl1 and mthl2 enhance resistance to high temperature, whereas mthl4 and mthl5 negatively regulate oxidative stress in T. castaneum. Unlike in the fly with mth mutation, knockdown of mthls, except mthl3, shortens the lifespan of T. castaneum. Moreover, mthl1 and mthl2 are critical for Tribolium development. mthl1 plays important roles in larval and pupal development and adult eclosion, while mthl2 is required for eclosion. Moreover, mthl1 and mthl2 silencing reduces the fertility of T. castaneum, and mthl1 and mthl4 are also essential for embryo development. In conclusion, mthls have a significant effect on insect development, lifespan, stress resistance and reproduction. These results provide experimental evidence for functional divergence among mthls/mth and clues for the signal transduction of Mthls.

  13. Human rights versus legal control over women's reproductive self-determination.

    PubMed

    Uberoi, Diya; de Bruyn, Maria

    2013-06-14

    States have a duty under international human rights law to protect people's health. Nonetheless, while some health-related policies and laws protect basic human rights, others violate fundamental rights when they criminalize, prohibit, and restrict access to necessary health services. For example, laws and regulations related to protection of life from conception, contraception, actions of pregnant women, and abortion can harm women and place women and health care providers in jeopardy of legal penalization. Given the adverse consequences of punitive and restrictive laws related to pregnancy, advocates, civil society groups, human rights groups, and government institutions must work together to promote, protect, and fulfill women's fundamental reproductive rights.

  14. Parental investment, late reproduction, and increased reserve capacity are associated with longevity in humans.

    PubMed

    Larke, Amiee; Crews, Douglas E

    2006-01-01

    Throughout the living world trade-offs between reproductive success and longevity have been observed. In general, two extremes of life history patterning are reported, r- and K-selected species. The latter tend toward larger body sizes, few offspring from any one pregnancy, few offspring over the female reproductive span, longer life spans, and greater parental investment (PI: all efforts and expenses associated with the production, gestation, post-natal care, feeding, and protection of young) (e.g., whales, elephants, hominids). r-selected species tend toward smaller body size, multiple births/litters per pregnancy, female production of many gametes and offspring over the life span, and low levels of PI (e.g., most plants, insects, mice). These differences have significant influences on physiological variation among human populations. Across human samples, reproductive success (RS: the number of offspring successfully birthed and reared to reproductive age) has been reported to vary positively, negatively, and not at all with longevity of women. This complexity may be in part due to the fact that both early-life and late-life fecundity are associated with longevity in women, while total parity seems a poor gauge of female longevity in humankind. Large variations in associations of RS with longevity in women suggest that multiple factors may confound this association. One confounding factor is that among women, RS is largely determined not by fecundity, but by the quality of PI available to offspring. Among modern humans, PI is more complex, longer lasting (both relatively and absolutely), and extensive than for any other mammal. This suggests that modern human life history is a reflection of the co-evolution of longevity and extensive PI as part of our species' biocultural evolution. The need for long-term PI has greatly shaped human physiological variation and patterns of longevity.

  15. Zika virus: A new threat to human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Baud, David; Musso, Didier; Vouga, Manon; Alves, Marco P; Vulliemoz, Nicolas

    2017-02-01

    Zika virus (ZIKV) was first isolated in 1947 in a rhesus monkey from the Zika forest of Uganda. Until 2007, only 14 human cases were reported. The first large human outbreak occurred in 2007 (Yap Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Pacific) followed by French Polynesia in 2013 and Brazil in 2015. The virus is mainly transmitted through Aedes mosquito bites, but sexual and post-transfusion transmissions have been reported. Symptoms include low-grade fever, maculopapular rash, conjunctivitis, myalgia, arthralgia, and asthenia. During the recent outbreaks in French Polynesia and Brazil, ZIKV infection has been associated with two major complications: microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Since fetal infection includes other birth defects, congenital Zika syndrome has been used to define in utero infection. The majority of sexual transmission occurred from a symptomatic male to a female, but female-to-male and male-to-male transmission have been reported. Asymptomatic male-to-female transmission has also been described. Importantly, ZIKV RNA can persist at least 6 months in semen. The male urogenital tract may therefore act as a reservoir for the virus. ZIKV RNA was detected in a cervical swab of a patient 3 days after presenting the classic symptoms suggesting a potential tropism for the female genital tract. Long-lasting presence of ZIKV RNA might not indicate that the individual is infectious but makes recommendation for couples potentially exposed to the virus and willing to conceive difficult. It will also be important to determine whether genital ZIKV infection might have a deleterious effect on male and female fertility.

  16. A review of sexually transmitted bovine trichomoniasis and campylobacteriosis affecting cattle reproductive health.

    PubMed

    Michi, Aubrey N; Favetto, Pedro H; Kastelic, John; Cobo, Eduardo R

    2016-03-15

    The objective is to discuss sexually transmitted diseases caused by Tritrichomonas foetus (T foetus) and Campylobacter fetus (C fetus) subsp. venerealis, with a focus on prevalence, pathogenesis, and diagnosis in cows and bulls. Diagnosis and control are problematic because these diseases cause severe reproductive losses in cows, but in bulls are clinically asymptomatic, which allows the disease to flourish, especially in the absence of legislated control programs. We review research regarding prophylactic systemic immunization of bulls and cows with antigens of T foetus and C fetus venerealis and their efficacy in preventing or clearing preexisting infections in the genital tract. Current diagnostic methods of C fetus venerealis and T foetus (microbial culture and PCR) should be improved. Review of the latest advances in bovine trichomoniasis and campylobacteriosis should promote knowledge and provide an impetus to pursue further efforts to control bovine sexually transmitted diseases.

  17. Reproductive traits affect the rescue of valuable and endangered multipurpose tropical trees.

    PubMed

    Sinébou, Viviane; Quinet, Muriel; Ahohuendo, Bonaventure C; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2016-01-01

    Conservation strategies are urgently needed in Tropical areas for widely used tree species. Increasing numbers of species are threatened by overexploitation and their recovery might be poor due to low reproductive success and poor regeneration rates. One of the first steps in developing any conservation policy should be an assessment of the reproductive biology of species that are threatened by overexploitation. This work aimed to study the flowering biology, pollination and breeding system of V. doniana, a multipurpose threatened African tree, as one step in assessing the development of successful conservation strategies. To this end, we studied (1) traits directly involved in pollinator attraction like flowering phenology, flower numbers and morphology, and floral rewards; (2) abundance, diversity and efficiency of flower visitors; (3) breeding system, through controlled hand-pollination experiments involving exclusion of pollinators and pollen from different sources; and (4) optimal conditions for seed germination. The flowering phenology was asynchronous among inflorescences, trees and sites. The flowers produced a large quantity of pollen and nectar with high sugar content. Flowers attracted diverse and abundant visitors, counting both insects and birds, and efficient pollinators included several Hymenoptera species. We detected no spontaneous self-pollination, indicating a total dependence on pollen vectors. Vitex doniana is self-compatible and no inbreeding depression occurred in the first developmental stages. After extraction of the seed from the fruit, seed germination did not require any particular conditions or pre-treatments and the seeds showed high germination rates. These pollination and breeding characteristics as well as germination potential offer the required conditions to develop successful conservation strategies. Protection, cultivation and integration in agroforestry systems are required to improve the regeneration of the tree.

  18. Reproductive traits affect the rescue of valuable and endangered multipurpose tropical trees

    PubMed Central

    Sinébou, Viviane; Quinet, Muriel; Ahohuendo, Bonaventure C.; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2016-01-01

    Conservation strategies are urgently needed in Tropical areas for widely used tree species. Increasing numbers of species are threatened by overexploitation and their recovery might be poor due to low reproductive success and poor regeneration rates. One of the first steps in developing any conservation policy should be an assessment of the reproductive biology of species that are threatened by overexploitation. This work aimed to study the flowering biology, pollination and breeding system of V. doniana, a multipurpose threatened African tree, as one step in assessing the development of successful conservation strategies. To this end, we studied (1) traits directly involved in pollinator attraction like flowering phenology, flower numbers and morphology, and floral rewards; (2) abundance, diversity and efficiency of flower visitors; (3) breeding system, through controlled hand-pollination experiments involving exclusion of pollinators and pollen from different sources; and (4) optimal conditions for seed germination. The flowering phenology was asynchronous among inflorescences, trees and sites. The flowers produced a large quantity of pollen and nectar with high sugar content. Flowers attracted diverse and abundant visitors, counting both insects and birds, and efficient pollinators included several Hymenoptera species. We detected no spontaneous self-pollination, indicating a total dependence on pollen vectors. Vitex doniana is self-compatible and no inbreeding depression occurred in the first developmental stages. After extraction of the seed from the fruit, seed germination did not require any particular conditions or pre-treatments and the seeds showed high germination rates. These pollination and breeding characteristics as well as germination potential offer the required conditions to develop successful conservation strategies. Protection, cultivation and integration in agroforestry systems are required to improve the regeneration of the tree. PMID:27354660

  19. Pentachlorophenol affected both reproductive and interrenal systems: In silico and in vivo evidence.

    PubMed

    Yang, Lihua; Zha, Jinmiao; Wang, Zijian

    2017-01-01

    The present study investigated the effects on reproductive and interrenal system by pentachlorophenol (PCP) using in silico and in vivo assays. Molecular docking results indicated interacting potency of PCP with steroid receptors (ERα, ERβ, AR, GR) but not Cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs). In the in vivo assay, sexually matured rare minnow (Gobiocypris rarus) was exposed to environmental relevant concentrations of PCP (0, 0.5, 5, 50 μg L(-1)). In male fish, 14-d exposure caused up-regulation of mRNA levels of hepatic erα, erβ, ar, gr, vtg and gonadal erα, vtg, ar, dmrt1, providing evidence for agonistic activities for steroid receptors by PCP. The up-regulated mRNA of gnrh, crf, pomc in the brain also indicated feed-forward responses of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal/interrenal (HPG/I) axis. However, at 28th d the feed-forward response of the HPG axis seemed eased back and the HPI axis showed negative feedback responses. Corresponding changes including increases of plasma steroid hormones, inhibition of spermatogenesis, and decreased RSI were observed in male fish upon 28-d exposure to PCP. In the females, a transition from feed-forward responses to negative feedbacks of the HPG/I axis was also indicated by the transcriptional profiles at 14th and 28th day. Corresponding changes including increased E2, T and decreased C levels, degenerated ovaries, and decreased GSI and RSI were also observed. Overall, we concluded that PCP could interfere with steroid receptors, evoke responses of HPG/I axis, and finally result in adverse effects on reproductive and interrenal system in rare minnow at environmental relevant concentrations.

  20. Role of kisspeptin/GPR54 system in human reproductive axis.

    PubMed

    Silveira, Leticia F G; Teles, Milena G; Trarbach, Ericka B; Latronico, Ana Claudia

    2010-01-01

    The kisspeptin-GPR54 signaling complex is a key gatekeeper of human sexual maturation. Kisspeptins, encoded by the KISS1 gene, constitute a powerful stimulus for gonadotropin-releasing hormone-induced gonadotropin secretion. In addition, the KISS1 gene is a target for regulation by gonadal steroids in both sexes. The increase in hypothalamic kisspeptin expression at puberty is believed to contribute to maturation of the reproductive axis. Homozygous or compound heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the GPR54 gene have been identified in familial and sporadic patients with isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism without olfactory abnormalities. In addition, mice with targeted deletions of Kiss1 or Gpr54 have a similar failure of sexual maturation. Study of these mutations provides an important contribution in the understanding of the role of the kisspeptin/GPR54 system in the control of human puberty development and reproductive function.

  1. Incorporating human rights into reproductive health care provider education programs in Nicaragua and El Salvador.

    PubMed

    Reyes, H Luz McNaughton; Zuniga, Karen Padilla; Billings, Deborah L; Blandon, Marta Maria

    2013-07-01

    Health care providers play a central role in the promotion and protection of human rights in patient care. Consequently, the World Medical Association, among others, has called on medical and nursing schools to incorporate human rights education into their training programs. This report describes the efforts of one Central American nongovernmental organization to include human rights - related content into reproductive health care provider training programs in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Baseline findings suggest that health care providers are not being adequately prepared to fulfill their duty to protect and promote human rights in patient care. Medical and nursing school administrators, faculty, and students recognize the need to strengthen training in this area and are enthusiastic about incorporating human rights content into their education programs. Evaluation findings suggest that exposure to educational materials and methodologies that emphasize the relationship between human rights and reproductive health may lead to changes in health care provider attitudes and behaviors that help promote and safeguard human rights in patient care.

  2. Reproduction of epstein-barr virus infection and pathogenesis in humanized mice.

    PubMed

    Fujiwara, Shigeyoshi

    2014-02-01

    Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is etiologically associated with a variety of diseases including lymphoproliferative diseases, lymphomas, carcinomas, and autoimmune diseases. Humans are the only natural host of EBV and limited species of new-world monkeys can be infected with the virus in experimental conditions. Small animal models of EBV infection, required for evaluation of novel therapies and vaccines for EBV-associated diseases, have not been available. Recently the development of severely immunodeficient mouse strains enabled production of humanized mice in which human immune system components are reconstituted and express their normal functions. Humanized mice can serve as infection models for human-specific viruses such as EBV that target cells of the immune system. This review summarizes recent studies by the author's group addressing reproduction of EBV infection and pathogenesis in humanized mice.

  3. Human somatic cell nuclear transfer and reproductive cloning: an Ethics Committee opinion.

    PubMed

    2016-04-01

    This document presents arguments that conclude that it is unethical to use somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) for infertility treatment due to concerns about safety; the unknown impact of SCNT on children, families, and society; and the availability of other ethically acceptable means of assisted reproduction. This document replaces the ASRM Ethics Committee report titled, "Human somatic cell nuclear transfer and cloning," last published in Fertil Steril 2012;98:804-7.

  4. Male reproductive toxicity of lead in animals and humans. ASCLEPIOS Study Group

    PubMed Central

    Apostoli, P.; Kiss, P.; Porru, S.; Bonde, J. P.; Vanhoorne, M.

    1998-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To critically review the literature on male reproductive toxicity of lead in animals and humans. METHODS: A systematic literature search identified a total of 32 experimental studies in animals and 22 epidemiological studies, one case report on humans and five review articles or documents. The studies were evaluated by paying attention mainly to sample size, study design, exposure, and dose characterisation, analytical method standardisation, and quality assurance. RESULTS: Several studies on rats and other rodents indicated that blood lead concentrations > 30-40 micrograms/dl were associated with impairment of spermatogenesis and reduced concentrations of androgens. However, other animal studies, mainly about histopathological, spermatozoal, and hormonal end points, indicated that certain species and strains were quite resistant to the reproductive toxicity of lead and that different testicular lead concentrations could account for these differences. The human studies focused mainly on semen quality, endocrine function, and birth rates in occupationally exposed subjects, and showed that exposure to concentrations of inorganic lead > 40 micrograms/dl in blood impaired male reproductive function by reducing sperm count, volume, and density, or changing sperm motility and morphology. No relevant effects were detected on endocrine profile. CONCLUSION: Several factors make it difficult to extrapolate the animal data to the human situation. The difficulties are mainly due to differences between species in reproductive end points and to the level of exposure. Concentrations of blood lead > 40 micrograms/dl seemed to be associated with a decrease in sperm count, volume, motility, and morphological alterations and a possible modest effect on endocrine profile. Dose-response relation, in particular at a threshold level, is poorly understood, and site, mode, or mechanism of action are unknown. Also, the effects were not always the same or associated in the same on

  5. Always follow your nose: the functional significance of social chemosignals in human reproduction and survival.

    PubMed

    Lübke, Katrin T; Pause, Bettina M

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction" Across phyla, chemosensory communication is crucial for mediating a variety of social behaviors, which form the basis for ontogenetic and phylogenetic survival. In the present paper, evidence on chemosensory communication in humans, with special reference to reproduction and survival, will be presented. First, the impact of chemosignals on human reproduction will be reviewed. Work will be presented, showing how chemosensory signals are involved in mate choice and partnership formation by communicating attractiveness and facilitating a partner selection, which is of evolutionary advantage, and furthermore providing information about the level of sexual hormones. In addition to direct effects on phylogenetic survival, chemosignals indirectly aid reproductive success by fostering harm protection. Results will be presented, showing that chemosensory communication aids the emotional bond between mother and child, which in turn motivates parental caretaking and protection, leading to infant survival. Moreover, the likelihood of group survival can be increased through the use of stress-related chemosignals. Stress-related chemosignals induce a stress-related physiology in the perceiver, thereby priming a fight-flight-response, which is necessary for an optimum adaption to environmental harm. Finally, effects of sexual orientation on chemosensory communication will be discussed in terms of their putative role in stabilizing social groups, which might indirectly provide harm protection and foster survival. An integrative model of the presented data will be introduced. In conclusion, an outlook, focusing on the involvement of chemosensory communication in human social behavior and illustrating a novel approach to the significance of chemosensory signals in human survival, will be given.

  6. The epigenetic basis of adaptation and responses to environmental change: perspective on human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Agustín F; Toraño, Estela García; Urdinguio, Rocío González; Lana, Abel Gayo; Fernández, Ignacio Arnott; Fraga, Mario F

    2014-01-01

    Not only genetic but also epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression, cellular differentiation and development processes. Additionally, "environmental epigenetics" studies the interaction between the environment and the epigenome, and its potential role in the regulation of gene activity. Several studies have shown that the impact of environmental exposures on the epigenome takes on more importance during early fertilization and embryonic development, given that during these periods epigenetic reprogramming occurs and the new epigenetic profile of the offspring is established. Epigenetic alterations in the germline are especially relevant since they can be transmitted trans-generationally and could be associated with a wide range of diseases including several reproductive disorders. In this chapter we review some epigenetic mechanisms, focusing mainly on DNA methylation and histone modifications, which are related to reproductive aspects, and we discuss the controversies in the literature surrounding how environmental conditions, such as exposure to toxic substances or treatment with assisted reproductive techniques (ART), may be involved in epigenetic alterations that affect reproductive success.

  7. The Human Rights Act (1998) and its impact on reproductive issues.

    PubMed

    Bahadur, G

    2001-04-01

    The Human Rights Act (HR Act) 1998 (UK) (Human Rights Act, 1998) came into effect on October 2, 2000. Instead of taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, litigants can enforce their rights in the UK. The Act will have an unprecedented effect in virtually all areas of the UK legal systems. In line with those countries who have incorporated the 'Convention' in domestic law, litigation is expected to increase. The extensive body of Convention law, as well as decisions of the domestic courts of other states which have incorporated the Convention, now becomes an integral part of UK jurisprudence. Broadly, the Act applies to public and not private bodies. The relevant bodies which embody reproductive issues and concerns are for example the National Health Service (NHS) and the regulatory bodies such as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority Act, 1990) and the Human Genetics Advisory Commission (HGAC). A profound impact on the NHS practice, interpretations of the HFEA Act and its Code of Practice can be envisaged in relation to the Convention rights. Cases involving reproductive issues are already emerging in relation to the HR Act and which include sex selection, the present embryo transfer policy, interpretation of fatherless offspring and the provision of fertility services under the NHS. This review is intended to raise awareness of the HR Act 1998 for persons interested in human reproductive issues and how the HR Act could impact on the current laws and practice. Whilst it is only possible to speculate on what might happen in relation to the HR Act, what is certain is that UK law will radically change to accommodate the requirements of the HR Act 1998.

  8. Lessons From Biodiversity—The Value of Nontraditional Species to Advance Reproductive Science, Conservation, and Human Health

    PubMed Central

    WILDT, DAVID E.; COMIZZOLI, PIERRE; PUKAZHENTHI, BUDHAN; SONGSASEN, NUCHARIN

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Reproduction is quintessential to species survival. But what is underappreciated for this discipline is the wondrous array of reproductive mechanisms among species—variations as diverse as the morphology of the species themselves (more than 55,000 vertebrate and 1.1 million invertebrate types). We have investigated only a tiny fraction of these species in reproductive science. Besides the need to fill enormous gaps in a scholarly database, this knowledge has value for recovering and genetically managing rare species as well as addressing certain reproductive issues in humans. This article provides examples, first to advise against oversimplifying reproduction and then to show how such knowledge can have practical use for managing whole animals, populations, or even saving an entire species. We also address the expected challenges and opportunities that could lead to creative shifts in philosophy and effective actions to benefit more species as well as a future generation of reproductive scientists. PMID:19967718

  9. Human leukocyte antigen-G in the male reproductive system and in seminal plasma.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Margit Hørup; Bzorek, Michael; Pass, Malene B; Larsen, Lise Grupe; Nielsen, Mette Weidinger; Svendsen, Signe Goul; Lindhard, Anette; Hviid, Thomas Vauvert F

    2011-12-01

    One of the non-classical human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class Ib proteins, HLA-G, is believed to exert important immunoregulatory functions, especially during pregnancy. The presence of HLA protein in paternal seminal fluid has been suggested to have an influence on the risk of developing pre-eclampsia. We have investigated whether HLA-G protein is present in human seminal plasma and in different tissue samples of the male reproductive system. Western blot technique and a soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) assay were used to detect sHLA-G in human seminal plasma samples. Immunohistochemical staining was performed on paraffin-embedded tissue samples. We detected sHLA-G protein in seminal plasma, and HLA-G expression in normal testis and in epididymal tissue of the male reproductive system but not in the seminal vesicle. Furthermore, the results indicated a weak expression of HLA-G in hyperplastic prostatic tissue. In summary, several of the findings reported in this study suggest an immunoregulatory role of HLA-G in the male reproductive system and in seminal plasma.

  10. Evolution in a Contemporary Human Population: Intersexual Constraints and Costs of Reproduction

    SciTech Connect

    Stearns, Stephen

    2012-03-14

    In this talk I will use an analysis of the population described in the Framingham Heart Study to make three points: (1) Contemporary humans are still evolving, and we can in part predict how they are responding to selection. (2) Selection on males and females differs, and its interaction with intersexual genetic correlations constrains the responses of each sex to selection. In other words, males are constrained by processes occurring in females, and females are constrained by processes occurring in males. (3) There are costs of reproduction in humans that are paid in lifespan, but it is likely that these costs were deferred to a point at which our ancestors would already have died for other reasons. When we detect those costs today, we find evidence that the versions of some genes that make us susceptible to cancer also increase reproductive success early in life. This confirms in humans a central assumption of the evolutionary theory of aging – the existence of genes that mediate a tradeoff between reproduction and survival - that had previously only been confirmed in model organisms like fruit flies and worms.

  11. Low temperature affects cattle tick reproduction but does not lead to transovarial transmission of Anaplasma marginale.

    PubMed

    Esteves, E; Pohl, P C; Klafke, G M; Reck, J; Fogaça, A C; Martins, J R; Daffre, S

    2015-12-15

    Anaplasma marginale is an obligate intracellular pathogen that infects the erythrocytes of calves, causing bovine anaplasmosis. This rickettsia is biologically transmitted by several species of ticks. In tropical and subtropical regions of the world, Rhipicephalus microplus is the main vector. Due to their mobility and longevity, the adult males play an important role in the transmission of A. marginale to calves. Some studies have demonstrated that A. marginale can be intrastadially and interstadially transmitted in R. microplus, but the transovarial transmission has not been demonstrated so far. In the present study, we investigated the effects of low temperature on both the A. marginale migration from infected females to their offspring and reproductive parameters of the tick R. microplus. The larvae of R. microplus fed on a calf infected with the strain Jaboticabal of A. marginale. At the end of the parasitic phase, fully engorged females were incubated at either 18°C or 28°C for oviposition. Although A. marginale was detected in the salivary glands of the females, demonstrating that the ticks were successfully infected, the presence of rickettsia was not detected in the offspring. However, the preoviposition period of the non-infected females maintained at 18°C was longer than that of those maintained at 28°C. In addition, the average weight of the mass of eggs as well as the egg production efficiency (ratio of the egg mass weight to the female weight) of the females maintained at 18°C were significantly lower than those of the females incubated at 28°C. There was no larval hatching from the eggs maintained exclusively at 18°C, even at 65 days after female detachment. Hatching occurred only when the eggs maintained at 18°C were transferred to 28°C at 20 days after female detachment (18°C/28°C). We also verified a significantly higher larvae conversion efficiency (ratio of the larvae mass weight to the egg mass weight) in the group of females

  12. CO2, Temperature, and Soil Moisture Interactions Affect NDVI and Reproductive Phenology in Old-Field Plant Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, C.; Weltzin, J.; Norby, R.

    2004-12-01

    Plant community composition and ecosystem function may be altered by global atmospheric and climate change, including increased atmospheric [CO2], temperature, and varying precipitation regimes. We are conducting an experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) utilizing open-top chambers to administer experimental treatments of elevated CO2 (+300 ppm), warming (+ 3 degrees Celsius), and varying soil moisture availability to experimental plant communities constructed of seven common old-field species, including C3 and C4 grasses, forbs, and legumes. During 2004 we monitored plant community phenology (NDVI) and plant reproductive phenology. Early in the year, NDVI was greater in wet treatment plots, and was unaffected by main effects of temperature or CO2. This result suggests that early in the season warming is insufficient to affect early canopy development. Differences in soil moisture sustained throughout the winter and into early spring may constitute an important control on early canopy greenup. Elevated CO2 alleviated detrimental effects of warming on NDVI, but only early in the season. As ambient temperatures increased, elevated temperatures negatively impacted NDVI only in the dry plots. Wetter conditions ameliorate the effects of warming on canopy greenness during the warmer seasons of the year. Warming increased rates of bolting, number of inflorescences, and time to reproductive maturity for Andropogon virginicus (a C4 bunchgrass). Solidago Canadensis (a C3 late-season forb) also produced flowers earlier in elevated temperatures. Conversely, none of the C3 grasses and forbs that bolt or flower in late spring or early summer responded to temperature or CO2. Results indicate that warming and drought may impact plant community phenology, and plant species reproductive phenology. Clearly community phenology is driven by complex interactions among temperature, water, and CO2 that change throughout the season. Our data stresses the importance of

  13. How the magnitude of clinical severity and recurrence risk affects reproductive decisions in adult males with different forms of progressive muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed Central

    Eggers, S; Zatz, M

    1998-01-01

    The reproductive history of 177 male patients affected with Becker (BMD) (n=69), limb-girdle (LGMD) (n=54), and facioscapulohumeral (FSHMD) (n=54) muscular dystrophy (MD) was analysed according to severity of the disease (BMD>LGMD>FSHMD) and magnitude of recurrence risk (RR) (high for FSHMD, intermediate for BMD, and low for LGMD). Additionally, 62 male patients were interviewed on psychosocial issues, in order to disentangle the factors influencing reproductive decisions among patients affected with MD. Among male adults, significantly more FSHMD than LGMD or BMD patients were married and had children. Age specific reproductive outcome was 0.31-0.32 for BMD, 0.51-0.62 for LGMD, and 0.58-1.02 for FSHMD, reflecting the influence of the disease's severity. High RRs did not significantly diminish reproduction after genetic counselling or correlate with less prospective desire for children. Instead, early onset, severity of the disease, and past reproductive history were found to diminish reproductive outcome after genetic counselling, and prospective family planning was also found to be influenced by past reproductive history as well as by emotional/sexual dysfunction with the opposite sex. PMID:9541101

  14. How the magnitude of clinical severity and recurrence risk affects reproductive decisions in adult males with different forms of progressive muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Eggers, S; Zatz, M

    1998-03-01

    The reproductive history of 177 male patients affected with Becker (BMD) (n=69), limb-girdle (LGMD) (n=54), and facioscapulohumeral (FSHMD) (n=54) muscular dystrophy (MD) was analysed according to severity of the disease (BMD>LGMD>FSHMD) and magnitude of recurrence risk (RR) (high for FSHMD, intermediate for BMD, and low for LGMD). Additionally, 62 male patients were interviewed on psychosocial issues, in order to disentangle the factors influencing reproductive decisions among patients affected with MD. Among male adults, significantly more FSHMD than LGMD or BMD patients were married and had children. Age specific reproductive outcome was 0.31-0.32 for BMD, 0.51-0.62 for LGMD, and 0.58-1.02 for FSHMD, reflecting the influence of the disease's severity. High RRs did not significantly diminish reproduction after genetic counselling or correlate with less prospective desire for children. Instead, early onset, severity of the disease, and past reproductive history were found to diminish reproductive outcome after genetic counselling, and prospective family planning was also found to be influenced by past reproductive history as well as by emotional/sexual dysfunction with the opposite sex.

  15. Divergent selection on, but no genetic conflict over, female and male timing and rate of reproduction in a human population.

    PubMed

    Bolund, Elisabeth; Bouwhuis, Sandra; Pettay, Jenni E; Lummaa, Virpi

    2013-12-07

    The sexes often have different phenotypic optima for important life-history traits, and because of a largely shared genome this can lead to a conflict over trait expression. In mammals, the obligate costs of reproduction are higher for females, making reproductive timing and rate especially liable to conflict between the sexes. While studies from wild vertebrates support such sexual conflict, it remains unexplored in humans. We used a pedigreed human population from preindustrial Finland to estimate sexual conflict over age at first and last reproduction, reproductive lifespan and reproductive rate. We found that the phenotypic selection gradients differed between the sexes. We next established significant heritabilities in both sexes for all traits. All traits, except reproductive rate, showed strongly positive intersexual genetic correlations and were strongly genetically correlated with fitness in both sexes. Moreover, the genetic correlations with fitness were almost identical in men and women. For reproductive rate, the intersexual correlation and the correlation with fitness were weaker but again similar between the sexes. Thus, in this population, an apparent sexual conflict at the phenotypic level did not reflect an underlying genetic conflict over the studied reproductive traits. These findings emphasize the need for incorporating genetic perspectives into studies of human life-history evolution.

  16. Male Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

    ... gamete, the egg or ovum, meet in the female's reproductive system to create a baby. Both the male and female reproductive systems are essential for reproduction. Humans pass certain characteristics ...

  17. Does cadmium pollution affect reproduction in the clam Ruditapes decussatus? A one-year case study.

    PubMed

    Smaoui-Damak, W; Rebai, T; Berthet, B; Hamza-Chaffai, A

    2006-06-01

    The effect of cadmium (Cd) on the reproduction of Ruditapes decussatus was monitored over a period of 12 months, from June 2001 to June 2002. Two sites "Bordj d'Ungha" and "El Hofra" differing by their degree of cadmium contamination were chosen in the Gulf of Gabès area (Tunisia). Annual mean concentrations of Cd in the whole soft tissues of clams from the site El Hofra were more than 4 times higher than those from the site Bordj d'Ungha (reference site). The gametogenic cycle of the clam R. decussatus was also investigated by histological examination and monthly observations of gonadal sections in a population of clams from both sites. The results show that gametogenesis occurred from March to December in clams from both sites. Nevertheless, spawning and emission of gametes were synchronized in both sexes from only the clams of the reference site. Although this species is considered as gonochoristic, 6.6% of hermaphroditic cases were observed in clams from both sites in which gametes of both males and females were in ripe stage. Moreover, the period of ripening of sexual products led to an increase of condition index and to a decrease of Cd concentrations in the whole soft tissues of clams from both sites, hence reflecting the phenomenon of "biological dilution".

  18. Invasion of Tomato Roots and Reproduction of Meloidogyne incognita as Affected by Raw Sewage Sludge

    PubMed Central

    Castagnone-Sereno, Philippe; Kermarrec, Alain

    1991-01-01

    The antagonistic effects of raw sewage sludge on infection of tomato by Meloidogyne incognita were tested in greenhouse pot experiments. Sludge was mixed with the soil or added on its surface before and after inoculation of tomato plants with nematode eggs. Juvenile penetration was determined 1 and 10 days after inoculation, and 6 weeks later root systems were assessed for nematode reproduction. Fewer juveniles penetrated roots in pots with sludge added to the soil than in unamended control pots. In both experiments, roots were severely galled despite a significant reduction in gall ratings in amended relative to unamended soils. Egg production in treated soil was less (P = 0.05) than in control pots, regardless of whether sludge was incorporated or added 1 day before or after inoculation. In treated pots, RF values (final egg number/inoculation egg number) were strongly reduced. The toxic effects observed on the parasite may result from the ammoniacal nitrogen released in the soil within 7 days after treatment, associated with possible poor host suitability of tomatoes grown in amended substrate and short-lasting compound(s) active after root invasion. PMID:19283192

  19. An investigation into the factors affecting the natural reproduction of Opsaridium peringueyi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moyo, N. A. G.

    An endangered freshwater fish, Opsaridium peringueyi, was studied from January, 2009 to December, 2009. The analysis of the environmental conditions indicated that the fish is found in streams with moderate to fast flow, high oxygen levels, a depth greater than 0.6 m and temperatures between 10 and 24 °C. O. peringueyi is sexually dimorphic with males growing at a faster rate and attaining a larger size than females. The breeding biology of this species was investigated in glass aquarium tanks. The spawning behaviour is described for the first time. The breeding colour of the male is deep red on the operculum, ventral part, caudal and ventral fins. The breeding colour in the female is the same as the male except the red colour is lighter. The breeding of O. peringueyi is a four stage process which begins with the appearance of breeding colour culminating in the laying of eggs after courtship. Temperature, flow-rate, conductivity and substrate were identified as the environmental cues important in the reproduction of this species. All these factors had a significant effect on the breeding activity of O. peringueyi. The possible effect of climate change on O. peringueyi is discussed.

  20. Maternally transferred dioxin-like compounds can affect the reproductive success of European eel.

    PubMed

    Foekema, Edwin M; Kotterman, Michiel; de Vries, Pepijn; Murk, Albertinka J

    2016-01-01

    Reported concentrations of dioxin-like compounds accumulated in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) were used to perform a risk assessment for eel larval survival, taking into account a modeled amplification of tissue concentrations with a factor of 1.33 during spawning migration. The calculated concentrations of dioxin-like compounds finally deposited in the eggs were compared with the internal effect concentrations for survival of early life stages of the European eel; these concentrations, by lack of experimental data, were estimated from a sensitivity distribution based on literature data by assuming that eel larvae are among the 10% most sensitive teleost fish species. Given concentrations of dioxin-like contaminants and assuming a relatively high sensitivity, it can be expected that larvae from eggs produced by eel from highly contaminated locations in Europe will experience increased mortality as a result of maternally transferred dioxin-like contaminants. As historical persistent organic pollutant concentrations in eel tissue were higher, this impact must have been stronger in the past. Potential effects of other compounds or effects on the migration, condition, and fertility of the parental animals were not taken into account. It is important to further study the overall impact of contaminants on the reproductive success of the European eel as this may have been underestimated until now.

  1. Floral scents affect reproductive success in fly-pollinated Alocasia odora (Araceae).

    PubMed

    Miyake, Takashi; Yafuso, Masako

    2003-03-01

    We evaluated the role of floral scents in the reproductive success of Alocasia odora C. Koch (Araceae). Alocasia odora is pollinated by its specific pollinators, Colocasiomyia alocasiae (Okada) and C. xenalocasiae (Okada) (Diptera: Drosophilidae). These flies use the spadix of A. odora as breeding sites. The appendix, which is at an upper part of the spadix and is the most attractive region, attracted these pollinators by emitting volatiles, although the male zone of the inflorescence was also attractive. The number of flies attracted was positively correlated with appendix size. During the pistillate phase of the protogynous spadix, attracted flies aggregated in the lower part (female zone) to mate, lay eggs, and perhaps obtain nutrients. The flies moved to the upper part (male zone) of the spadix by the tightening of the constriction separating the upper and lower parts, and then the staminate phase started. This movement of the flies on the spadix promotes outcrossing of A. odora. Removal of the appendix or the whole upper part of the spadix resulted in much reduced fruit set, suggesting that the absence of the scent-producing region leads to insufficient pollination because of reduced pollinator attraction.

  2. Generation of a specific immunological response to FGF-2 does not affect wound healing or reproduction.

    PubMed

    Plum, Stacy M; Vu, Hong A; Mercer, Bobby; Fogler, William E; Fortier, Anne H

    2004-02-01

    Angiogenesis, the process of new capillary formation from pre-existing vessels, has been established as an important mechanism involved in pathologic processes, such as cancer, as well as in normal physiology (Ribatti, D.; Vacca, A.; Roncali, L.; Dammacco, F. Angiogenesis under normal and pathological conditions. Haematologica 1991, 76 (4), 311-320). Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) is a critical mediator of angiogenesis that is important for normal reproduction and wound healing. FGF-2 mediates its pro-angiogenic effects by binding to heparin sulfate proteoglycan in addition to a tyrosine kinase receptor (Baird, A.; Schubert, D.; Ling, N.; Guillemin, R. Receptor and heparin-binding domain of basic fibroblast growth factor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 1998, 5 (7), 2324-2328; Richard, C.; Roghani, M.; Moscatelli, D. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2 mediates cell attachment through interactions with two FGF receptor-1 isoforms and extracellular matrix or cell-associated heparin sulfate proteoglycans. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2000, 276 (2), 399-405; Casu, B.; Guerrini, M.; Naggi, A.; Perez, M.; Torri, G.; Ribatti, D.; Carminati, P.; Giannini, G.; Penco, S.; Pisano, C.; Belleri, M.; Rusnati, M.; Presta, M. Short heparin sequences spaced by glycol-split urinate residues are antagonists of fibroblast growth factor 2 and angiogenesis inhibitors. Biochemistry 2002, 41 (33), 10519-10528; Murphy, P.V.; Pitt, N.; O'Brien, A.; Enright, P.M.; Dunne, A.; Wilson, S.J.; Duane, R.M.; O'Boyle, K.M. Identification of novel inhibitors of fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) binding to heparin and endothelial cell survival from a structurally diverse carbohybrid library. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2002, 12 (22), 3287-3290). We developed a liposomal-based peptide vaccine, L(HBD) that targets the heparin binding domain of the FGF-2 molecule. This vaccine, when inoculated into mice, inhibits angiogenesis in response to FGF-2 in a hepatic sponge model as well as tumor progression

  3. Developmental methoxychlor exposure affects multiple reproductive parameters and ovarian folliculogenesis and gene expression in adult rats

    SciTech Connect

    Armenti, AnnMarie E.; Zama, Aparna Mahakali; Passantino, Lisa; Uzumcu, Mehmet

    2008-12-01

    Methoxychlor (MXC) is an organochlorine pesticide with estrogenic, anti-estrogenic, and anti-androgenic properties. To investigate whether transient developmental exposure to MXC could cause adult ovarian dysfunction, we exposed Fischer rats to 20 {mu}g/kg/day (low dose; environmentally relevant dose) or 100 mg/kg/day (high dose) MXC between 19 days post coitum and postnatal day 7. Multiple reproductive parameters, serum hormone levels, and ovarian morphology and molecular markers were examined from prepubertal through adult stages. High dose MXC accelerated pubertal onset and first estrus, reduced litter size, and increased irregular cyclicity (P < 0.05). MXC reduced superovulatory response to exogenous gonadotropins in prepubertal females (P < 0.05). Rats exposed to high dose MXC had increasing irregular estrous cyclicity beginning at 4 months of age, with all animals showing abnormal cycles by 6 months. High dose MXC reduced serum progesterone, but increased luteinizing hormone (LH). Follicular composition analysis revealed an increase in the percentage of preantral and early antral follicles and a reduction in the percentage of corpora lutea in high dose MXC-treated ovaries (P < 0.05). Immunohistochemical staining and quantification of the staining intensity showed that estrogen receptor {beta} was reduced by high dose MXC while anti-Mullerian hormone was upregulated by both low- and high dose MXC in preantral and early antral follicles (P < 0.05). High dose MXC significantly reduced LH receptor expression in large antral follicles (P < 0.01), and down-regulated cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage. These results demonstrated that developmental MXC exposure results in reduced ovulation and fertility and premature aging, possibly by altering ovarian gene expression and folliculogenesis.

  4. Male age is not an independent factor to affect the outcome of assisted reproductive techniques.

    PubMed

    Kumtepe, Yakup; Yakin, Kayhan; Kahraman, Semra; Sertyel, Semra; Vanlioğlu, Faruk; Cengiz, Sami; Dönmez, Ersan

    2003-06-01

    Controversy exists whether advanced male age is associated with poor sperm quality and subsequent failure in the assisted reproductive techniques (ART). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of male age on sperm quality and the outcome of ART as well as the association of male age with other relevant factors, particularly with the female age. A retrospective study was performed in order to evaluate the effect of male age on the sperm parameters in 880 routine seminal analyses. Additionally, sperm parameters were also compared among different age groups in 919 cases with male factor infertility who had been included in an ART programme. The laboratory and clinical results of ART (fertilization rate, number and quality of embryos transferred, as well as pregnancy rates) were compared according to different age groups. The results were also evaluated by one-way correlation and also step-wise logistic regression analysis to identify the interactions and correlations between different parameters. There were no statistically significant differences between male age groups in terms of sperm concentration, motility and morphology either in routine seminal analyses or in ART groups. In the ART group, a statistically significant linear correlation was present between male and female ages. Male age was increasing in parallel to female age. Female age was also correlated significantly with ART results. In one-way correlation analysis, male age was found to be correlated with the pregnancy rate, but not with fertilization rate and the quality of the transferred embryos. However, regression analysis revealed that correlation between male age and pregnancy results was simply dependent on the effect of the female age. Seminal parameters did not reveal a significant change with the increasing male age. The effect of male age on ART results in cases with male factor infertility is not a direct effect but a reflection of the negative impact of the parallel increase in

  5. Aboveground Feeding by Soybean Aphid, Aphis glycines, Affects Soybean Cyst Nematode, Heterodera glycines, Reproduction Belowground

    PubMed Central

    McCarville, Michael T.; Soh, David H.; Tylka, Gregory L.; O’Neal, Matthew E.

    2014-01-01

    Heterodera glycines is a cyst nematode that causes significant lost soybean yield in the U.S. Recent studies observed the aphid Aphis glycines and H. glycines interacting via their shared host, soybean, Glycine max. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to discern the effect of A. glycines feeding on H. glycines reproduction. An H. glycines-susceptible cultivar, Kenwood 94, and a resistant cultivar, Dekalb 27–52, were grown in H. glycines-infested soil for 30 and 60 d. Ten days after planting, plants were infested with either zero, five, or ten aphids. At 30 and 60 d, the number of H. glycines females and cysts (dead females) and the number of eggs within were counted. In general, H. glycines were less abundant on the resistant than the susceptible cultivar, and H. glycines abundance increased from 30 to 60 d. At 30 d, 33% more H. glycines females and eggs were produced on the resistant cultivar in the ten-aphid treatment compared to the zero-aphid treatment. However, at 30 d the susceptible cultivar had 50% fewer H. glycines females and eggs when infested with ten aphids. At 60 d, numbers of H. glycines females and cysts and numbers of eggs on the resistant cultivar were unaffected by A. glycines feeding, while numbers of both were decreased by A. glycines on the susceptible cultivar. These results indicate that A. glycines feeding improves the quality of soybean as a host for H. glycines, but at higher herbivore population densities, this effect is offset by a decrease in resource quantity. PMID:24466080

  6. Changes in anxiety and cognition due to reproductive experience: a review of data from rodent and human mothers.

    PubMed

    Macbeth, Abbe H; Luine, Victoria N

    2010-03-01

    Rodent research suggests that pregnancy, motherhood and attendant offspring care affect changes in neural function and behaviors that are not directly maternal in nature, but involve cognition, affect, and responses to stress. Thus, female rats having had one pregnancy and bout of rearing (primiparous), or multiple pregnancies and bouts of rearing (multiparous), generally show greater resilience to stress, decreased anxiety, and better memory abilities than female rats that have never experienced motherhood (virgin or nulliparous). Moreover, some studies show that these neural changes remain long after the last pregnancy, persisting even into old age. In the current review, we will begin by discussing these behavioral and neural changes in rodents and provide some information concerning their possible mechanisms. Then we will review data from studies examining anxiety and cognition in postpartum human mothers. While this data is less conclusive than that from non-human animals, it appears that reproductive experience may confer some beneficial changes to human mothers in terms of lowering the anxiety/stress response and enhancing certain aspects of memory.

  7. Reproductive health information and abortion services: standards developed by the European Court of Human Rights.

    PubMed

    Westeson, Johanna

    2013-08-01

    In 3 recent judgments, the European Court of Human Rights addressed the issue of access to abortion and related reproductive health services. In 2 of the judgments, the Court declared that the state violated women's rights by obstructing access to legal health services, including abortion. In so doing, it referred to the state's failure to implement domestic norms on prenatal testing and conscientious objection, and recognized the relevance of international medical guidelines. This illustrates that domestic and international medical standards can serve as critical guidance to human rights courts. In the third case, the Court showed its unwillingness to declare access to abortion a human right per se, which is troubling from the perspective of women's right to health and dignity. The present article outlines the relevance of these cases for the reproductive health profession and argues that medical professional societies can influence human rights courts by developing and enforcing medical standards, not only for the benefit of abortion rights domestically but also for the advancement of women's human rights worldwide.

  8. Consensus and stratification in the affective meaning of human sociality

    PubMed Central

    Ambrasat, Jens; von Scheve, Christian; Conrad, Markus; Schauenburg, Gesche; Schröder, Tobias

    2014-01-01

    We investigate intrasocietal consensus and variation in affective meanings of concepts related to authority and community, two elementary forms of human sociality. Survey participants (n = 2,849) from different socioeconomic status (SES) groups in German society provided ratings of 909 social concepts along three basic dimensions of affective meaning. Results show widespread consensus on these meanings within society and demonstrate that a meaningful structure of socially shared knowledge emerges from organizing concepts according to their affective similarity. The consensus finding is further qualified by evidence for subtle systematic variation along SES differences. In relation to affectively neutral words, high-status individuals evaluate intimacy-related and socially desirable concepts as less positive and powerful than middle- or low-status individuals, while perceiving antisocial concepts as relatively more threatening. This systematic variation across SES groups suggests that the affective meaning of sociality is to some degree a function of social stratification. PMID:24843121

  9. Consensus and stratification in the affective meaning of human sociality.

    PubMed

    Ambrasat, Jens; von Scheve, Christian; Conrad, Markus; Schauenburg, Gesche; Schröder, Tobias

    2014-06-03

    We investigate intrasocietal consensus and variation in affective meanings of concepts related to authority and community, two elementary forms of human sociality. Survey participants (n = 2,849) from different socioeconomic status (SES) groups in German society provided ratings of 909 social concepts along three basic dimensions of affective meaning. Results show widespread consensus on these meanings within society and demonstrate that a meaningful structure of socially shared knowledge emerges from organizing concepts according to their affective similarity. The consensus finding is further qualified by evidence for subtle systematic variation along SES differences. In relation to affectively neutral words, high-status individuals evaluate intimacy-related and socially desirable concepts as less positive and powerful than middle- or low-status individuals, while perceiving antisocial concepts as relatively more threatening. This systematic variation across SES groups suggests that the affective meaning of sociality is to some degree a function of social stratification.

  10. Acute exposure to gas-supersaturated water does not affect reproductive success of female adult chinook salmon late in maturation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gale, William L.; Maule, A.G.; Postera, A.; Peters, M.H.

    2004-01-01

    At times, total dissolved gas concentrations in the Columbia and Snake rivers have been elevated due to involuntary spill from high spring runoff and voluntary spill used as a method to pass juvenile salmonids over dams. The goal of this project was to determine if acute exposure to total dissolved gas supersaturation (TDGS) affects the reproductive performance of female chinook salmon late in their maturation. During this study, adult female spring chinook salmon were exposed to mean TDGS levels of 114.1 % to 125.5%. We ended exposures at first mortality, or at the appearance of impending death. Based on this criterion, exposures lasted from 10 to 68 h and were inversely related to TDGS. There was no effect of TDGS on pre-spawning mortality or fecundity when comparing treatment fish to experimental controls or the general hatchery population four to six weeks after exposures. Egg quality, based on egg weight and egg diameter, did not differ between treatment and control fish. Fertilization rate and survival to eyed-stage was high (>94%) for all groups. With the exception of Renibacterium salmoninarum (the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease; BKD), no viral or bacterial fish pathogens were isolated from experimental fish. The prevalence (about 45%) and severity of R. salmoninarum did not differ among the groups or the general hatchery population. We conclude that these acute exposures to moderate levels of gas-supersaturated water-perhaps similar to that experienced by immigrating adult salmon as they approach and pass a hydropower dam on the Columbia River-did not affect reproductive success of female chinook salmon late in their maturation. These results are most applicable to summer and fall chinook salmon, which migrate in the summer/fall and spawn shortly after reaching their natal streams. Published in 2004 by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

  11. The emerging role of estrogen receptor-β in human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Su, Emily J; Xin, Hong; Monsivais, Diana

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge surrounding estrogen and estrogen receptor biology continues to evolve, and the diversity of their actions and complexity of their mechanisms are becoming increasingly evident. Estrogen receptor (ER) regulation of reproduction is no exception. Although it is well established that estrogen and ERα play key roles in mediating several reproductive biological processes, such as myometrial and endometrial growth, increasing evidence suggests that ERβ is also an important factor. ERβ is a key mediator in folliculogenesis and may also play a role in stimulating ovulation and regulating aspects of luteinization. ERβ is also expressed in higher quantities than ERα in the human myometrium and cervix during pregnancy, and thus it may play a part in the initiation of labor and parturition. Finally, ERβ is the sole ER expressed within the endothelium of the endometrium and the fetoplacental vasculature, and studies suggest that its role may contribute to angiogenic and vasomotor changes that play a role in both implantation and regulation of fetoplacental blood flow.

  12. How Do Volcanoes Affect Human Life? Integrated Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dayton, Rebecca; Edwards, Carrie; Sisler, Michelle

    This packet contains a unit on teaching about volcanoes. The following question is addressed: How do volcanoes affect human life? The unit covers approximately three weeks of instruction and strives to present volcanoes in an holistic form. The five subject areas of art, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies are integrated into…

  13. NTP-CERHR monograph on the potential human reproductive and developmental effects of bisphenol A.

    PubMed

    Shelby, Michael D

    2008-09-01

    The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) conducted an evaluation of the potential for bisphenol A to cause adverse effects on reproduction and development in humans. The CERHR Expert Panel on Bisphenol A completed its evaluation in August 2007. CERHR selected bisphenol A for evaluation because of the: widespread human exposure; public concern for possible health effects from human exposures; high production volume; evidence of reproductive and developmental toxicity in laboratory animal studies Bisphenol A (CAS RN: 80-05-7) is a high production volume chemical used primarily in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are used in some food and drink containers; the resins are used as lacquers to coat metal products such as food cans, bottle tops, and water supply pipes. To a lesser extent bisphenol A is used in the production of polyester resins, polysulfone resins, polyacrylate resins, and flame retardants. In addition, bisphenol A is used in the processing of polyvinyl chloride plastic and in the recycling of thermal paper. Some polymers used in dental sealants and tooth coatings contain bisphenol A. The primary source of exposure to bisphenol A for most people is assumed to occur through the diet. While air, dust, and water (including skin contact during bathing and swimming) are other possible sources of exposure, bisphenol A in food and beverages accounts for the majority of daily human exposure. The highest estimated daily intakes of bisphenol A in the general population occur in infants and children. The results of this bisphenol A evaluation are published in an NTP-CERHR Monograph that includes the (1) NTP Brief and (2) Expert Panel Report on the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of Bisphenol A. Additional information related to the evaluation process, including the peer review report for the NTP Brief and public comments received on the draft NTP

  14. Ethical issues in human reproduction: Protestant perspectives in the light of European Protestant and Reformed Churches.

    PubMed

    Birkhäuser, Martin

    2013-11-01

    Protestantism is not a centralized religion. It is composed by many independent Churches having different moral and ethical standards. This review concentrates on the ethical principles prevalent in most modern European Reformed Churches. It does not intend to discuss the ethical principles of many other Protestant Churches present mainly in the USA. The common foundations of Protestant theology are the "five sola ("Sola scriptura", Sola fide", "Sola gratia", Solus Christus or Solo Christo", "Soli deo gloria"). In opposition to the Catholic Church, no intermediary is needed between the Bible and the believer. As a consequence, Protestant Churches have no Magisterium, such as the Catholic Church. Therefore Protestant Churches cannot declare a certain position to be the "official position". Each Christian is personally responsible for all his acts, including his ethical behaviour. There is no complete unanimity among all Protestants on ethics or on any other issue. Human dignity, personal rights and self-determination have to be respected in each ethical consideration. The supersession of the Old Mosaic Covenant (including traditional Jewish law or Halakhah, maintained in Catholicism) by the New Covenant and by Christian Theology has an important impact on Protestant ethics in reproductive medicine. In the New Covenant, the Protestants Churches did not maintain the mandatory obligation from the old Mosaic Covenant to be fruitful and to multiply: there is no divine obligation by God to procreate. As a consequence, contraception is not a sin and not unethical. The status of the embryo is the key for the ethical consideration of all methods used in reproductive medicine. Most representatives of modern Protestant theology and bioethics defend the opinion that the embryo is not an independent human being as is the newborn child. For most Protestant bio-ethicists, as long as an embryo has no nervous system, no organs and no pain receptors, it cannot be seen as a human

  15. The role of the prokineticin 2 pathway in human reproduction: evidence from the study of human and murine gene mutations.

    PubMed

    Martin, Cecilia; Balasubramanian, Ravikumar; Dwyer, Andrew A; Au, Margaret G; Sidis, Yisrael; Kaiser, Ursula B; Seminara, Stephanie B; Pitteloud, Nelly; Zhou, Qun-Yong; Crowley, William F

    2011-04-01

    A widely dispersed network of hypothalamic GnRH neurons controls the reproductive axis in mammals. Genetic investigation of the human disease model of isolated GnRH deficiency has revealed several key genes crucial for GnRH neuronal ontogeny and GnRH secretion. Among these genes, prokineticin 2 (PROK2), and PROK2 receptor (PROKR2) have recently emerged as critical regulators of reproduction in both mice and humans. Both prok2- and prokr2-deficient mice recapitulate the human Kallmann syndrome phenotype. Additionally, PROK2 and PROKR2 mutations are seen in humans with Kallmann syndrome, thus implicating this pathway in GnRH neuronal migration. However, PROK2/PROKR2 mutations are also seen in normosmic GnRH deficiency, suggesting a role for the prokineticin signaling system in GnRH biology that is beyond neuronal migration. This observation is particularly surprising because mature GnRH neurons do not express PROKR2. Moreover, mutations in both PROK2 and PROKR2 are predominantly detected in the heterozygous state with incomplete penetrance or variable expressivity frequently seen within and across pedigrees. In some of these pedigrees, a "second hit" or oligogenicity has been documented. Besides reproduction, a pleiotropic physiological role for PROK2 is now recognized, including regulation of pain perception, circadian rhythms, hematopoiesis, and immune response. Therefore, further detailed clinical studies of patients with PROK2/PROKR2 mutations will help to map the broader biological role of the PROK2/PROKR2 pathway and identify other interacting genes/proteins that mediate its molecular effects in humans.

  16. The Role of the Prokineticin 2 Pathway in Human Reproduction: Evidence from the Study of Human and Murine Gene Mutations

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Cecilia; Balasubramanian, Ravikumar; Dwyer, Andrew A.; Au, Margaret G.; Sidis, Yisrael; Kaiser, Ursula B.; Seminara, Stephanie B.; Pitteloud, Nelly; Zhou, Qun-Yong

    2011-01-01

    A widely dispersed network of hypothalamic GnRH neurons controls the reproductive axis in mammals. Genetic investigation of the human disease model of isolated GnRH deficiency has revealed several key genes crucial for GnRH neuronal ontogeny and GnRH secretion. Among these genes, prokineticin 2 (PROK2), and PROK2 receptor (PROKR2) have recently emerged as critical regulators of reproduction in both mice and humans. Both prok2- and prokr2-deficient mice recapitulate the human Kallmann syndrome phenotype. Additionally, PROK2 and PROKR2 mutations are seen in humans with Kallmann syndrome, thus implicating this pathway in GnRH neuronal migration. However, PROK2/PROKR2 mutations are also seen in normosmic GnRH deficiency, suggesting a role for the prokineticin signaling system in GnRH biology that is beyond neuronal migration. This observation is particularly surprising because mature GnRH neurons do not express PROKR2. Moreover, mutations in both PROK2 and PROKR2 are predominantly detected in the heterozygous state with incomplete penetrance or variable expressivity frequently seen within and across pedigrees. In some of these pedigrees, a “second hit” or oligogenicity has been documented. Besides reproduction, a pleiotropic physiological role for PROK2 is now recognized, including regulation of pain perception, circadian rhythms, hematopoiesis, and immune response. Therefore, further detailed clinical studies of patients with PROK2/PROKR2 mutations will help to map the broader biological role of the PROK2/PROKR2 pathway and identify other interacting genes/proteins that mediate its molecular effects in humans. PMID:21037178

  17. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection of cells and tissues from the upper and lower human female reproductive tract.

    PubMed Central

    Howell, A L; Edkins, R D; Rier, S E; Yeaman, G R; Stern, J E; Fanger, M W; Wira, C R

    1997-01-01

    Viable tissue sections and isolated cell cultures from the human fallopian tube, uterus, cervix, and vaginal mucosa were examined for susceptibility to infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). We examined infectivity by using the monocytotropic strain HIV-1(JR-FL) and several primary isolates of HIV-1 obtained from infected neonates. HIV-1 infection was measured by p24 production in short-term culture and by immunofluorescence detection of HIV-1 Nef and p24 proteins by laser scanning confocal microscopy. Three-color immunofluorescence was used to phenotype HIV-infected cells within tissue sections from each site. Our findings indicate that epithelial, stromal, and dendritic cells and cells with CD14+ CD4+, CD14-CD4-, and CD4+ CD14- phenotypes from the female reproductive tract are infectable with HIV-1. Of importance is the finding that tissues from the upper reproductive tract are susceptible to infection with HIV-1. Moreover, tissue samples from women in all stages of the menstrual cycle, including postmenopausal women (inactive), could be infected with HIV-1. Female reproductive tract cells required a minimum of 60 min of exposure to HIV-1 in order for infection to occur, in contrast to peripheral blood lymphocytes, which became infected after being exposed to HIV-1 for only 1 min. These findings demonstrate that HIV-1 can infect cells and tissues from different sites within the female reproductive tract and suggest that multiple cell types, including epithelial cells, may be targets for the initial infection by HIV-1. PMID:9094621

  18. What exactly is an exact copy? And why it matters when trying to ban human reproductive cloning in Australia.

    PubMed

    Gogarty, B

    2003-04-01

    This paper examines the current Australian regulatory response to human reproductive cloning. The central consideration is the capacity of the current regulatory regime to effectively deter human cloning efforts. A legislative prohibition on human cloning must be both effective and clear enough to allow researchers to know what practices are acceptable. This paper asks whether the current Australian regime evinces these qualities and suggests that Australia should follow the example set in the UK by the enactment of the Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001.

  19. Incorporating affective bias in models of human decision making

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nygren, Thomas E.

    1991-01-01

    Research on human decision making has traditionally focused on how people actually make decisions, how good their decisions are, and how their decisions can be improved. Recent research suggests that this model is inadequate. Affective as well as cognitive components drive the way information about relevant outcomes and events is perceived, integrated, and used in the decision making process. The affective components include how the individual frames outcomes as good or bad, whether the individual anticipates regret in a decision situation, the affective mood state of the individual, and the psychological stress level anticipated or experienced in the decision situation. A focus of the current work has been to propose empirical studies that will attempt to examine in more detail the relationships between the latter two critical affective influences (mood state and stress) on decision making behavior.

  20. The concentration of plasma metabolites varies throughout reproduction and affects offspring number in wild brown trout (Salmo trutta).

    PubMed

    Gauthey, Zoé; Freychet, Marine; Manicki, Aurélie; Herman, Alexandre; Lepais, Olivier; Panserat, Stéphane; Elosegi, Arturo; Tentelier, Cédric; Labonne, Jacques

    2015-06-01

    In wild populations, measuring energy invested in the reproduction and disentangling investment in gametes versus investment in reproductive behavior (such as intrasexual competition or intersexual preference) remain challenging. In this study, we investigated the energy expenditure in brown trout reproductive behavior by using two proxies: variation in weight and variation of plasma metabolites involved in energy production, over the course of reproductive season in a semi natural experimental river. We estimated overall reproductive success using genetic assignment at the end of the reproductive season. Results show that triglycerides and free fatty acid concentrations vary negatively during reproduction, while amino-acids and glucose concentrations remain stable. Decrease in triglyceride and free fatty acid concentrations during reproduction is not related to initial concentration levels or to weight variation. Both metabolite concentration variations and weight variations are correlated to the number of offspring produced, which could indicate that gametic and behavioral reproductive investments substantially contribute to reproductive success in wild brown trout. This study opens a path to further investigate variations in reproductive investment in wild populations.

  1. Triclosan and bisphenol a affect decidualization of human endometrial stromal cells.

    PubMed

    Forte, Maurizio; Mita, Luigi; Cobellis, Luigi; Merafina, Verdiana; Specchio, Raffaella; Rossi, Sergio; Mita, Damiano Gustavo; Mosca, Lavinia; Castaldi, Maria Antonietta; De Falco, Maria; Laforgia, Vincenza; Crispi, Stefania

    2016-02-15

    In recent years, impaired fertility and endometrium related diseases are increased. Many evidences suggest that environmental pollution might be considered a risk factor for endometrial physiopathology. Among environmental pollutants, endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) act on endocrine system, causing hormonal imbalance which, in turn, leads to female and male reproductive dysfunctions. In this work, we studied the effects of triclosan (TCL) and bisphenol A (BPA), two widespread EDCs, on human endometrial stromal cells (ESCs), derived from endometrial biopsies from woman not affected by endometriosis. Cell proliferation, cell cycle, migration and decidualization mechanisms were investigated. Treatments have been performed with both the EDCs separately or in presence and in absence of progesterone used as decidualization stimulus. Both TCL and BPA did not affect cell proliferation, but they arrested ESCs at G2/M phase of cell cycle enhancing cell migration. TCL and BPA also increased gene expression and protein levels of some decidualization markers, such as insulin growth factor binding protein 1 (IGFBP1) and prolactin (PRL), amplifying the effect of progesterone alone. All together, our data strongly suggest that TCL and BPA might alter human endometrium physiology so affecting fertility and pregnancy outcome.

  2. A review of luteinising hormone and human chorionic gonadotropin when used in assisted reproductive technology.

    PubMed

    Ezcurra, Diego; Humaidan, Peter

    2014-10-03

    Gonadotropins extracted from the urine of post-menopausal women have traditionally been used to stimulate folliculogenesis in the treatment of infertility and in assisted reproductive technology (ART). Products, such as human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG), consist not only of a mixture of the hormones, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinising hormone (LH) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), but also other biologically active contaminants, such as growth factors, binding proteins and prion proteins. The actual amount of molecular LH in hMG preparations varies considerably due to the purification process, thus hCG, mimicking LH action, is added to standardise the product. However, unlike LH, hCG plays a different role during the natural human menstrual cycle. It is secreted by the embryo and placenta, and its main role is to support implantation and pregnancy. More recently, recombinant gonadotropins (r-hFSH and r-hLH) have become available for ART therapies. Recombinant LH contains only LH molecules. In the field of reproduction there has been controversy in recent years over whether r-hLH or hCG should be used for ART. This review examines the existing evidence for molecular and functional differences between LH and hCG and assesses the clinical implications of hCG-supplemented urinary therapy compared with recombinant therapies used for ART.

  3. Human footprint affects US carbon balance more than climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bachelet, Dominique; Ferschweiler, Ken; Sheehan, Tim; Baker, Barry; Sleeter, Benjamin M.; Zhu, Zhiliang

    2017-01-01

    The MC2 model projects an overall increase in carbon capture in conterminous United States during the 21st century while also simulating a rise in fire causing much carbon loss. Carbon sequestration in soils is critical to prevent carbon losses from future disturbances, and we show that natural ecosystems store more carbon belowground than managed systems do. Natural and human-caused disturbances affect soil processes that shape ecosystem recovery and competitive interactions between native, exotics, and climate refugees. Tomorrow's carbon budgets will depend on how land use, natural disturbances, and climate variability will interact and affect the balance between carbon capture and release.

  4. Appropriate timing of uterine cavity length measurement positively affects assisted reproduction cycle outcome.

    PubMed

    Madani, Tahereh; Ashrafi, Mahnaz; Abadi, Akram Bahman; Kiani, Kiandokht

    2009-11-01

    An appropriate and easy embryo transfer has a direct impact on pregnancy rates. Proper evaluation of the uterocervical axis and uterine depth are necessary for suitable embryo transfer. The aim of this study was to assess the appropriate time for cervical axis evaluation and uterine measurement. A total of 124 patients undergoing IVF treatment were included in the study. They were divided equally into two groups. In group I (62 women), uterine cavity depth was measured and the uterocervical axis was determined on day 2 or 3 of the menstrual cycle, and in group II (62 women) at the time of oocyte retrieval. There was a statistically significant difference in clinical pregnancy rates between the two groups (P = 0.006). Thirty-four women became pregnant in group I (64.2%) versus 19 women in group II (35.8%). In conclusion, uterine cavity measurement is necessary for suitable embryo transfer. It seems that the time of measurement significantly affects clinical pregnancy rate in IVF cycles. The best time for uterine measurement is on day 2 or 3 of menstruation.

  5. Individual heterogeneity and offspring sex affect the growth-reproduction trade-off in a mammal with indeterminate growth.

    PubMed

    Gélin, Uriel; Wilson, Michelle E; Cripps, Jemma; Coulson, Graeme; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Reproduction can lead to a trade-off with growth, particularly when individuals reproduce before completing body growth. Kangaroos have indeterminate growth and may always face this trade-off. We combined an experimental manipulation of reproductive effort and multi-year monitoring of a large sample size of marked individuals in two populations of eastern grey kangaroos to test the predictions (1) that reproduction decreases skeletal growth and mass gain and (2) that mass loss leads to reproductive failure. We also tested if sex-allocation strategies influenced these trade-offs. Experimental reproductive suppression revealed negative effects of reproduction on mass gain and leg growth from 1 year to the next. Unmanipulated females, however, showed a positive correlation between number of days lactating and leg growth over periods of 2 years and longer, suggesting that over the long term, reproductive costs were masked by individual heterogeneity in resource acquisition. Mass gain was necessary for reproductive success the subsequent year. Although mothers of daughters generally lost more mass than females nursing sons, mothers in poor condition experienced greater mass gain and arm growth if they had daughters than if they had sons. The strong links between individual mass changes and reproduction suggest that reproductive tactics are strongly resource-dependent.

  6. Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) / reproductive tract infections (RTI) including acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) / human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections among the women of reproductive age group: a review.

    PubMed

    Nahar, A; Azad, A K

    1999-06-01

    Despite great improvements in preventing and treating sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and reproductive tract infections (RTIs), including HIV/AIDS, infections have been increasing significantly throughout the world. The problem of STDs, RTIs, and HIV/AIDS among women aged 15-49 years is increasing at an alarming rate. Certain biological risk factors and cultural practices enhance the vulnerability of women of reproductive age. Among these biological risks are age, gender, blood transfusion during pregnancy and childbirth, and the development of asymptomatic STDs/RTIs. These are exacerbated by cultural practices like douching with pharmaceutical products, use of intravaginal substances, and the practice of anal sex. STDs, RTIs, and HIV/AIDS affect female reproductive health in certain ways: mother-to-child transmission, effects on pregnancy (spontaneous abortion, premature birth, stillbirth, low birth weight, ectopic pregnancy), infertility, cancer, and rise in AIDS-related mortality. On the other hand, society will experience an increase in orphans, destabilization of the family unit, and a reduction in family income. Considering the impact of these diseases on the reproductive health of women and the community, measures should be taken to prevent and control the epidemic. The paper discusses certain interventions and diagnostic and preventive strategies against STDs, RTIs, and HIV/AIDS.

  7. Cognitive Factors Affecting Freeze-like Behavior in Humans.

    PubMed

    Alban, Michael W; Pocknell, Victoria

    2017-01-01

    Contemporary research on survival-related defensive behaviors has identified physiological markers of freeze/flight/fight. Our research focused on cognitive factors associated with freeze-like behavior in humans. Study 1 tested if an explicit decision to freeze is associated with the psychophysiological state of freezing. Heart rate deceleration occurred when participants chose to freeze. Study 2 varied the efficacy of freezing relative to other defense options and found "freeze" was responsive to variations in the perceived effectiveness of alternative actions. Study 3 tested if individual differences in motivational orientation affect preference for a "freeze" option when the efficacy of options is held constant. A trend in the predicted direction suggested that naturally occurring cognitions led loss-avoiders to select "freeze" more often than reward-seekers. In combination, our attention to the cognitive factors affecting freeze-like behavior in humans represents a preliminary step in addressing an important but neglected research area.

  8. Factors affecting effective communication about sexual and reproductive health issues between parents and adolescents in zandspruit informal settlement, Johannesburg, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Motsomi, Kegaugetswe; Makanjee, Chandra; Basera, Tariro; Nyasulu, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Communication between parents and adolescents regarding sexuality is an important reproductive health topic. Due to complexities associated with adolescent's physiological development, sexuality should be dealt with holistically. This study aimed to investigate factors affecting effective communication between parents and adolescents concerning sexual and reproductive health issues. Methods An exploratory qualitative study using the focus group discussions method was done to explore amongst other things; social, cultural and religious barriers to communication. Thematic content analysis was done. Results Factors identified included: embarrassment when discussing sexual topics; adolescent misperceptions that guardians want to engage in sexual activities with them; strong belief amongst guardians that reproductive health discussions with adolescents encourages sexual experimentation; belief that adolescents were too young to understand; non-conducive environment for open discussions of sexual and reproductive health matters; cultural and religious beliefs. Conclusion In view of these findings, there are still barriers in terms of parent-adolescent engagement on issues related to risks associated with sexual behaviours and erroneous reproductive health choices among adolescents. Therefore, there is a need to encourage engagement by creating neutral platforms facilitated by community healthcare providers and/ or social workers. This will help create awareness and bridge the communication and interaction gap by emphasising the importance of effective engagement among adolescents and their parents on matters related to risks associated with sexual behaviours and erroneous reproductive health choices. Post implantation intervention studies are needed to inform on the outcomes of the intervention. PMID:28292083

  9. Female access and diet affect insemination success, senescence, and the cost of reproduction in male Mexican fruit flies Anastrepha ludens.

    PubMed

    Harwood, James F; Chen, Kehui; Liedo, Pablo; Müller, Hans-Georg; Wang, Jane-Ling; Morice, Amy E; Carey, James R

    2015-03-01

    Hypotheses exploring the influence of dietary conditions on the life history trade-off between survival and reproductive success are extensively tested in female insects, but are rarely explored in males. Here, the impact of dietary quality and female access on age-specific reproduction and survival of male Mexican fruit flies, Anastrepha ludens Loew (Diptera: Tephritidae), are examined. There is a clear cost of female access for males with access to dietary protein, measurable as a decrease in life expectancy, which is further influenced by the age when females are introduced. A protein deficient diet reduces the lifespan benefit of virginity and masks the detrimental effect of female access on male life expectancy. Dietary protein is not necessary for reproductive success, but access to protein at eclosion improves the lifetime reproductive success of males compared to when it is delayed. Overall, reproductive success diminishes as the male flies age, regardless of the dietary conditions, providing evidence for reproductive senescence in males. Delaying the males' access to a protein source fails to influence the negative effect of age on reproductive ability. Because age specific reproductive rates decline with age, regardless of diet, male fitness does not benefit from lifespan extension. Therefore, males can be expected to allocate available resources towards reproductive effort in favour of extended lifespan, regardless of mate and protein availability.

  10. Female access and diet affect insemination success, senescence, and the cost of reproduction in male Mexican fruit flies Anastrepha ludens

    PubMed Central

    HARWOOD, JAMES F.; CHEN, KEHUI; LIEDO, PABLO; MÜLLER, HANS-GEORG; WANG, JANE-LING; MORICE, AMY E.; CAREY, JAMES R.

    2014-01-01

    Hypotheses exploring the influence of dietary conditions on the life history trade-off between survival and reproductive success are extensively tested in female insects, but are rarely explored in males. Here, the impact of dietary quality and female access on age-specific reproduction and survival of male Mexican fruit flies, Anastrepha ludens Loew (Diptera: Tephritidae), are examined. There is a clear cost of female access for males with access to dietary protein, measurable as a decrease in life expectancy, which is further influenced by the age when females are introduced. A protein deficient diet reduces the lifespan benefit of virginity and masks the detrimental effect of female access on male life expectancy. Dietary protein is not necessary for reproductive success, but access to protein at eclosion improves the lifetime reproductive success of males compared to when it is delayed. Overall, reproductive success diminishes as the male flies age, regardless of the dietary conditions, providing evidence for reproductive senescence in males. Delaying the males’ access to a protein source fails to influence the negative effect of age on reproductive ability. Because age specific reproductive rates decline with age, regardless of diet, male fitness does not benefit from lifespan extension. Therefore, males can be expected to allocate available resources towards reproductive effort in favour of extended lifespan, regardless of mate and protein availability. PMID:25709143

  11. Domestication and tameness: brain gene expression in red junglefowl selected for less fear of humans suggests effects on reproduction and immunology

    PubMed Central

    Agnvall, Beatrix; Johnsson, Martin; Wright, Dominic; Jensen, Per

    2016-01-01

    The domestication of animals has generated a set of phenotypic modifications, affecting behaviour, appearance, physiology and reproduction, which are consistent across a range of species. We hypothesized that some of these phenotypes could have evolved because of genetic correlation to tameness, an essential trait for successful domestication. Starting from an outbred population of red junglefowl, ancestor of all domestic chickens, we selected birds for either high or low fear of humans for five generations. Birds from the fifth selected generation (S5) showed a divergent pattern of growth and reproduction, where low fear chickens grew larger and produced larger offspring. To examine underlying genetic mechanisms, we used microarrays to study gene expression in thalamus/hypothalamus, a brain region involved in fear and stress, in both the parental generation and the S5. While parents of the selection lines did not show any differentially expressed genes, there were a total of 33 genes with adjusted p-values below 0.1 in S5. These were mainly related to sperm-function, immunological functions, with only a few known to be relevant to behaviour. Hence, five generations of divergent selection for fear of humans produced changes in hypothalamic gene expression profiles related to pathways associated with male reproduction and to immunology. This may be linked to the effects seen on growth and size of offspring. These results support the hypothesis that domesticated phenotypes may evolve because of correlated effects related to reduced fear of humans. PMID:27853585

  12. THE ESTROGENIC AND ANTIANDROGENIC PESTICIDE METHOXYCHLOR ALTERS THE REPRODUCTIVE TRACT AND BEHAVIOR WITHOUT AFFECTING PITUITARY SIZE OR LH AND PROLACTIN SECRETION IN MALE RATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The estrogenic and antiandrogenic pesticide methoxychlor alters the reproductive tract and behavior without affecting pituitary size or LH and prolactin secretion in male rats.

    Gray LE Jr, Ostby J, Cooper RL, Kelce WR.

    Endocrinology Branch, United States Environment...

  13. Fake it till you make it: Policymaking and assisted human reproduction in Canada.

    PubMed

    Baylis, Françoise; Downie, Jocelyn; Snow, Dave

    2014-06-01

    The Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHR Act) came into effect in 2004. The AHR Act stipulates in s.12 that no reimbursement of expenditures incurred in the course of donating gametes, maintaining or transporting in vitro embryos, or providing surrogacy services is permitted, except in accordance with the regulations and with receipts. Ten years later, Health Canada still has not drafted the regulations governing reimbursement. Section 12 is therefore still not in force. Health Canada and others have asserted that there is a Health Canada policy on reimbursement and that reimbursement with receipts is legally permissible. We dispute the existence of such a policy and its legitimacy (if it exists). We also challenge the decision by Health Canada not to produce regulations and thereby make it possible for Parliament to bring s.12 into force. This intentional lack of action is worrisome on at least two fronts. First, it sidesteps the processes required for regulations and thereby ducks the Parliamentary oversight very deliberately built into the AHR Act. Second, it leaves Canadians who provide and who access assisted human reproduction uncertain about what is and is not permitted, and therefore fearful of, or at risk of, prosecution. We conclude that Health Canada should take the steps necessary to put regulations in front of Parliament so that Parliament will then be able to pass regulations and bring s.12 into force. Canadians should demand no less.

  14. Effect of uremia on semen quality and reproductive function in humans.

    PubMed

    Xu, Longgen; Xu, Huiming; Zhu, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Junrong; Ma, Meili; Shi, Xiaomin

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we sought to evaluate the effect of uremia on semen quality and reproductive function in humans. For this purpose, 53 end-stage uremic patients were randomly selected. The semen samples were produced by masturbation. Fertility index (FI) was calculated according to the following formula: sperm density (×10(6)/ml) × sperm motility (%) × normal sperm morphology rate (% per 10,000). The semen samples of uremic patients were compared with those of fertile and infertile males. The results show that three patients failed to produce semen. There were no sperm found in four semen samples. The sperm motility, survival rate, sperm density, and normal sperm morphology rate of the remaining 46 patients were found to be significantly lower than those of controls. The uremic patients had the FI of 0.68(2.08) which was obviously lower than that of fertile 7.7(13.51) and infertile 4.13(5.77) males. It was, therefore, concluded that uremia caused a significant decline in sperm quality and reproductive function which resulted in consequential infertility in humans.

  15. Evidence for the Cost of Reproduction in Humans: High Lifetime Reproductive Effort Is Associated with Greater Oxidative Stress in Post-Menopausal Women.

    PubMed

    Ziomkiewicz, Anna; Sancilio, Amelia; Galbarczyk, Andrzej; Klimek, Magdalena; Jasienska, Grazyna; Bribiescas, Richard G

    2016-01-01

    Life history theory predicts trade-offs between reproductive effort and maternal survivorship in energy-restricted environments. However, empirical evidence for the positive association between maternal mortality and reproductive effort from energetically challenged human populations are mixed and physiological mechanisms that may underlie this association are poorly understood. We hypothesized that increases in aerobic metabolism during repeated periods of pregnancy and lactation result in increased oxidative stress that may contribute to somatic deterioration, vulnerability to illness, and accelerated aging. We therefore predicted that lifetime gravidity and parity would be related to levels of biomarkers of oxidative stress, as well as antioxidative defence enzymes in post-menopausal women. Our hypothesis was supported by positive linear associations between levels of 8-OHdG, a biomarker of DNA oxidative damage (β = 0.21, p<0.05), levels of antioxidative defence enzyme Cu-Zn SOD (β = 0.25, p<0.05), and number of lifetime pregnancies. Furthermore, independent of age and health status, post-menopausal women with higher gravidity and parity (> = 4 pregnancies per lifetime) had 20% higher levels of 8-OHdG and 60% higher levels of Cu-Zn SOD compared to women with lower gravidity and parity (<4 pregnancies per lifetime). Our results present the first evidence for oxidative stress as a possible cost of reproductive effort in humans.

  16. Evidence for the Cost of Reproduction in Humans: High Lifetime Reproductive Effort Is Associated with Greater Oxidative Stress in Post-Menopausal Women

    PubMed Central

    Sancilio, Amelia; Galbarczyk, Andrzej; Klimek, Magdalena

    2016-01-01

    Life history theory predicts trade-offs between reproductive effort and maternal survivorship in energy-restricted environments. However, empirical evidence for the positive association between maternal mortality and reproductive effort from energetically challenged human populations are mixed and physiological mechanisms that may underlie this association are poorly understood. We hypothesized that increases in aerobic metabolism during repeated periods of pregnancy and lactation result in increased oxidative stress that may contribute to somatic deterioration, vulnerability to illness, and accelerated aging. We therefore predicted that lifetime gravidity and parity would be related to levels of biomarkers of oxidative stress, as well as antioxidative defence enzymes in post-menopausal women. Our hypothesis was supported by positive linear associations between levels of 8-OHdG, a biomarker of DNA oxidative damage (β = 0.21, p<0.05), levels of antioxidative defence enzyme Cu-Zn SOD (β = 0.25, p<0.05), and number of lifetime pregnancies. Furthermore, independent of age and health status, post-menopausal women with higher gravidity and parity (> = 4 pregnancies per lifetime) had 20% higher levels of 8-OHdG and 60% higher levels of Cu-Zn SOD compared to women with lower gravidity and parity (<4 pregnancies per lifetime). Our results present the first evidence for oxidative stress as a possible cost of reproductive effort in humans. PMID:26761206

  17. Developmental Exposure to Ethinylestradiol Affects Reproductive Physiology, the GnRH Neuroendocrine Network and Behaviors in Female Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Derouiche, Lyes; Keller, Matthieu; Martini, Mariangela; Duittoz, Anne H.; Pillon, Delphine

    2015-01-01

    During development, environmental estrogens are able to induce an estrogen mimetic action that may interfere with endocrine and neuroendocrine systems. The present study investigated the effects on the reproductive function in female mice following developmental exposure to pharmaceutical ethinylestradiol (EE2), the most widespread and potent synthetic steroid present in aquatic environments. EE2 was administrated in drinking water at environmentally relevant (ENVIR) or pharmacological (PHARMACO) doses [0.1 and 1 μg/kg (body weight)/day respectively], from embryonic day 10 until postnatal day 40. Our results show that both groups of EE2-exposed females had advanced vaginal opening and shorter estrus cycles, but a normal fertility rate compared to CONTROL females. The hypothalamic population of GnRH neurons was affected by EE2 exposure with a significant increase in the number of perikarya in the preoptic area of the PHARMACO group and a modification in their distribution in the ENVIR group, both associated with a marked decrease in GnRH fibers immunoreactivity in the median eminence. In EE2-exposed females, behavioral tests highlighted a disturbed maternal behavior, a higher lordosis response, a lack of discrimination between gonad-intact and castrated males in sexually experienced females, and an increased anxiety-related behavior. Altogether, these results put emphasis on the high sensitivity of sexually dimorphic behaviors and neuroendocrine circuits to disruptive effects of EDCs. PMID:26696819

  18. Factors affecting reproductive performance of white-tailed deer subjected to fixed-time artificial insemination or natural mating.

    PubMed

    Mellado, Miguel; Orta, Claudia G; Lozano, Eloy A; García, Jose E; Veliz, Francisco G; de Santiago, Angeles

    2013-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of several factors affecting fawning rate, litter size, litter weight and neonatal fawn mortality in white-tailed deer inseminated either transcervically or by means of laparoscopy. Oestrus synchronisation with a controlled internal drug release (CIDR)-based protocol and fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) was conducted in 130 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus texanus) during three reproductive seasons (2007-2009; 271 services) in a game-hunting ranch in a hot-arid environment (26°4' N, 101°25' W). Ninety additional non-treated does were exposed to bucks for natural mating. Fawning rate did not differ between AI methods (40.0 vs 45.0% for transcervical and laparoscopic AI, respectively). Overall fawning rate (proportion of all does fawning after FTAI and a subsequent period of buck exposure) did not differ between transcervical (89.5%), laparoscopic (80.3%) or natural (88.9%) insemination. Litter size per fawning doe was higher (P<0.05) in naturally-served does (1.65±0.48) than in transcervically-inseminated does (1.40±0.51) or in laparoscopically-inseminated does (1.48±0.50). The main conclusion was that no enhancement of fawning rate or litter size occurred as a result of intrauterine deposition of semen by laparoscopy compared with the transcervical insemination technique.

  19. Grape variety affects larval performance and also female reproductive performance of the European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    PubMed

    Moreau, J; Benrey, B; Thiéry, D

    2006-04-01

    For insect herbivores, the quality of the larval host plant is a key determinant of fitness. Therefore, insect populations are supposed to be positively correlated with the nutritional quality of their host plant. This study aimed to determine if and how different varieties of grapes (including the wild grape Lambrusque) affect both larval and adult performance of the polyphagous European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana (Denis & Schiffermüller). Significant differences were found in larval development time, but not in pupal mass, adult emergence rate, or sex ratio. Although the fecundity of females is not different among varieties, females fed on some varieties produced eggs of different sizes which are correlated to their fertility. Thus, females adapt resource allocation to eggs depending on their diet as larvae. Using a fitness index, the average reproductive output was found to be highest for females reared on cv. Chardonnay. Females reared on wild grape produced a fitness index identical to the cultivated grapes. However, Lambrusque and Gewurztraminer separate themselves from the cultivated varieties according to our discriminant analyses. It is emphasized, through this study, that cultivars fed on by larvae should be considered in the population dynamics of L. botrana and that egg number is insufficient to determine host plant quality.

  20. CO2 and fertility affect growth and reproduction but not susceptibility to aphids in field grown Solanum ptycanthum

    SciTech Connect

    Long, T.M.

    1995-09-01

    In general, C3 annual plants respond positively in terms of growth, reproduction and biomass accrued when grown under elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. However, most studies documenting this response have been conducted in growth chambers where plants can be reared under conditions free form environmental stressors such as nutrient and water constraints, UV exposure and damage from pests. During the 1993 fieldseason, I grew 200 individuals of Solanum ptycanthum in an array of 10 outdoor, open-topped CO2 enclosures (5 @ 700 ppm CO2) at the University of Michigan Biological Station in Pellston, MI. Half of the plants were grown in a 50;50 mix of native C-horizon soil and topsoil (low fertility); the other half were grown in 100% topsoil (high-fertility). Plants were censused throughout the growing season for flower and fruit production, growth rate and degree of infestation of aphids. Fertility and CO2 both significantly affected production of flowers and fruits, but only fertility was significantly related to vegetative growth. Aphid infestation varied significantly among enclosures, but was not related to CO2 or fertility.

  1. Active immunization against leptin fails to affect reproduction and exerts only marginal effects on glucose metabolism in young female goats.

    PubMed

    Sauerwein, H; Heintges, U; Bruhns, S C; Hennies, M; Gertler, A

    2006-08-01

    Approximately 150 days before expected breeding time, 12 female goats (3 months of age) were actively immunized against ovine leptin. Booster injections were given throughout the following year. Control animals (n = 6) were sham-immunized. After the first observed oestrus, a buck was introduced and goats were mated. Blood samples were collected twice weekly and frequent blood sampling series were performed on days -15, 76, 153 and 286 relative to the first immunization. Nine of the immunized goats developed titres within 3 months and had elevated serum concentrations of leptin compared with controls (p < 0.0001). Hematological parameters and blood chemistry were not affected by the immunization. No differences were detectable in all reproductive parameters recorded. Serum insulin was higher in immunized goats during the frequent blood sampling series of day 287 after the first immunization. Glucose metabolism was investigated during pregnancy using hyperglycaemic and euglycaemic/hyperinsulinaemic clamps. None of the parameters derived from the clamp studies was different (p > 0.05) between the two groups. During the hyperglycaemic clamp there was a trend (p < 0.15) towards increased insulin concentrations in immunized animals whereas glucose infusion rates were not different between the groups. This indicates decreased insulin sensitivity in immunized goats. Our study describes the ontogenesis of serum concentrations of leptin during growth, puberty and first pregnancy and parturition for the caprine species. The effects of the immunization were not detectable or only marginal and the approach aimed at therefore not effective to investigate leptin action in detail.

  2. Development on drought-stressed host plants affects life history, flight morphology and reproductive output relative to landscape structure.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Melanie; Van Dyck, Hans; Breuker, Casper J

    2012-01-01

    With global climate change, rainfall is becoming more variable. Predicting the responses of species to changing rainfall levels is difficult because, for example in herbivorous species, these effects may be mediated indirectly through changes in host plant quality. Furthermore, species responses may result from a simultaneous interaction between rainfall levels and other environmental variables such as anthropogenic land use or habitat quality. In this eco-evolutionary study, we examined how male and female Pararge aegeria (L.) from woodland and agricultural landscape populations were affected by the development on drought-stressed host plants. Compared with individuals from woodland landscapes, when reared on drought-stressed plants agricultural individuals had longer development times, reduced survival rates and lower adult body masses. Across both landscape types, growth on drought-stressed plants resulted in males and females with low forewing aspect ratios and in females with lower wing loading and reduced fecundity. Development on drought-stressed plants also had a landscape-specific effect on reproductive output; agricultural females laid eggs that had a significantly lower hatching success. Overall, our results highlight several potential mechanisms by which low water availability, via changes in host plant quality, may differentially influence P. aegeria populations relative to landscape structure.

  3. Farm labor, reproductive justice: Migrant women farmworkers in the US.

    PubMed

    Galarneau, Charlene

    2013-06-12

    Little is known about the reproductive health of women migrant farmworkers in the US. The health and rights of these workers are advanced by fundamental human rights principles that are sometimes conceptually and operationally siloed into three approaches: reproductive health, reproductive rights, and reproductive justice. I focus on the latter framework, as it lends critical attention to the structural oppression central to poor reproductive health, as well as to the agency of communities organizing and leading efforts to improve their health. I review what is known about these women's reproductive health; identify three realms of reproduction oppression affecting their reproductive health: labor/occupational conditions, health care, and social relations involving race, immigration and fertility; and then highlight some current efforts at women farmworker-directed change. Finally, I make several analytical observations that suggest the importance of the reproductive justice framework to broader discussions of migrant worker justice and its role in realizing their right to health.

  4. Early-life reproduction is associated with increased mortality risk but enhanced lifetime fitness in pre-industrial humans.

    PubMed

    Hayward, Adam D; Nenko, Ilona; Lummaa, Virpi

    2015-04-07

    The physiology of reproductive senescence in women is well understood, but the drivers of variation in senescence rates are less so. Evolutionary theory predicts that early-life investment in reproduction should be favoured by selection at the cost of reduced survival and faster reproductive senescence. We tested this hypothesis using data collected from preindustrial Finnish church records. Reproductive success increased up to age 25 and was relatively stable until a decline from age 41. Women with higher early-life fecundity (ELF; producing more children before age 25) subsequently had higher mortality risk, but high ELF was not associated with accelerated senescence in annual breeding success. However, women with higher ELF experienced faster senescence in offspring survival. Despite these apparent costs, ELF was under positive selection: individuals with higher ELF had higher lifetime reproductive success. These results are consistent with previous observations in both humans and wild vertebrates that more births and earlier onset of reproduction are associated with reduced survival, and with evolutionary theory predicting trade-offs between early reproduction and later-life survival. The results are particularly significant given recent increases in maternal ages in many societies and the potential consequences for offspring health and fitness.

  5. Legal and ethical standards for protecting women's human rights and the practice of conscientious objection in reproductive healthcare settings.

    PubMed

    Zampas, Christina

    2013-12-01

    The practice of conscientious objection by healthcare workers is growing across the globe. It is most common in reproductive healthcare settings because of the religious or moral values placed on beliefs as to when life begins. It is often invoked in the context of abortion and contraceptive services, including the provision of information related to such services. Few states adequately regulate the practice, leading to denial of access to lawful reproductive healthcare services and violations of fundamental human rights. International ethical, health, and human rights standards have recently attempted to address these challenges by harmonizing the practice of conscientious objection with women's right to sexual and reproductive health services. FIGO ethical standards have had an important role in influencing human rights development in this area. They consider regulation of the unfettered use of conscientious objection essential to the realization of sexual and reproductive rights. Under international human rights law, states have a positive obligation to act in this regard. While ethical and human rights standards regarding this issue are growing, they do not yet exhaustively cover all the situations in which women's health and human rights are in jeopardy because of the practice. The present article sets forth existing ethical and human rights standards on the issue and illustrates the need for further development and clarity on balancing these rights and interests.

  6. Factors affecting the incidence of postpartum oestrus, ovarian activity and reproductive performance in Thoroughbred mares bred at foal heat under Indian subtropical conditions.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Sumeet; Davies Morel, M C G; Dhaliwal, G S

    2010-07-01

    Decreased reproductive performance due to summer stress is a well known phenomenon in farm livestock. Whether this occurs in the mare and specifically how this might affect postpartum reproductive activity and performance, especially at Foal Heat (FH), is unknown. This study, therefore, aims to investigate this and the factors that might affect postpartum reproductive activity. Reproductive records of 228 Thoroughbred mares (694 mare years) bred in subtropical north-western India were retrospectively analysed. Overt oestrous activity occurred within 21 d postpartum in 92.94% (645/694) of mares. Significantly (p<0.001) more April foaling mares (97.37%, 185/190) expressed postpartum oestrous activity than those foaling in January (83.61%; 51/61) and February (88.49; 123/139). Similarly significantly (p<0.01) fewer multiparous mares failed to demonstrate oestrous activity than primiparous mares (6.12% vs.15.07%; 38/621 vs. 11/73, respectively). 190 of these 694 mares were additionally monitored to confirm ovulation; in these mares onset of FH (oestrus plus confirmed ovulation) occurred 8.42+/-0.17 d and first ovulation 13.64+/-0.20 d postpartum. Month, stud farm, year, and parity did not affect interval from parturition to FH onset or to first ovulation; or FH onset to ovulation. In FH bred mares Day 16 pregnancy rate and overall foaling rate were 53.76% (100/186) and 46.24% (86/186) respectively and were similar to those of mares bred later postpartum. FH pregnancy rates were not affected by stud, season, month, year, number of matings, or day of ovulation but were significantly (p<0.008) lowered by increasing mare age. Significantly (p<0.01) lower Day 16 pregnancy rates were observed in uterine treated mares compared to untreated mares (31.09% vs. 57.96%; 9/29 vs. 91/157, respectively), this difference was not evident during the rest of pregnancy. In conclusion, postpartum reproductive and ovarian activity appears to be affected by environment, i.e., delayed in

  7. The kisspeptin-GnRH pathway in human reproductive health and disease

    PubMed Central

    Skorupskaite, Karolina; George, Jyothis T; Anderson, Richard A

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND The discovery of kisspeptin as key central regulator of GnRH secretion has led to a new level of understanding of the neuroendocrine regulation of human reproduction. The related discovery of the kisspeptin-neurokinin B-dynorphin (KNDy) pathway in the last decade has further strengthened our understanding of the modulation of GnRH secretion by endocrine, metabolic and environmental inputs. In this review, we summarize current understanding of the physiological roles of these novel neuropeptides, and discuss the clinical relevance of these discoveries and their potential translational applications. METHODS A systematic literature search was performed using PUBMED for all English language articles up to January 2014. In addition, the reference lists of all relevant original research articles and reviews were examined. This review focuses mainly on published human studies but also draws on relevant animal data. RESULTS Kisspeptin is a principal regulator of the secretion of gonadotrophins, and through this key role it is critical for the onset of puberty, the regulation of sex steroid-mediated feedback and the control of adult fertility. Although there is some sexual dimorphism, both neuroanatomically and functionally, these functions are apparent in both men and women. Kisspeptin acts upstream of GnRH and, following paracrine stimulatory and inhibitory inputs from neurokinin B and dynorphin (KNDy neuropeptides), signals directly to GnRH neurones to control pulsatile GnRH release. When administered to humans in different isoforms, routes and doses, kisspeptin robustly stimulates LH secretion and LH pulse frequency. Manipulation of the KNDy system is currently the focus of translational research with the possibility of future clinical application to regulate LH pulsatility, increasing gonadal sex steroid secretion in reproductive disorders characterized by decreased LH pulsatility, including hypothalamic amenorrhoea and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism

  8. Factors Affecting the Reproduction, Recruitment, Habitat, and Population Dynamics of Pallid Sturgeon and Shovelnose Sturgeon in the Missouri River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Korschgen, Carl E.

    2007-01-01

    For more than a hundred years, human activities have modified the natural forces that control the Missouri River and its native fish fauna. While the ecological effects of regulation and channel engineering are understood in general, the current understanding is not sufficient to guide river restoration and management. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is in the third year of a multiagency research effort to determine the ecological requirements for reproduction and survival of the endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) and shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorhynchus) in the Missouri River. The multidisciplinary research strategy includes components of behavior, physiology, habitat use, habitat availability, and population modeling of all life stages. Shovelnose sturgeon are used to design the strategy because they are closely related to the pallid sturgeon and are often used as a surrogate species to develop new research tools or to examine the effects of management actions or environmental variables on sturgeon biology and habitat use. During fiscal years 2005 and 2006, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) provided funds to USGS for tasks associated with the Comprehensive Sturgeon Research Program (CSRP) and for tasks associated with evaluation of the Sturgeon Response to Flow Modifications (SRFM). Because work activities of CSRP and SRFM are so integrated, we are providing information on activities that have been consolidated at the task level. These task activities represent chapters in this report.

  9. Role of human- and animal-sperm studies in the evaluation of male reproductive hazards

    SciTech Connect

    Wyrobek, A.J.; Gordon, L.; Watchmaker, G.

    1982-04-07

    Human sperm tests provide a direct means of assessing chemically induced spermatogenic dysfunction in man. Available tests include sperm count, motility, morphology (seminal cytology), and Y-body analyses. Over 70 different human exposures have been monitored in various groups of exposed men. The majority of exposures studied showed a significant change from control in one or more sperm tests. When carefully controlled, the sperm morphology test is statistically the most sensitive of these human sperm tests. Several sperm tests have been developed in nonhuman mammals for the study of chemical spermatotoxins. The sperm morphology test in mice has been the most widely used. Results with this test seem to be related to germ-cell mutagenicity. In general, animal sperm tests should play an important role in the identification and assessment of potential human reproductive hazards. Exposure to spermatotoxins may lead to infertility, and more importantly, to heritable genetic damage. While there are considerable animal and human data suggesting that sperm tests may be used to detect agents causing infertility, the extent to which these tests detect heritable genetic damage remains unclear. (ERB)

  10. Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal crystal proteins affect lifespan and reproductive performance of Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera exigua adults.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ying; Ma, Yan; Wan, Pin-Jun; Mu, Li-Li; Li, Guo-Qing

    2013-04-01

    Being delivered as sprays or expressed in plant, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystalline proteins (Cry toxins) display insecticidal activities against numerous Lepidopteran, Dipteran, and Coleopteran larvae. Comparative study of toxicities of Bt Cry toxins between larvae and adults may afford important new insights into the interactions of the toxins with receptor proteins in host insect, and represent intriguing targets for the control of insect pests. However, the effectiveness of Bt Cry toxins in insect adults has paid less attention. In the present article, the effectiveness of Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca on lifespans and reproductive performance of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) and Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) adults were evaluated by in vivo experiments. Considering transgenic plants express modified, truncated versions of cry genes yielding active toxin fragment, we used activated Bt toxins at the concentration of 500, 100, and 20 microg/ml in a 10% sucrose aquous solution. At the highest concentration, Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca shortened 48.1 and 48.9% of H. armigera female lifespan, and 43.5 and 38.5% of S. exigua female lifespan, and they reduced 37.8 and 40.3%, and 50.5 and 47.4% of H. armigera and S. exigua male lifespans respectively. Bt toxins negatively affected copulation. Exposure to 500 microg/ml of Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca greatly reduced 50.0 and 46.8%, and 58.7 and 57.3% spermatophore acceptance by H. armigera and S. exigua females, respectively. Similarly, Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca exposure decreased 40.0 and 50.3%, and 61.3 and 60.0% of spermatophore transfer by H. armigera and S. exigua males, respectively. Moreover, exposure females rather than males to 500 microg/ml of Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca significantly dropped 57.5 and 57.5% of the number of eggs laid by H. armigera, and 35.4 and 45.8% of the number of egg masses deposited by S. exigua. In contrast, both Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca did not negatively influence the egg hatchability. At the middle and the lowest concentrations, however

  11. Reproductive costs for everyone: How female loads impact human mobility strategies

    PubMed Central

    Wall-Scheffler, Cara M.; Myers, Marcella J.

    2013-01-01

    While mobility strategies are considered important in understanding selection pressures on individuals, testing hypotheses of such strategies requires high resolution datasets, particularly at intersections between morphology, ecology and energetics. Here we present data on interactions between morphology and energetics in regards to the cost of walking for reproductive women and place these data into a specific ecological context of time and heat load. Frontal loads (up to 16% of body mass), as during pregnancy and child-carrying, significantly slow the optimal and preferred walking speed of women, significantly increase cost at the optimal speed, and make it significantly more costly for women to walk with other people. We further show for the first time significant changes in the curvature in the Cost of Transport curve for human walking, as driven by frontal loads. The impact of these frontal loads on females, and the populations to which they belong, would have been magnified by time constraints due to seasonal changes in day length at high latitudes and thermoregulatory limitations at low latitudes. However, wider pelves increase both stride length and speed flexibility, providing a morphological offset for load-related costs. Longer lower limbs also increase stride length. Observed differences between preferred and energetically optimal speeds with frontal loading suggest that speed choices of women carrying reproductive loads might be particularly sensitive to changes in heat load. Our findings show that female reproductive costs, particularly those related to locomotion, would have meaningfully shaped the mobility strategies of the hominin lineage, as well as modern foraging populations. PMID:23465336

  12. Human likeness: cognitive and affective factors affecting adoption of robot-assisted learning systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoo, Hosun; Kwon, Ohbyung; Lee, Namyeon

    2016-07-01

    With advances in robot technology, interest in robotic e-learning systems has increased. In some laboratories, experiments are being conducted with humanoid robots as artificial tutors because of their likeness to humans, the rich possibilities of using this type of media, and the multimodal interaction capabilities of these robots. The robot-assisted learning system, a special type of e-learning system, aims to increase the learner's concentration, pleasure, and learning performance dramatically. However, very few empirical studies have examined the effect on learning performance of incorporating humanoid robot technology into e-learning systems or people's willingness to accept or adopt robot-assisted learning systems. In particular, human likeness, the essential characteristic of humanoid robots as compared with conventional e-learning systems, has not been discussed in a theoretical context. Hence, the purpose of this study is to propose a theoretical model to explain the process of adoption of robot-assisted learning systems. In the proposed model, human likeness is conceptualized as a combination of media richness, multimodal interaction capabilities, and para-social relationships; these factors are considered as possible determinants of the degree to which human cognition and affection are related to the adoption of robot-assisted learning systems.

  13. Mutations and polymorphisms in FSH receptor: functional implications in human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Desai, Swapna S; Roy, Binita Sur; Mahale, Smita D

    2013-12-01

    FSH brings about its physiological actions by activating a specific receptor located on target cells. Normal functioning of the FSH receptor (FSHR) is crucial for follicular development and estradiol production in females and for the regulation of Sertoli cell function and spermatogenesis in males. In the last two decades, the number of inactivating and activating mutations, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and spliced variants of FSHR gene has been identified in selected infertile cases. Information on genotype-phenotype correlation and in vitro functional characterization of the mutants has helped in understanding the possible genetic cause for female infertility in affected individuals. The information is also being used to dissect various extracellular and intracellular events involved in hormone-receptor interaction by studying the differences in the properties of the mutant receptor when compared with WT receptor. Studies on polymorphisms in the FSHR gene have shown variability in clinical outcome among women treated with FSH. These observations are being explored to develop molecular markers to predict the optimum dose of FSH required for controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. Pharmacogenetics is an emerging field in this area that aims at designing individual treatment protocols for reproductive abnormalities based on FSHR gene polymorphisms. The present review discusses the current knowledge of various genetic alterations in FSHR and their impact on receptor function in the female reproductive system.

  14. Intergenerational conflicts may help explain parental absence effects on reproductive timing: a model of age at first birth in humans

    PubMed Central

    Sear, Rebecca

    2014-01-01

    Background. Parental absences in childhood are often associated with accelerated reproductive maturity in humans. These results are counterintuitive for evolutionary social scientists because reductions in parental investment should be detrimental for offspring, but earlier reproduction is generally associated with higher fitness. In this paper we discuss a neglected hypothesis that early reproduction is often associated with parental absence because it decreases the average relatedness of a developing child to her future siblings. Family members often help each other reproduce, meaning that parents and offspring may find themselves in competition over reproductive opportunities. In these intergenerational negotiations offspring will have less incentive to help the remaining parent rear future half-siblings relative to beginning reproduction themselves. Method. We illustrate this “intergenerational conflict hypothesis” with a formal game-theoretic model. Results. We show that when resources constrain reproductive opportunities within the family, parents will generally win reproductive conflicts with their offspring, i.e., they will produce more children of their own and therefore delay existing offsprings’ reproduction. This is due to the asymmetric relatedness between grandparents and grandchildren (r = .25), compared to siblings (r = 0.5), resulting in greater incentives for older siblings to help rear younger siblings than for grandparents to help rear grandchildren. However, if a parent loses or replaces their partner, the conflict between the parent and offspring becomes symmetric since half siblings are as related to one another as grandparents are to grandchildren. This means that the offspring stand to gain more from earlier reproduction when their remaining parent would produce half, rather than full, siblings. We further show that if parents senesce in a way that decreases the quality of their infant relative to their offspring’s infant, the

  15. Reproductive cloning in humans and therapeutic cloning in primates: is the ethical debate catching up with the recent scientific advances?

    PubMed

    Camporesi, S; Bortolotti, L

    2008-09-01

    After years of failure, in November 2007 primate embryonic stem cells were derived by somatic cellular nuclear transfer, also known as therapeutic cloning. The first embryo transfer for human reproductive cloning purposes was also attempted in 2006, albeit with negative results. These two events force us to think carefully about the possibility of human cloning which is now much closer to becoming a reality. In this paper we tackle this issue from two sides, first summarising what scientists have achieved so far, then discussing some of the ethical arguments in favour and against human cloning which are debated in the context of policy making and public consultation. Therapeutic cloning as a means to improve and save lives has uncontroversial moral value. As to human reproductive cloning, we consider and assess some common objections and failing to see them as conclusive. We do recognise, though, that there will be problems at the level of policy and regulation that might either impair the implementation of human reproductive cloning or make its accessibility restricted in a way that could become difficult to justify on moral grounds. We suggest using the time still available before human reproductive cloning is attempted successfully to create policies and institutions that can offer clear directives on its legitimate applications on the basis of solid arguments, coherent moral principles, and extensive public consultation.

  16. Does catch and release affect the mating system and individual reproductive success of wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)?

    PubMed

    Richard, Antoine; Dionne, Mélanie; Wang, Jinliang; Bernatchez, Louis

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we documented the breeding system of a wild population of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) by genetically sampling every returning adult and assessed the determinants of individual fitness. We then quantified the impacts of catch and release (C&R) on mating and reproductive success. Both sexes showed high variance in individual reproductive success, and the estimated standardized variance was higher for males (2.86) than for females (0.73). We found a weak positive relationship between body size and fitness and observed that fitness was positively correlated with the number of mates, especially in males. Mature male parr sired 44% of the analysed offspring. The impact of C&R on the number of offspring was size dependent, as the reproductive success of larger fish was more impaired than smaller ones. Also, there was an interactive negative effect of water temperature and air exposure time on reproductive success of C&R salmon. This study improves our understanding of the complex reproductive biology of the Atlantic salmon and is the first to investigate the impact of C&R on reproductive success. Our study expands the management toolbox of appropriate C&R practices that promote conservation of salmon populations and limit negative impacts on mating and reproductive success.

  17. Long-term effects of prenatal x-ray of human females: reproductive experience

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, M.B.; Tonascia, J.

    1981-09-01

    A cohort of singleton black human females exposed to diagnostic x-ray in utero and controls matched by parity, hospital of birth and birthdate have been followed to ages 25 to 30 years in Baltimore, Maryland. The search for possible effects of prenatal irradiation has focused on health, growth, development, and reproductive experience of exposed and control women. This paper reports findings related to reproductive experience. From an original data set of 1458 matched exposed-control pairs of women, questionnaire responses were received from 1109 exposed and 1124 control women including 852 each from pairs in which both the exposed and control woman responded. After careful search for alternative explanations of the findings, the authors concluded that females exposed in utero to low doses of x-ray (probably 1 to 5 rads) had significant increases in their rates of early onset of menses, births at age 15 years or less, numbers of living children, stillbirths, and sterilizing operations by their mid-twenties. These findings are compatible with animal studies in which prenatal irradiation kills many oocytes, but accelerates the development of remaining cells to stages more closely correlated with fertility. Although these animals subsequently became sterile, this cannot be tested in the current study because significantly more of the irradiated women have had surgical sterilizations.

  18. Global inequalities and human rights in women's sexual and reproductive health.

    PubMed

    Macklin, Ruth

    2006-01-01

    Global disparities in health among rich and poor nations have been well documented. Health disparities are even worse for women in resource-poor countries than for men. Obstacles to women's health and access to health services include deeply rooted customs or cultural norms, including religious teachings and practices; ideological and political factors; poor health infrastructure; and discriminatory laws or failure to enforce laws designed to protect the rights of women. The most striking inequalities exist in the area of reproductive and sexual health. The situation is worse in those parts of the world in which women are systematically oppressed, have few civil rights, or are in such dire poverty that they are unable to afford preventive and therapeutic services that are otherwise available to women of greater means even in their own countries. These gender inequalities can be remedied, in part, by economic development that would improve women's access to prenatal care and skilled maternity services. In large measure, however, significant improvement in women's health, especially reproductive and sexual health, will only come about with a change in cultural attitudes and practices, in addition to legal reforms and better enforcement of existing human rights provisions.

  19. Negative impact of endocrine-disrupting compounds on human reproductive health.

    PubMed

    Balabanič, Damjan; Rupnik, Marjan; Klemenčič, Aleksandra Krivograd

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing concern about chemical pollutants that are able to mimic hormones, the so-called endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), because of their structural similarity to endogenous hormones, their ability to interact with hormone transport proteins or because of their potential to disrupt hormone metabolic pathways. Thus, the effects of endogenous hormones can be mimicked or, in some cases, completely blocked. A substantial number of environmental pollutants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, bisphenol A, pesticides, alkylphenols and heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury), have been shown to disrupt endocrine function. These compounds can cause reproductive problems by decreasing sperm count and quality, increasing the number of testicular germ cells and causing male breast cancer, cryptorchidism, hypospadias, miscarriages, endometriosis, impaired fertility, irregularities of the menstrual cycle, and infertility. Although EDCs may be released into the environment in different ways, the main sources is industrial waste water. The present paper critically reviews the current knowledge of the impact of EDCs on reproductive disorders in humans.

  20. Global water resources affected by human interventions and climate change.

    PubMed

    Haddeland, Ingjerd; Heinke, Jens; Biemans, Hester; Eisner, Stephanie; Flörke, Martina; Hanasaki, Naota; Konzmann, Markus; Ludwig, Fulco; Masaki, Yoshimitsu; Schewe, Jacob; Stacke, Tobias; Tessler, Zachary D; Wada, Yoshihide; Wisser, Dominik

    2014-03-04

    Humans directly change the dynamics of the water cycle through dams constructed for water storage, and through water withdrawals for industrial, agricultural, or domestic purposes. Climate change is expected to additionally affect water supply and demand. Here, analyses of climate change and direct human impacts on the terrestrial water cycle are presented and compared using a multimodel approach. Seven global hydrological models have been forced with multiple climate projections, and with and without taking into account impacts of human interventions such as dams and water withdrawals on the hydrological cycle. Model results are analyzed for different levels of global warming, allowing for analyses in line with temperature targets for climate change mitigation. The results indicate that direct human impacts on the water cycle in some regions, e.g., parts of Asia and in the western United States, are of the same order of magnitude, or even exceed impacts to be expected for moderate levels of global warming (+2 K). Despite some spread in model projections, irrigation water consumption is generally projected to increase with higher global mean temperatures. Irrigation water scarcity is particularly large in parts of southern and eastern Asia, and is expected to become even larger in the future.

  1. Global water resources affected by human interventions and climate change

    PubMed Central

    Haddeland, Ingjerd; Heinke, Jens; Biemans, Hester; Eisner, Stephanie; Flörke, Martina; Hanasaki, Naota; Konzmann, Markus; Ludwig, Fulco; Masaki, Yoshimitsu; Schewe, Jacob; Stacke, Tobias; Tessler, Zachary D.; Wada, Yoshihide; Wisser, Dominik

    2014-01-01

    Humans directly change the dynamics of the water cycle through dams constructed for water storage, and through water withdrawals for industrial, agricultural, or domestic purposes. Climate change is expected to additionally affect water supply and demand. Here, analyses of climate change and direct human impacts on the terrestrial water cycle are presented and compared using a multimodel approach. Seven global hydrological models have been forced with multiple climate projections, and with and without taking into account impacts of human interventions such as dams and water withdrawals on the hydrological cycle. Model results are analyzed for different levels of global warming, allowing for analyses in line with temperature targets for climate change mitigation. The results indicate that direct human impacts on the water cycle in some regions, e.g., parts of Asia and in the western United States, are of the same order of magnitude, or even exceed impacts to be expected for moderate levels of global warming (+2 K). Despite some spread in model projections, irrigation water consumption is generally projected to increase with higher global mean temperatures. Irrigation water scarcity is particularly large in parts of southern and eastern Asia, and is expected to become even larger in the future. PMID:24344275

  2. Dose-response fallacy in human reproductive studies of toxic exposures

    SciTech Connect

    Selevan, S.G.; Lemasters, G.K.

    1987-05-01

    The manner in which exposure is defined can affect the findings of reproductive studies of toxic exposures. The individual end points potentially examined, such as fetal loss, subfertility, and congenital malformations observed at birth, are on a continuum by severity of effect: The most extreme effect of the three being infertility because no pregnancy is possible, and the least extreme, congenital malformations recognized at birth. End points observed at birth are survivors of a long and complex process. The process yielding one of these adverse end points may result from a number of factors, including level of exposure. For example, a very high exposure could result in early fetal loss, whereas a lower one might result in a congenital malformation observed at birth. If the probability of a less severe end point falls due to increasing probability of more severe end points with increasing exposure, then a nontraditional dose-response relationship may be observed in the study of one type of outcome.

  3. Dose-response fallacy in human reproductive studies of toxic exposures

    SciTech Connect

    Selevan, S.G.; Lemasters, G.K.

    1987-01-01

    The manner in which exposure is defined can affect the findings of reproductive studies of toxic exposures. The individual end points potentially examined, such as fetal loss, subfertility, and congenital malformations observed at birth, are on a continuum by severity of effect: the most extreme effects of the three being infertility because no pregnancy is possible, and the least extreme, congenital malformations recognized at birth. End points observed at birth are survivors of a long and complex process. The process yielding one of these adverse end points may result from a number of factors, including level of exposure could result in early fetal loss, whereas a lower one might result in a congenital malformation observed at birth. If the probability of a less-severe end point falls due to increasing probability of more-severe end points with increasing exposure, then a nontraditional dose-response relationship may be observed in the study of one type of outcome.

  4. Male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes use JH III transferred during copulation to influence previtellogenic ovary physiology and affect the reproductive output of female mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Clifton, Mark E; Correa, Stefano; Rivera-Perez, Crisalejandra; Nouzova, Marcela; Noriega, Fernando G

    2014-05-01

    The effect of male accessory gland substances on female reproductive physiology has been previously described as "activating" egg development. However, no mechanism has been described that can explain how male mosquitoes are able to influence egg development in female mosquitoes. To investigate how male mosquitoes are able to influence ovarian physiology and reproductive output we explored three main questions: (1) Do mating and male accessory gland substances affect ovarian physiology and alter markers of oocyte quality during the previtellogenic resting stage? (2) Does the male accessory gland contain JH III and is JH III transferred to the female during copulation? (3) Finally, does the nutritional history of the male affect the amount of JH III transferred to the female and alter reproductive output? By answering these questions it is clear that male mosquitoes are able to alter the female's resource allocation priorities towards reproduction by transferring JH III during copulation; reducing the rate of previtellogenic resorption and increasing the amount of stored ovarian lipids. These changes improve an individual follicle's likelihood of development after a blood meal. In addition, males maintained under better nutritional conditions make and transfer more JH III, prevent more follicular resorption and realize higher fecundities than other males. Together these results illustrate one mechanism behind the "activating" effect of mating described as well as the role sugar feeding plays in male mosquitoes.

  5. Male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes use JH III transferred during copulation to influence previtellogenic ovary physiology and affect the reproductive output of female mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Clifton, Mark E.; Correa, Stefano; Rivera-Perez, Crisalejandra; Nouzova, Marcela; Noriega, Fernando G.

    2014-01-01

    The effect of male accessory gland substances on female reproductive physiology has been previously described as “activating” egg development. However, no mechanism has been described that can explain how male mosquitoes are able to influence egg development in female mosquitoes. To investigate how male mosquitoes are able to influence ovarian physiology and reproductive output we explored three main questions: 1) Do mating and male accessory gland substances affect ovarian physiology and alter markers of oocyte quality during the previtellogenic resting stage? 2) Does the male accessory gland contain JH III and is JH III transferred to the female during copulation? 3) Finally, does the nutritional history of the male affect the amount of JH III transferred to the female and alter reproductive output? By answering these questions it is clear that male mosquitoes are able to alter the female’s resource allocation priorities towards reproduction by transferring JH III during copulation; reducing the rate of previtellogenic resorption and increasing the amount of stored ovarian lipids. These changes improve an individual follicle’s likelihood of development after a blood meal. In addition, males maintained under better nutritional conditions make and transfer more JH III, prevent more follicular resorption and realize higher fecundities than other males. Together these results illustrate one mechanism behind the “activating” effect of mating described as well as the role sugar feeding plays in male mosquitoes. PMID:24657670

  6. Perinatal Oxidative Stress May Affect Fetal Ghrelin Levels in Humans.

    PubMed

    Luo, Zhong-Cheng; Bilodeau, Jean-François; Nuyt, Anne Monique; Fraser, William D; Julien, Pierre; Audibert, Francois; Xiao, Lin; Garofalo, Carole; Levy, Emile

    2015-12-08

    In vitro cell model studies have shown that oxidative stress may affect beta-cell function. It is unknown whether oxidative stress may affect metabolic health in human fetuses/newborns. In a singleton pregnancy cohort (n = 248), we studied maternal (24-28 weeks gestation) and cord plasma biomarkers of oxidative stress [malondialdehyde (MDA), F2-isoprostanes] in relation to fetal metabolic health biomarkers including cord plasma glucose-to-insulin ratio (an indicator of insulin sensitivity), proinsulin-to-insulin ratio (an indicator of beta-cell function), insulin, IGF-I, IGF-II, leptin, adiponectin and ghrelin concentrations. Strong positive correlations were observed between maternal and cord plasma biomarkers of oxidative stress (r = 0.33 for MDA, r = 0.74 for total F2-isoprostanes, all p < 0.0001). Adjusting for gestational age at blood sampling, cord plasma ghrelin concentrations were consistently negatively correlated to oxidative stress biomarkers in maternal (r = -0.32, p < 0.0001 for MDA; r = -0.31, p < 0.0001 for F2-isoprostanes) or cord plasma (r = -0.13, p = 0.04 for MDA; r = -0.32, p < 0.0001 for F2-isoprostanes). Other fetal metabolic health biomarkers were not correlated to oxidative stress. Adjusting for maternal and pregnancy characteristics, similar associations were observed. Our study provides the first preliminary evidence suggesting that oxidative stress may affect fetal ghrelin levels in humans. The implications in developmental "programming" the vulnerability to metabolic syndrome related disorders remain to be elucidated.

  7. Humanized Foxp2 specifically affects cortico-basal ganglia circuits.

    PubMed

    Reimers-Kipping, S; Hevers, W; Pääbo, S; Enard, W

    2011-02-23

    It has been proposed that two amino acid substitutions in the transcription factor FOXP2 have been positively selected during human evolution and influence aspects of speech and language. Recently it was shown that when these substitutions are introduced into the endogenous Foxp2 gene of mice, they increase dendrite length and long-term depression (LTD) in medium spiny neurons of the striatum. Here we investigated if these effects are found in other brain regions. We found that neurons in the cerebral cortex, the thalamus and the striatum have increased dendrite lengths in the humanized mice whereas neurons in the amygdala and the cerebellum do not. In agreement with previous work we found increased LTD in medium spiny neurons, but did not detect alterations of synaptic plasticity in Purkinje cells. We conclude that although Foxp2 is expressed in many brain regions and has multiple roles during mammalian development, the evolutionary changes that occurred in the protein in human ancestors specifically affect brain regions that are connected via cortico-basal ganglia circuits.

  8. Kisspeptin and the hypothalamic control of reproduction: lessons from the human.

    PubMed

    George, Jyothis T; Seminara, Stephanie B

    2012-11-01

    The hypothalamic hormone GnRH is a central driver of pituitary gonadotropin secretion, controlling pulsatile gonadotropin secretion, modulating gonadal steroid feedback, and bringing about full fertility in the adult. Thus, understanding GnRH neuronal regulation is essential to understanding the neurohumoral control of human reproduction. Genetic tools were used in patients with GnRH deficiency (i.e. idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism), a clinical syndrome that results from the failure of a normal pattern of pulsatile GnRH, to discover upstream modulators of GnRH secretion (1). In 2003, homozygosity mapping of two consanguineous pedigrees led to the identification of loss of function mutations in KISS1R (a G protein coupled receptor) by two groups (2, 3). In parallel, the Kiss1r(-/-) mouse was shown to be a phenocopy of the human GnRH-deficient state, demonstrating that the function of KISS1R/Kiss1r is conserved across mammalian species (4). Just before these human genetic discoveries, the ligand for kisspeptin-1 receptor [KISS1R; also known as G protein coupled receptor 54 (GPR54)], was discovered to be kisspeptin. Soon thereafter a large array of experimental studies began assembling genetic, expression, physiologic, transgenic, knockdown, and electrophysiological data to characterize the physiology of kisspeptin and its seminal role in modulating GnRH release.

  9. Reproduction in the space environment: Part I. Animal reproductive studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santy, P. A.; Jennings, R. T.; Craigie, D.

    1990-01-01

    Mankind's exploration and colonization of the frontier of space will ultimately depend on men's and women's ability to live, work, and reproduce in the space environment. This paper reviews animal studies, from microorganisms to mammals, done in space or under space-simulated conditions, which identify some of the key areas which might interfere with human reproductive physiology and/or embryonic development. Those space environmental factors which impacted almost all species included: microgravity, artificial gravity, radiation, and closed life support systems. These factors may act independently and in combination to produce their effects. To date, there have been no studies which have looked at the entire process of reproduction in any animal species. This type of investigation will be critical in understanding and preventing the problems which will affect human reproduction. Part II will discuss these problems directly as they relate to human physiology.

  10. Trappin-2/Elafin: a novel innate anti-human immunodeficiency virus-1 molecule of the human female reproductive tract

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Mimi; Shen, Zheng; Fahey, John V; Cu-Uvin, Susan; Mayer, Kenneth; Wira, Charles R

    2010-01-01

    Trappin-2/Elafin is a serine protease inhibitor that plays a major role as an anti-inflammatory mediator at mucosal surfaces. In addition, Trappin-2/Elafin has antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial and fungal pathogens. In this study we examined the production of Trappin-2/Elafin by epithelial cells from the human upper and lower female reproductive tract as well as its activity as an anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 molecule. We found that primary uterine, Fallopian tube, cervical and ectocervical epithelial cells produce Trappin-2/Elafin constitutively and that production of Trappin-2/Elafin is enhanced following stimulation with Poly(I:C), especially by the uterine cells. Given the presence of Trappin-2/Elafin in the reproductive tract, we tested the ability of recombinant Trappin-2/Elafin to inhibit HIV-1, an important sexually transmitted pathogen. We found that recombinant Trappin-2/Elafin was able to inhibit both T-cell-tropic X4/IIIB and macrophage-tropic R5/BaL HIV-1 in a dose-dependent manner. The inhibitory activity was observed when virus was incubated with Trappin-2/Elafin but not when Trappin-2/Elafin was added to cells either before infection or after infection. This suggests that the mechanism of inhibition is likely to be a direct interaction between HIV-1 and Trappin-2/Elafin. Additionally, we measured the levels of secreted Trappin-2/Elafin in cervico-vaginal lavages (CVL) from both HIV-positive and HIV-negative women and found that average levels of secreted Trappin-2/Elafin were higher in the CVL from HIV-negative women, although the values did not reach statistical significance. We also found that women at the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle produced more Trappin-2/Elafin in CVL relative to women at the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle. Our data suggest that Trappin-2/Elafin might be an important endogenous microbicide of the female reproductive tract that is protective against HIV-1

  11. Male Reproductive System (For Teens)

    MedlinePlus

    ... gamete, the egg or ovum , meet in the female's reproductive system to create a new individual. Both the male and female reproductive systems are essential for reproduction. Humans, like other organisms, ...

  12. Male Reproductive System (For Teens)

    MedlinePlus

    ... español Sistema reproductor masculino All living things reproduce. Reproduction — the process by which organisms make more organisms ... male and female reproductive systems are essential for reproduction. Humans, like other organisms, pass certain characteristics of ...

  13. Changes in maternal serum chlorinated pesticide concentrations across critical windows of human reproduction and development.

    PubMed

    Bloom, Michael S; Buck-Louis, Germaine M; Schisterman, Enrique F; Kostyniak, Paul J; Vena, John E

    2009-01-01

    Investigators often employ a single cross-sectional measure of in utero exposure when evaluating associations between organochlorine (OCs) pesticides/metabolites and adverse reproductive outcomes. Few data are available on the stability of exposures to OCs over critical windows of human reproduction and development inclusive of the periconception window. Our objective was to measures changes in OC concentrations prior to conception and throughout pregnancy or after 12 unsuccessful months attempting pregnancy. Seventy-nine women planning pregnancy were prospectively enrolled and followed for up to 12 menstrual cycles. Blood specimens were obtained for toxicologic analysis of seven OCs from participating women at baseline (preconception, n=79), at the first prenatal visit following a positive pregnancy test leading to a live birth (n=54) or after pregnancy loss (n=10), at approximately 6 weeks post-partum (n=53), and after 12 unsuccessful cycles (n=9). Overall and daily rate of change in OCs concentration (ng/gserum) were estimated adjusting for serum lipids and baseline concentration. Significant (P<0.05) decreases in the overall and daily rate of change in OCs concentrations (ng/mLserum) were observed from baseline to pregnancy for HCB (-0.032, -0.001, respectively) and trans-nonachlor (-0.050, -0.002, respectively) while oxychlordane demonstrated an increase during this critical window (0.029, 0.001, respectively). Significant decreases in aldrin (-0.002, -1.47x10(-4), respectively), HCB (-0.069, -0.003, respectively), and trans-nonachlor (-0.045, -0.002, respectively), and an overall increase for oxychlordane (0.015) were seen for women with pregnancy losses. Significant decreases also were observed among infertile women for aldrin (-0.003, -3.52x10(-6), respectively), DDE (-0.210, -4.29x10(-4), respectively), and HCB (-0.096, -2.03x10(-4), respectively), along with an increase for trans-nonachlor (0.034, 7.59x10(-5), respectively). These data, though limited by

  14. Human Empathy, Personality and Experience Affect the Emotion Ratings of Dog and Human Facial Expressions.

    PubMed

    Kujala, Miiamaaria V; Somppi, Sanni; Jokela, Markus; Vainio, Outi; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2017-01-01

    Facial expressions are important for humans in communicating emotions to the conspecifics and enhancing interpersonal understanding. Many muscles producing facial expressions in humans are also found in domestic dogs, but little is known about how humans perceive dog facial expressions, and which psychological factors influence people's perceptions. Here, we asked 34 observers to rate the valence, arousal, and the six basic emotions (happiness, sadness, surprise, disgust, fear, and anger/aggressiveness) from images of human and dog faces with Pleasant, Neutral and Threatening expressions. We investigated how the subjects' personality (the Big Five Inventory), empathy (Interpersonal Reactivity Index) and experience of dog behavior affect the ratings of dog and human faces. Ratings of both species followed similar general patterns: human subjects classified dog facial expressions from pleasant to threatening very similarly to human facial expressions. Subjects with higher emotional empathy evaluated Threatening faces of both species as more negative in valence and higher in anger/aggressiveness. More empathetic subjects also rated the happiness of Pleasant humans but not dogs higher, and they were quicker in their valence judgments of Pleasant human, Threatening human and Threatening dog faces. Experience with dogs correlated positively with ratings of Pleasant and Neutral dog faces. Personality also had a minor effect on the ratings of Pleasant and Neutral faces in both species. The results imply that humans perceive human and dog facial expression in a similar manner, and the perception of both species is influenced by psychological factors of the evaluators. Especially empathy affects both the speed and intensity of rating dogs' emotional facial expressions.

  15. Human Empathy, Personality and Experience Affect the Emotion Ratings of Dog and Human Facial Expressions

    PubMed Central

    Kujala, Miiamaaria V.; Somppi, Sanni; Jokela, Markus; Vainio, Outi; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2017-01-01

    Facial expressions are important for humans in communicating emotions to the conspecifics and enhancing interpersonal understanding. Many muscles producing facial expressions in humans are also found in domestic dogs, but little is known about how humans perceive dog facial expressions, and which psychological factors influence people’s perceptions. Here, we asked 34 observers to rate the valence, arousal, and the six basic emotions (happiness, sadness, surprise, disgust, fear, and anger/aggressiveness) from images of human and dog faces with Pleasant, Neutral and Threatening expressions. We investigated how the subjects’ personality (the Big Five Inventory), empathy (Interpersonal Reactivity Index) and experience of dog behavior affect the ratings of dog and human faces. Ratings of both species followed similar general patterns: human subjects classified dog facial expressions from pleasant to threatening very similarly to human facial expressions. Subjects with higher emotional empathy evaluated Threatening faces of both species as more negative in valence and higher in anger/aggressiveness. More empathetic subjects also rated the happiness of Pleasant humans but not dogs higher, and they were quicker in their valence judgments of Pleasant human, Threatening human and Threatening dog faces. Experience with dogs correlated positively with ratings of Pleasant and Neutral dog faces. Personality also had a minor effect on the ratings of Pleasant and Neutral faces in both species. The results imply that humans perceive human and dog facial expression in a similar manner, and the perception of both species is influenced by psychological factors of the evaluators. Especially empathy affects both the speed and intensity of rating dogs’ emotional facial expressions. PMID:28114335

  16. Reproductive system, social organization, human disturbance and ecological dominance in native populations of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata.

    PubMed

    Foucaud, Julien; Orivel, Jérôme; Fournier, Denis; Delabie, Jacques H C; Loiseau, Anne; Le Breton, Julien; Cerdan, Philippe; Estoup, Arnaud

    2009-12-01

    The invasive ant species Wasmannia auropunctata displays both ecologically dominant and non-dominant populations within its native range. Three factors could theoretically explain the ecological dominance of some native populations of W. auropunctata: (i) its clonal reproductive system, through demographic and/or adaptive advantages; (ii) its unicolonial social organization, through lower intraspecific and efficient interspecific competition; (iii) the human disturbance of its native range, through the modification of biotic and abiotic environmental conditions. We used microsatellite markers and behavioural tests to uncover the reproductive modes and social organization of dominant and non-dominant native populations in natural and human-modified habitats. Microsatellite and mtDNA data indicated that dominant and non-dominant native populations (supercolonies as determined by aggression tests) of W. auropunctata did not belong to different evolutionary units. We found that the reproductive system and the social organization are neither necessary nor sufficient to explain W. auropunctata ecological dominance. Dominance rather seems to be set off by unknown ecological factors altered by human activities, as all dominant populations were recorded in human-modified habitats. The clonal reproductive system found in some populations of W. auropunctata may however indirectly contribute to its ecological dominance by allowing the species to expand its environmental niche, through the fixation over time of specific combinations of divergent male and female genotypes. Unicoloniality may rather promote the range expansion of already dominant populations than actually trigger ecological dominance. The W. auropunctata model illustrates the strong impact of human disturbance on species' ecological features and the adaptive potential of clonal reproductive systems.

  17. Sexual and reproductive health and human rights of women living with HIV: a global community survey

    PubMed Central

    Orza, Luisa; Welbourn, Alice; Bewley, Susan; Crone, Tyler; Vazquez, Marijo

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Objective To determine the sexual and reproductive health priorities of women living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and to allow the values and preferences of such women to be considered in the development of new guidelines. Methods A core team created a global reference group of 14 women living with HIV and together they developed a global community online survey. The survey, which contained mandatory and optional questions, was based on an appreciative enquiry approach in which the life-cycle experiences of women living with HIV were investigated. The same set of questions was also used in focus group discussions led by the global reference group. Findings The study covered 945 women (832 in the survey and 113 in the focus groups) aged 15–72 years in 94 countries. Among the respondents to the optional survey questions, 89.0% (427/480) feared or had experienced gender-based violence, 56.7% (177/312) had had an unplanned pregnancy, 72.3% (227/314) had received advice on safe conception and 58.8% (489/832) had suffered poor mental health after they had discovered their HIV-positive status. Conclusion The sexual and reproductive health needs and rights of women living with HIV are complex and require a stronger response from the health sector. The online survey placed the voices of women living with HIV at the start of the development of new global guidelines. Although not possible in some contexts and populations, a similar approach would merit replication in the development of guidelines for many other health considerations. PMID:27034517

  18. Normal and cancer stem cells of the human female reproductive system

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The female reproductive system (FRS) has a great capacity for regeneration. The existence of somatic stem cells (SSC) that are likely to reside in distinct tissue compartments of the FRS is anticipated. Normal SSC are capable of regenerating themselves, produce a progeny of cells that differentiate and maintain tissue architecture and functional characteristics, and respond to homeostatic controls. Among those SSC of the FRS that have been identified are: a) undifferentiated cells capable of differentiating into thecal cells and synthesizing hormones upon transplantation, b) ovarian surface epithelium stem cells, mitotically responsive to ovulation, c) uterine endometrial and myometrial cells, as clonogenic epithelial and stromal cells, and d) epithelial and mesenchymal cells with self-renewal capacity and multipotential from cervical tissues. Importantly, these cells are believed to significantly contribute to the development of different pathologies and tumors of the FRS. It is now widely accepted that cancer stem cells (CSC) are at the origin of many tumors. They are capable of regenerating themselves, produce a progeny that will differentiate aberrantly and do not respond adequately to homeostatic controls. Several cell surface antigens such as CD44, CD117, CD133 and MYD88 have been used to isolate ovarian cancer stem cells. Clonogenic epithelial and stromal endometrial and myometrial cells have been found in normal and cancer tissues, as side population, label-retaining cells, and CD146/PDGF-R beta-positive cells with stem-like features. In summary, here we describe a number of studies supporting the existence of somatic stem cells in the normal tissues and cancer stem cells in tumors of the human female reproductive system. PMID:23782518

  19. Do ELF magnetic fields affect human reaction time?

    SciTech Connect

    Podd, J.V.; Whittington, C.J.; Barnes, G.R.G.; Page, W.H.; Rapley, B.I.

    1995-12-01

    Two double-blind studies were run in an attempt to confirm the finding that a 0.2 Hz magnetic field affects simple reaction time (RT) in humans, whereas a 0.1 Hz field does not. In the first experiment, 12 volunteer subjects were exposed to a continuous 0.2 Hz, 0.1 Hz, or sham field in a fully counter-balanced, within-subjects design. Subjects were run singly for one condition each day over 3 consecutive days with a field strength of 1.1 mT and a daily expose duration of 5 min. Neither magnetic field had any effect on RT at any time during the exposure. One condition of a second study, using a new group of 24 volunteer subjects, also failed to find any field effects at 0.2 Hz. Additionally, the second study failed to show any effects when the frequency, flux density, and field orientation were set according to parameter resonance theory. It is suggested that, although ELF magnetic field effects on human behavior may be elusive, future research can improve detection rates by paying greater attention to reducing error variance and increasing statistical power.

  20. Has solar variability caused climate change that affected human culture?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feynman, Joan

    If solar variability affects human culture it most likely does so by changing the climate in which the culture operates. Variations in the solar radiative input to the Earth's atmosphere have often been suggested as a cause of such climate change on time scales from decades to tens of millennia. In the last 20 years there has been enormous progress in our knowledge of the many fields of research that impinge on this problem; the history of the solar output, the effect of solar variability on the Earth's mean climate and its regional patterns, the history of the Earth's climate and the history of mankind and human culture. This new knowledge encourages revisiting the question asked in the title of this talk. Several important historical events have been reliably related to climate change including the Little Ice Age in northern Europe and the collapse of the Classical Mayan civilization in the 9th century AD. In the first section of this paper we discus these historical events and review the evidence that they were caused by changes in the solar output. Perhaps the most important event in the history of mankind was the development of agricultural societies. This began to occur almost 12,000 years ago when the climate changed from the Pleistocene to the modern climate of the Holocene. In the second section of the paper we will discuss the suggestion ( Feynman and Ruzmaikin, 2007) that climate variability was the reason agriculture developed when it did and not before.

  1. Dynamic regulation of DNA methyltransferases in human oocytes and preimplantation embryos after assisted reproductive technologies.

    PubMed

    Petrussa, Laetitia; Van de Velde, Hilde; De Rycke, Martine

    2014-09-01

    DNA methylation is a key epigenetic modification which is essential for normal embryonic development. Major epigenetic reprogramming takes place during gametogenesis and in the early embryo; the complex DNA methylation patterns are established and maintained by DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). However, the influence of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) on DNA methylation reprogramming enzymes has predominantly been studied in mice and less so in human oocytes and embryos. The expression and localization patterns of the four known DNMTs were analysed in human oocytes and IVF/ICSI embryos by immunocytochemistry and compared between a reference group of good quality fresh embryos and groups of abnormally developing embryos or embryo groups after cryopreservation. In humans, DNMT1o rather than DNMT1s seems to be the key player for maintaining methylation in early embryos. DNMT3b, rather than DNMT3a and DNMT3L, appears to ensure global DNA remethylation in the blastocysts before implantation. DNMT3L, an important regulator of maternal imprint methylation in mouse, was not detected in human oocytes (GV, MI and MII stage). Our study confirms the existence of species differences for mammalian DNA methylation enzymes. In poor quality fresh embryos, the switch towards nuclear DNMT3b expression was delayed and nuclear DNMT1, DNMT1s and DNMT3b expression was less common. Compared with the reference embryos, a smaller number of cryopreserved embryos showed nuclear DNMT1, while a delayed switch to nuclear DNMT3b and an extended DNMT1s temporal expression pattern were also observed. The spatial and temporal expression patterns of DNMTs seem to be disturbed in abnormally developing embryos and in embryos that have been cryopreserved. Further research must be performed in order to understand whether the potentially disturbed embryonic DNMT expression after cryopreservation has any long-term developmental consequences.

  2. Mode of action of human pharmaceuticals in fish: the effects of the 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, dutasteride, on reproduction as a case study.

    PubMed

    Margiotta-Casaluci, Luigi; Hannah, Robert E; Sumpter, John P

    2013-03-15

    In recent years, a growing number of human pharmaceuticals have been detected in the aquatic environment, generally at low concentrations (sub-ng/L-low μg/L). In most cases, these compounds are characterised by highly specific modes of action, and the evolutionary conservation of drug targets in wildlife species suggests the possibility that pharmaceuticals present in the environment may cause toxicological effects by acting through the same targets as they do in humans. Our research addressed the question of whether or not dutasteride, a pharmaceutical used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, may cause adverse effects in a teleost fish, the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), by inhibiting the activity of both isoforms of 5α-reductase (5αR), the enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Mammalian pharmacological and toxicological information were used to guide the experimental design and the selection of relevant endpoints, according to the so-called "read-across approach", suggesting that dutasteride may affect male fertility and steroid hormone dynamics. Therefore, a 21-day reproduction study was conducted to determine the effects of dutasteride (10, 32 and 100 μg/L) on fish reproduction. Exposure to dutasteride significantly reduced fecundity of fish and affected several aspects of reproductive endocrine functions in both males and females. However, none of the observed adverse effects occurred at concentrations of exposure lower than 32 μg/L; this, together with the low volume of drug prescribed every year (10.34 kg in the UK in 2011), and the extremely low predicted environmental concentration (0.03 ng/L), suggest that, at present, the potential presence of dutasteride in the environment does not represent a threat to wild fish populations.

  3. Reproductive allocation in plants as affected by elevated carbon dioxide and other environmental changes: a synthesis using meta-analysis and graphical vector analysis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xianzhong; Taub, Daniel R; Jablonski, Leanne M

    2015-04-01

    Reproduction is an important life history trait that strongly affects dynamics of plant populations. Although it has been well documented that elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere greatly enhances biomass production in plants, the overall effect of elevated CO2 on reproductive allocation (RA), i.e., the proportion of biomass allocated to reproductive structures, is little understood. We combined meta-analysis with graphical vector analysis to examine the overall effect of elevated CO2 on RA and how other environmental factors, such as low nutrients, drought and elevated atmospheric ozone (O3), interacted with elevated CO2 in affecting RA in herbaceous plants. Averaged across all species of different functional groups and environmental conditions, elevated CO2 had little effect on RA (-0.9%). RA in plants of different reproductive strategies and functional groups, however, differed in response to elevated CO2. For example, RA in iteroparous wild species decreased by 8%, while RA in iteroparous crops increased significantly (+14%) at elevated CO2. RA was unaffected by CO2 in plants grown with no stress or in low-nutrient soils. RA decreased at elevated CO2 and elevated O3, but increased in response to elevated CO2 in drought-stressed plants, suggesting that elevated CO2 could ameliorate the adverse effect of drought on crop production to some extent. Our results demonstrate that elevated CO2 and other global environmental changes have the potential to greatly alter plant community composition through differential effects on RA of different plant species and thus affect the dynamics of natural and agricultural ecosystems in the future.

  4. Cross-Species Affective Neuroscience Decoding of the Primal Affective Experiences of Humans and Related Animals

    PubMed Central

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2011-01-01

    Background The issue of whether other animals have internally felt experiences has vexed animal behavioral science since its inception. Although most investigators remain agnostic on such contentious issues, there is now abundant experimental evidence indicating that all mammals have negatively and positively-valenced emotional networks concentrated in homologous brain regions that mediate affective experiences when animals are emotionally aroused. That is what the neuroscientific evidence indicates. Principal Findings The relevant lines of evidence are as follows: 1) It is easy to elicit powerful unconditioned emotional responses using localized electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB); these effects are concentrated in ancient subcortical brain regions. Seven types of emotional arousals have been described; using a special capitalized nomenclature for such primary process emotional systems, they are SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, PANIC/GRIEF and PLAY. 2) These brain circuits are situated in homologous subcortical brain regions in all vertebrates tested. Thus, if one activates FEAR arousal circuits in rats, cats or primates, all exhibit similar fear responses. 3) All primary-process emotional-instinctual urges, even ones as complex as social PLAY, remain intact after radical neo-decortication early in life; thus, the neocortex is not essential for the generation of primary-process emotionality. 4) Using diverse measures, one can demonstrate that animals like and dislike ESB of brain regions that evoke unconditioned instinctual emotional behaviors: Such ESBs can serve as ‘rewards’ and ‘punishments’ in diverse approach and escape/avoidance learning tasks. 5) Comparable ESB of human brains yield comparable affective experiences. Thus, robust evidence indicates that raw primary-process (i.e., instinctual, unconditioned) emotional behaviors and feelings emanate from homologous brain functions in all mammals (see Appendix S1), which are regulated by higher

  5. Synchrony between growth and reproductive patterns in human females: Early investment in growth among Pumé foragers.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Karen L; Greaves, Russell D

    2010-02-01

    Life history is an important framework for understanding many aspects of ontogeny and reproduction relative to fitness outcomes. Because growth is a key influence on the timing of reproductive maturity and age at first birth is a critical demographic variable predicting lifetime fertility, it raises questions about the synchrony of growth and reproductive strategies. Among the Pumé, a group of South American foragers, young women give birth to their first child on average at age 15.5. Previous research showed that this early age at first birth maximizes surviving fertility under conditions of high infant mortality. In this study we evaluate Pumé growth data to test the expectation that if early reproduction is advantageous, then girls should have a developmental trajectory that best prepares them for young childbearing. Analyses show that comparatively Pumé girls invest in skeletal growth early, enter puberty having achieved a greater proportion of adult body size and grow at low velocities during adolescence. For early reproducers growing up in a food-limited environment, a precocious investment in growth is advantageous because juveniles have no chance of pregnancy and it occurs before the onset of the competing metabolic demands of final reproductive maturation and childbearing. Documenting growth patterns under preindustrial energetic and demographic conditions expands the range of developmental variation not otherwise captured by normative growth standards and contributes to research on human phenotypic plasticity in diverse environments.

  6. Factors affecting reproductive success and life history parameters of Bracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) from three host-associated populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Augmentative releases of native natural enemies are viable strategies for suppression of crop pests. Appropriate mass rearing and release strategies rely on a thorough understanding of the reproductive biology of the natural enemy. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of parasitoid source ...

  7. Factors affecting reproductive success and life history parameters of Bracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) from three host-associated populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Augmentative releases of native natural enemies are viable strategies for suppression of crop pests. Appropriate mass rearing and release strategies rely on a thorough understanding of the reproductive biology of the natural enemy. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of parasitoid sourc...

  8. How did variable NK-cell receptors and MHC class I ligands influence immunity, reproduction and human evolution?

    PubMed Central

    Parham, Peter; Moffett, Ashley

    2014-01-01

    Preface Natural killer (NK) cells have roles in immunity and reproduction that are controlled by variable receptors that recognize MHC class I molecules. The variable NK cell receptors found in humans are specific to simian primates, where they have progressively co-evolved with MHC class I molecules. The emergence of MHC-C in hominids drove the evolution of a system of MHC-C receptors that is most elaborate in chimpanzees. In contrast, the human system appears to have been subject to different and competing selection pressures that have acted on its immunological and reproductive functions. We suggest that this compromise facilitated development of the bigger brains that enabled archaic and modern humans to migrate out-of-Africa and populate other continents. PMID:23334245

  9. Human exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds: Their role in reproductive systems, metabolic syndrome and breast cancer. A review.

    PubMed

    Giulivo, Monica; Lopez de Alda, Miren; Capri, Ettore; Barceló, Damià

    2016-11-01

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are released into the environment from different sources. They are mainly used in packaging industries, pesticides and food constituents. Clinical evidence, experimental models, and epidemiological studies suggest that EDCs have major risks for humans by targeting different organs and systems in the body (e.g. reproductive system, breast tissue, adipose tissue, pancreas, etc.). Due to the ubiquity of human exposure to these compounds the aim of this review is to describe the most recent data on the effects induced by phthalates, bisphenol A and parabens in a critical window of exposure: in utero, during pregnancy, infants, and children. The interactions and mechanisms of toxicity of EDCs in relation to human general health problems, especially those broadening the term of endocrine disruption to 'metabolic disruption', should be deeply investigated. These include endocrine disturbances, with particular reference to reproductive problems and breast, testicular and ovarian cancers, and metabolic diseases such as obesity or diabetes.

  10. Evaluation of quantitative trait loci affecting intramuscular fat and reproductive traits in pigs using marker-assisted introgression.

    PubMed

    Sato, S; Ohnishi, C; Kikuchi, T; Kohira, K; Egawa, S; Terai, S; Nakamura, T; Arata, S; Komatsuda, A; Uemoto, Y

    2014-12-01

    We investigated the effects of previously identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) in an experimental backcross (BC) between Chinese Meishan pigs and commercial Duroc pigs. We performed marker-assisted introgression of two QTL for intramuscular fat (IMF) content (IMF population) and three QTL for reproductive traits (reproduction population) from a donor Meishan pig into a recipient Duroc pig. At the fourth BC generation of the IMF population and third BC generation of the reproduction population, carrier animals were selected for the production of animals homozygous for the QTL. Our previous studies have shown that the presence of a Meishan allele on the IMF QTL is associated with low IMF values, and the Meishan allele on the reproductive QTL is associated with large litters. In this study, the presence of a Duroc allele at the IMF QTL on SSC9 resulted in a 0.27% increase in IMF (additive effect = 0.27 ± 0.08), whereas the presence of a Meishan allele at the IMF QTL on SSC7 resulted in a 0.34% increase in IMF (additive effect = -0.34 ± 0.09). The presence of the Meishan allele at the IMF QTL on SSC7 thus had the opposite effect to our previous studies, that is, increased IMF. In the reproduction population, we observed no differences between the genotypes of the three QTL in regard to number of corpora lutea or litter size. Marker-assisted introgression at these QTL is thus unlikely to result in an associated increase in litter size. These results show that it is possible to introgress alleles from other breeds into a selection population using molecular markers; any unexpected results might be associated with the genetic background.

  11. [Effects of coffee and caffeine on fertility, reproduction, lactation, and development. Review of human and animal data].

    PubMed

    Nehlig, A; Debry, G

    1994-01-01

    In the present review, we have examined the effects of coffee ingestion on fertility, reproduction, lactation and development. The potential effects of coffee consumption on fertility, spontaneous abortion and prematurity are not clearly established but appear to be quite limited. In rodents, caffeine can induce malformations but this effect appears in general at doses never encountered in humans. Indeed, as soon as the quantity of caffeine is divided over the day, as is the case for human consumption, the teratogenic effect of caffeine disappears in rodents. Coffee ingested during gestation induces a dose-dependent decrease in birth weight, but usually only when ingested amounts are high (i.e. more than 7 cups/day), whereas coffee has no effect at moderate doses. Caffeine consumption during gestation affects hematologic parameters of the new-born infant or rat. In animals, caffeine induces long-term consequences on sleep, locomotion, learning abilities, emotivity and anxiety, whereas, in children, the effects of early exposure to coffee and caffeine on behavior are not clearly established. The quantities of caffeine found in maternal milk vary with authors, but it appears clearly that caffeine does not change maternal milk composition and has a tendency to stimule milk production. In conclusion to this review, it appears that maternal coffee or caffeine consumption during gestation and/or lactation does not seem to have measurable consequences on the fetus of the newborn, as long as ingested quantities remain moderate. Therefore, pregnant mothers should be advised to limit their coffee and caffeine intake to 300 mg caffeine/day (i.e. 2-3 cups of coffee or 2.5-3 l of coke) especially because of the increase of caffeine half-life during the third trimester of pregnancy and in the neonate.

  12. Temperature Affects Human Sweet Taste via At Least Two Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Green, Barry G; Nachtigal, Danielle

    2015-07-01

    The reported effects of temperature on sweet taste in humans have generally been small and inconsistent. Here, we describe 3 experiments that follow up a recent finding that cooling from 37 to 21 °C does not reduce the initial sweetness of sucrose but increases sweet taste adaptation. In experiment 1, subjects rated the sweetness of sucrose, glucose, and fructose solutions at 5-41 °C by dipping the tongue tip into the solutions after 0-, 3-, or 10-s pre-exposures to the same solutions or to H2O; experiment 2 compared the effects of temperature on the sweetness of 3 artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin); and experiment 3 employed a flow-controlled gustometer to rule out the possibility the effects of temperature in the preceding experiments were unique to dipping the tongue into a still taste solution. The results (i) confirmed that mild cooling does not attenuate sweetness but can increase sweet taste adaptation; (ii) demonstrated that cooling to 5-12 °C can directly reduce sweetness intensity; and (iii) showed that both effects vary across stimuli. These findings have implications for the TRPM5 hypothesis of thermal effects on sweet taste and raise the possibility that temperature also affects an earlier step in the T1R2-T1R3 transduction cascade.

  13. Temperature Affects Human Sweet Taste via At Least Two Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Nachtigal, Danielle

    2015-01-01

    The reported effects of temperature on sweet taste in humans have generally been small and inconsistent. Here, we describe 3 experiments that follow up a recent finding that cooling from 37 to 21 °C does not reduce the initial sweetness of sucrose but increases sweet taste adaptation. In experiment 1, subjects rated the sweetness of sucrose, glucose, and fructose solutions at 5–41 °C by dipping the tongue tip into the solutions after 0-, 3-, or 10-s pre-exposures to the same solutions or to H2O; experiment 2 compared the effects of temperature on the sweetness of 3 artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin); and experiment 3 employed a flow-controlled gustometer to rule out the possibility the effects of temperature in the preceding experiments were unique to dipping the tongue into a still taste solution. The results (i) confirmed that mild cooling does not attenuate sweetness but can increase sweet taste adaptation; (ii) demonstrated that cooling to 5–12 °C can directly reduce sweetness intensity; and (iii) showed that both effects vary across stimuli. These findings have implications for the TRPM5 hypothesis of thermal effects on sweet taste and raise the possibility that temperature also affects an earlier step in the T1R2–T1R3 transduction cascade. PMID:25963040

  14. Affective Man-Machine Interface: Unveiling Human Emotions through Biosignals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van den Broek, Egon L.; Lisý, Viliam; Janssen, Joris H.; Westerink, Joyce H. D. M.; Schut, Marleen H.; Tuinenbreijer, Kees

    As is known for centuries, humans exhibit an electrical profile. This profile is altered through various psychological and physiological proce-sses, which can be measured through biosignals; e.g., electromyography (EMG) and electrodermal activity (EDA). These biosignals can reveal our emotions and, as such, can serve as an advanced man-machine interface (MMI) for empathic consumer products. However, such a MMI requires the correct classification of biosignals to emotion classes. This chapter starts with an introduction on biosignals for emotion detection. Next, a state-of-the-art review is presented on automatic emotion classification. Moreover, guidelines are presented for affective MMI. Subsequently, a research is presented that explores the use of EDA and three facial EMG signals to determine neutral, positive, negative, and mixed emotions, using recordings of 21 people. A range of techniques is tested, which resulted in a generic framework for automated emotion classification with up to 61.31% correct classification of the four emotion classes, without the need of personal profiles. Among various other directives for future research, the results emphasize the need for parallel processing of multiple biosignals.

  15. Putative sex-specific human pheromones do not affect gender perception, attractiveness ratings or unfaithfulness judgements of opposite sex faces

    PubMed Central

    Hare, Robin M.; Schlatter, Sophie; Rhodes, Gillian

    2017-01-01

    Debate continues over the existence of human sex pheromones. Two substances, androstadienone (AND) and estratetraenol (EST), were recently reported to signal male and female gender, respectively, potentially qualifying them as human sex pheromones. If AND and EST truly signal gender, then they should affect reproductively relevant behaviours such as mate perception. To test this hypothesis, heterosexual, Caucasian human participants completed two computer-based tasks twice, on two consecutive days, exposed to a control scent on one day and a putative pheromone (AND or EST) on the other. In the first task, 46 participants (24 male, 22 female) indicated the gender (male or female) of five gender-neutral facial morphs. Exposure to AND or EST had no effect on gender perception. In the second task, 94 participants (43 male, 51 female) rated photographs of opposite-sex faces for attractiveness and probable sexual unfaithfulness. Exposure to the putative pheromones had no effect on either attractiveness or unfaithfulness ratings. These results are consistent with those of other experimental studies and reviews that suggest AND and EST are unlikely to be human pheromones. The double-blind nature of the current study lends increased support to this conclusion. If human sex pheromones affect our judgements of gender, attractiveness or unfaithfulness from faces, they are unlikely to be AND or EST.

  16. [Demonstration plan used in the study of human reproduction in the district of Sao Paulo. 1967].

    PubMed

    Silva, Eunice Pinho de Castro

    2006-10-01

    This work presents the sampling procedure used to select the sample got for a "Human Reproduction Study in the District of São Paulo" (Brazil), done by the Department of Applied Statistics of "Faculdade de Higiene e Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo". The procedure tried to solve the situation which resulted from the limitation in cost, time and lack of a frame that could be used in order to get a probability sample in the fixed term of time and with the fixed cost. It consisted in a two stage sampling with dwelling-units as primary units and women as secondary units. At the first stage, it was used stratified sampling in which sub-districts were taken as strata. In order to select primary units, there was a selection of points ("starting points") on the maps of subdistricts by a procedure that was similar to that one called "square grid" but differed from this in several aspects. There were fixed rules to establish a correspondence between each selected "starting point" and a set of three dwelling units where at least one woman of the target population lived. In the selected dwelling units where more than one woman of target population lived, there was a sub-sampling in order to select one of them. In this selection each woman living in the dwelling unit had equal probability of selection. Several "no-answer" cases and correspondent instructions to be followed by the interviewers are presented too.

  17. Reproductive Disorders and Perinatology of Sea Turtles.

    PubMed

    Spadola, Filippo; Morici, Manuel; Santoro, Mario; Oliveri, Matteo; Insacco, Gianni

    2017-05-01

    Sea turtles' reproductive disorders are underdiagnosed, but potentially, there are several diseases that may affect gonads, genitalia, and annexes. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites may cause countless disorders, but more frequently the cause is traumatic or linked to human activities. Furthermore, veterinary management of the nest is of paramount importance as well as the care of newborns (also in captivity). This article gives an overview on the methods used to manage nests and reproductive activities of these endangered chelonians species.

  18. Current issues in medically assisted reproduction and genetics in Europe: research, clinical practice, ethics, legal issues and policy. European Society of Human Genetics and European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

    PubMed

    Harper, Joyce C; Geraedts, Joep; Borry, Pascal; Cornel, Martina C; Dondorp, Wybo; Gianaroli, Luca; Harton, Gary; Milachich, Tanya; Kääriäinen, Helena; Liebaers, Inge; Morris, Michael; Sequeiros, Jorge; Sermon, Karen; Shenfield, Françoise; Skirton, Heather; Soini, Sirpa; Spits, Claudia; Veiga, Anna; Vermeesch, Joris Robert; Viville, Stéphane; de Wert, Guido; Macek, Milan

    2013-11-01

    In March 2005, a group of experts from the European Society of Human Genetics and European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology met to discuss the interface between genetics and assisted reproductive technology (ART), and published an extended background paper, recommendations and two Editorials. Seven years later, in March 2012, a follow-up interdisciplinary workshop was held, involving representatives of both professional societies, including experts from the European Union Eurogentest2 Coordination Action Project. The main goal of this meeting was to discuss developments at the interface between clinical genetics and ARTs. As more genetic causes of reproductive failure are now recognised and an increasing number of patients undergo testing of their genome before conception, either in regular health care or in the context of direct-to-consumer testing, the need for genetic counselling and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) may increase. Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) thus far does not have evidence from randomised clinical trials to substantiate that the technique is both effective and efficient. Whole-genome sequencing may create greater challenges both in the technological and interpretational domains, and requires further reflection about the ethics of genetic testing in ART and PGD/PGS. Diagnostic laboratories should be reporting their results according to internationally accepted accreditation standards (International Standards Organisation - ISO 15189). Further studies are needed in order to address issues related to the impact of ART on epigenetic reprogramming of the early embryo. The legal landscape regarding assisted reproduction is evolving but still remains very heterogeneous and often contradictory. The lack of legal harmonisation and uneven access to infertility treatment and PGD/PGS fosters considerable cross-border reproductive care in Europe and beyond. The aim of this paper is to complement previous publications and provide

  19. High levels of maternally transferred mercury do not affect reproductive output or embryonic survival of northern watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon).

    PubMed

    Chin, Stephanie Y; Willson, John D; Cristol, Daniel A; Drewett, David V V; Hopkins, William A

    2013-03-01

    Maternal transfer is an important exposure pathway for contaminants because it can directly influence offspring development. Few studies have examined maternal transfer of contaminants, such as mercury (Hg), in snakes, despite their abundance and high trophic position in many ecosystems where Hg is prevalent. The objectives of the present study were to determine if Hg is maternally transferred in northern watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon) and to evaluate the effects of maternal Hg on reproduction. The authors captured gravid female watersnakes (n = 31) along the South River in Waynesboro, Virginia, USA, where an extensive Hg-contamination gradient exists. The authors measured maternal tissue and litter Hg concentrations and, following birth, assessed (1) reproductive parameters (i.e., litter size and mass, neonate mass); (2) rates of infertility, death during development, stillbirths, malformations, and runts; and (3) the overall viability of offspring. Mercury concentrations in females were strongly and positively correlated with concentrations in litters, suggesting that N. sipedon maternally transfer Hg in proportion to their tissue residues. Maternal transfer resulted in high concentrations (up to 10.10 mg/kg dry wt total Hg) of Hg in offspring. The authors found little evidence of adverse effects of Hg on these measures of reproductive output and embryonic survival, suggesting that N. sipedon may be more tolerant of Hg than other vertebrate species. Given that this is the first study to examine the effects of maternally transferred contaminants in snakes and that the authors did not measure all reproductive endpoints, further research is needed to better understand factors that influence maternal transfer and associated sublethal effects on offspring.

  20. Paternal obesity negatively affects male fertility and assisted reproduction outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Jared M; Lane, Michelle; Owens, Julie A; Bakos, Hassan W

    2015-11-01

    This systematic review investigated the effect of paternal obesity on reproductive potential. Databases searched were Pubmed, Ovid, Web of Science, Scopus, Cinahl and Embase. Papers were critically appraised by two reviewers, and data were extracted using a standardized tool. Outcomes were: likelihood of infertility, embryo development, clinical pregnancy, live birth, pregnancy viability, infant development, sperm; concentration, morphology, motility, volume, DNA fragmentation, chromatin condensation, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and seminal plasma factors. Thirty papers were included, with a total participant number of 115,158. Obese men were more likely to experience infertility (OR = 1.66, 95% CI 1.53-1.79), their rate of live birth per cycle of assisted reproduction technology (ART) was reduced (OR = 0.65, 95% CI 0.44-0.97) and they had a 10% absolute risk increase of pregnancy non-viability. Additionally, obese men had an increased percentage of sperm with low MMP, DNA fragmentation, and abnormal morphology. Clinically significant differences were not found for conventional semen parameters. From these findings it can be concluded that male obesity is associated with reduced reproductive potential. Furthermore, it may be informative to incorporate DNA fragmentation analysis and MMP assessment into semen testing, especially for obese men whose results suggest they should have normal fertility.

  1. Genetic variants affecting meat and milk production traits appear to have effects on reproduction traits in cattle.

    PubMed

    Collis, E; Fortes, M R S; Zhang, Y; Tier, B; Schutt, K; Barendse, W; Hawken, R

    2012-08-01

    Polymorphisms located in the genes ABCG2, DGAT1, LEP, PRLR, RORC, CAPN1 and CAST previously have been associated with milk or meat production traits. In this study, these polymorphisms were examined for significant effects on reproductive traits [age at puberty (AGECL), post-partum anoestrus interval (PPAI) and the ability ovulate prior to weaning (PW)] and on a panel of correlated traits such as weight, growth and serum concentration of insulin-like growth factor I. The effects of the polymorphisms were examined in two samples of tropically adapted beef cattle: Brahman (N = 932) and Tropical Composites (N = 1097). A polymorphism in the gene DGAT1 was associated with age at puberty in the combined sample (P = 0.042), and two polymorphisms in CAPN1 were associated with PPAI (P = 0.033) and with the ability ovulate PW (P = 0.017). The favourable allele for reproductive traits was not always the favourable allele associated with production traits. The effects of these polymorphisms on reproductive traits were small compared to their effects on the traits for which they were originally discovered.

  2. Moisture source and diet affect development and reproduction of Orius thripoborus and Orius naivashae, two predatory anthocorids from Southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Bonte, Jochem; Vangansbeke, Dominiek; Maes, Sara; Bonte, Maarten; Conlong, Des; De Clercq, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    The effect of moisture source and diet on the development and reproduction of the pirate bugs, Orius thripoborus (Hesse) and Orius naivashae (Poppius) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) was examined in the laboratory. Both species had been collected in and around sugarcane fields in South Africa. Supplementing eggs of the flour moth Ephestia kuehniella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) with a green bean pod as a moisture source yielded better nymphal survival and faster development, as compared with free water encapsulated in Parafilm, suggesting that the predators may extract extra nutrients from the bean pod. The impact of two factitious foods and moist honey bee pollen on developmental and reproductive parameters of both predators was also investigated. The overall performance of both Orius species on E. kuehniella eggs and cysts of brine shrimp, Artemia franciscana Kellogg (Crustacea: Artemiidae) was better than on pollen. Nonetheless, a pollen diet alone allowed 66 and 78% of the nymphs of O. thripoborus and O. naivashae, respectively, to reach adulthood. Overall, developmental and reproductive performance of O. thripoborus on the tested diets was superior to that of O. naivashae. The implications of these findings for the mass production of these predators and their potential role in biological control programs in southern Africa are discussed.

  3. Designing prospective cohort studies for assessing reproductive and developmental toxicity during sensitive windows of human reproduction and development – the LIFE Study

    PubMed Central

    Louis, Germaine M. Buck; Schisterman, Enrique F.; Sweeney, Anne M.; Wilcosky, Timothy C.; Gore-Langton, Robert E.; Lynch, Courtney D.; Barr, Dana Boyd; Schrader, Steven M.; Kim, Sungduk; Chen, Zhen; Sundaram, Rajeshwari

    2014-01-01

    Summary Buck Louis GM, Schisterman EF, Sweeney AM, Wilcosky TC, Gore-Langton RE, Lynch CD, Boyd Barr D, Schrader SM, Kim S, Chen Z, Sundaram R, on behalf of the LIFE Study. Designing prospective cohort studies for assessing reproductive and developmental toxicity during sensitive windows of human reproduction and development – the LIFE Study. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2011; 25: 413–424. The relationship between the environment and human fecundity and fertility remains virtually unstudied from a couple-based perspective in which longitudinal exposure data and biospecimens are captured across sensitive windows. In response, we completed the LIFE Study with methodology that intended to empirically evaluate a priori purported methodological challenges: implementation of population-based sampling frameworks suitable for recruiting couples planning pregnancy;obtaining environmental data across sensitive windows of reproduction and development;home-based biospecimen collection; anddevelopment of a data management system for hierarchical exposome data. We used two sampling frameworks (i.e. fish/wildlife licence registry and a direct marketing database) for 16 targeted counties with presumed environmental exposures to persistent organochlorine chemicals to recruit 501 couples planning pregnancies for prospective longitudinal follow-up while trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy. Enrolment rates varied from <1% of the targeted population (n = 424 423) to 42% of eligible couples who were successfully screened; 84% of the targeted population could not be reached, while 36% refused screening. Among enrolled couples, ~85% completed daily journals while trying; 82% of pregnant women completed daily early pregnancy journals, and 80% completed monthly pregnancy journals. All couples provided baseline blood/urine samples; 94% of men provided one or more semen samples and 98% of women provided one or more saliva samples. Women successfully used urinary fertility

  4. Is the reproduction of Donax trunculus affected by their sites of origin contrasted by their level of contamination?

    PubMed

    Tlili, Sofiène; Métais, Isabelle; Ayache, Nadia; Boussetta, Hamadi; Mouneyrac, Catherine

    2011-09-01

    The reproductive cycle of bivalves is regulated by several natural environmental factors but exposure to chemical pollutants can also interfere and may result in advanced or delayed spawning season. To our knowledge, the gametogenic cycle of the suspension-feeder bivalve Donax trunculus has not yet been used as biomonitoring tool in ecotoxicological surveys. The aim of this study was to examine over a year physiological reproductive endpoints (sex-ratio, gametogenic and energy reserve cycles) and biological indices (condition index, allometry) in D. trunculus originating from two sites differing by their level of contamination. Specimens were collected bimonthly from November 2008 to October 2009 from a polluted site (Radès Méliane) and a comparatively reference site (Sidi Jehmi) in the Gulf of Tunis (Tunisia). Five stages were depicted by histological examination of gonads: undifferentiated, developing, mature, spawn and spent. Differences in the gametogenic cycle according to the site of origin of bivalves were observed. The spawning period began in March and was maximum in May in bivalves from both sites, but the percentage of spawning animals was higher in the polluted site vs the reference site. The spawning period was shorter in animals from the polluted site comparatively to the reference site. Energy reserves (glycogen, lipids) were higher in March and May comparatively to the other studied periods in bivalves from both sites. Lower energy reserves levels were usually observed in animals from the polluted site compared to the reference site. Seasonal variations of the condition index were associated to the reproductive and nutritive status of bivalves. Differences in allometry were depicted between bivalves from both studied sites. If we try to link allometry, energy reserves and reproduction, it can be hypothesized that for bivalves from the reference site, energy reserves are allocated to gametogenesis and length growth. For bivalves from the polluted

  5. Do toxic heavy metals affect antioxidant defense mechanisms in humans?

    PubMed

    Wieloch, Monika; Kamiński, Piotr; Ossowska, Anna; Koim-Puchowska, Beata; Stuczyński, Tomasz; Kuligowska-Prusińska, Magdalena; Dymek, Grażyna; Mańkowska, Aneta; Odrowąż-Sypniewska, Grażyna

    2012-04-01

    The aim of this study was to prove whether anthropogenic pollution affects antioxidant defense mechanisms such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activity, ferritin (FRT) concentration and total antioxidant status (TAS) in human serum. The study area involves polluted and salted environment (Kujawy region; northern-middle Poland) and Tuchola Forestry (unpolluted control area). We investigated 79 blood samples of volunteers from polluted area and 82 from the control in 2008 and 2009. Lead, cadmium and iron concentrations were measured in whole blood by the ICP-MS method. SOD and CAT activities were measured in serum using SOD and CAT Assay Kits by the standardized colorimetric method. Serum TAS was measured spectrophotometrically by the modified Benzie and Strain (1996) method and FRT concentration-by the immunonefelometric method. Pb and Cd levels and SOD activity were higher in volunteers from polluted area as compared with those from the control (0.0236 mg l(-1) vs. 0.014 mg l(-1); 0.0008 mg l(-1) vs. 0.0005 mg l(-1); 0.137 Um l(-1) vs. 0.055 Um l(-1), respectively). Fe level, CAT activity and TAS were lower in serum of volunteers from polluted area (0.442 g l(-1) vs. 0.476 gl(-1); 3.336 nmol min(-1)ml(-1) vs. 6.017 nmol min(-1)ml(-1); 0.731 Trolox-equivalents vs. 0.936 Trolox-equivalents, respectively), whilst differences in FRT concentration were not significant (66.109 μg l(-1) vs. 37.667 μg l(-1), p=0.3972). Positive correlations between Pb (r=0.206), Cd (r=0.602) and SOD in the inhabitants of polluted area, and between Cd and SOD in the control (r=0.639) were shown. In volunteers from both studied environments TAS-FRT (polluted: r=0.625 vs. control: r=0.837) and Fe-FRT (polluted area: r=0.831 vs. control: r=0.407) correlations, and Pb-FRT (r=0.360) and Pb-TAS (r=0.283) in the control were stated. The higher lead and cadmium concentrations in blood cause an increase of SOD activity. It suggests that this is one of the defense mechanisms of an

  6. Exploring the Human Seminal Plasma Proteome: An Unexplored Gold Mine of Biomarker for Male Infertility and Male Reproduction Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Gilany, Kambiz; Minai-Tehrani, Arash; Savadi-Shiraz, Elham; Rezadoost, Hassan; Lakpour, Niknam

    2015-01-01

    Background The human seminal fluid is a complex body fluid. It is not known how many proteins are expressed in the seminal plasma; however in analog with the blood it is possible up to 10,000 proteins are expressed in the seminal plasma. The human seminal fluid is a rich source of potential biomarkers for male infertility and reproduction disorder. Methods In this review, the ongoing list of proteins identified from the human seminal fluid was collected. To date, 4188 redundant proteins of the seminal fluid are identified using different proteomics technology, including 2-DE, SDS-PAGE-LC-MS/MS, MudPIT. However, this was reduced to a database of 2168 non-redundant protein using UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot reviewed database. Results The core concept of proteome were analyzed including pI, MW, Amino Acids, Chromosome and PTM distribution in the human seminal plasma proteome. Additionally, the biological process, molecular function and KEGG pathway were investigated using DAVID software. Finally, the biomarker identified in different male reproductive system disorder was investigated using proteomics platforms so far. Conclusion In this study, an attempt was made to update the human seminal plasma proteome database. Our finding showed that human seminal plasma studies used to date seem to have converged on a set of proteins that are repeatedly identified in many studies and that represent only a small fraction of the entire human seminal plasma proteome. PMID:25927022

  7. Female Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

    ... Old Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Female Reproductive System KidsHealth > For Parents > Female Reproductive System A A ... the egg or sperm. continue Parts of the Female Reproductive System Unlike the male, the human female has a ...

  8. Melatonin and female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Hiroshi; Takasaki, Akihisa; Taketani, Toshiaki; Tanabe, Manabu; Lee, Lifa; Tamura, Isao; Maekawa, Ryo; Aasada, Hiromi; Yamagata, Yoshiaki; Sugino, Norihiro

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is secreted during the dark hours at night by the pineal gland. After entering the circulation, melatonin acts as an endocrine factor and a chemical messenger of light and darkness. It regulates a variety of important central and peripheral actions related to circadian rhythms and reproduction. It also affects the brain, immune, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, renal, bone and endocrine functions and acts as an oncostatic and anti-aging molecule. Many of melatonin's actions are mediated through interactions with specific membrane-bound receptors expressed not only in the central nervous system, but also in peripheral tissues. Melatonin also acts through non-receptor-mediated mechanisms, for example serving as a scavenger for reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. At both physiological and pharmacological concentrations, melatonin attenuates and counteracts oxidative stress and regulates cellular metabolism. Growing scientific evidence of reproductive physiology supports the role of melatonin in human reproduction. This review was conducted to investigate the effects of melatonin on female reproduction and to summarize our findings in this field.

  9. Breeding resource distribution affects selection gradients on male phenotypic traits: experimental study on lifetime reproductive success in the bitterling fish (Rhodeus amarus).

    PubMed

    Reichard, Martin; Ondracková, Markéta; Bryjová, Anna; Smith, Carl; Bryja, Josef

    2009-02-01

    The spatial distribution of breeding resources can have pronounced demographic and evolutionary consequences. We used 20 experimental groups of the bitterling (Rhodeus amarus), an annual fish with a promiscuous, resource-based mating system, and extended breeding season to investigate how the spatial distribution (clumped or regular) of bitterling oviposition sites (live freshwater mussels) affected offspring production, variation in reproductive success, and directional selection on phenotypic traits over their entire reproductive lifetime. We did not detect any effect of resource distribution on offspring production or variation in reproductive success among individual fish, although variation between replicates was higher with a clumped distribution. This finding is discussed with regard to the incidence of alternative mating behaviors (sneaking) within the limitations imposed by our experimental design. Breeding resource distribution had a significant effect on selection on male phenotypic traits. Stronger directional selection on traits associated with intrasexual competition for fertilizations, gonad mass (an indicator of sperm competition), and the extent of red, carotenoid-based pigment in the iris (an index of dominance status), was detected with a clumped resource distribution. With a regular resource distribution, a stronger positive selection on male body size was detected. We discuss the implications of our results for natural populations.

  10. How Does Religious Affiliation Affect Women’s Attitudes Toward Reproductive Health Policy? Implications for the Affordable Care Act

    PubMed Central

    Patton, Elizabeth W.; Hall, Kelli Stidham; Dalton, Vanessa K.

    2015-01-01

    Structured Abstract Background Supreme Court cases challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate for employer-provided reproductive health care have focused on religiously based opposition to coverage. Little is known about women’s perspectives on such reproductive health policies. Study Design Data were drawn from the Women’s Health Care Experiences and Preferences survey, a randomly selected, nationally representative sample of 1078 US women age 18–55. We examined associations between religious affiliation and attitudes toward employer-provided insurance coverage of contraception and abortion services, and the exclusion of religious institutions from this coverage. We used chi-square and multivariable logistic regression for analysis. Results Respondents self-identified as Baptist (18%), Protestant (Other Mainline, 17%), Catholic (17%), Other Christian (20%), Religious, Non-Christian (7%) or no affiliation (21%). Religious affiliation was associated with proportions of agreement for contraception (p = 0.03), abortion (p <0.01), and religious exclusion (p <0.01) policies. In multivariable models, differences in the odds of agreement varied across religious affiliations and frequency of service attendance. For example, compared to non-affiliated women, Baptists and Other Nondenominational Christians (but not Catholics) had lower odds of agreement with employer coverage of contraception (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.4-0.1 and OR 0.57, CI 0.4–0.9, respectively); women who attended services weekly or more than weekly had lower odds of agreement (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.3–0.8 and OR 0.33, CI 0.2–0.6, respectively), compared to less frequent attenders. Conclusions Recent religiously motivated legal challenges to employer-provided reproductive health care coverage may not represent the attitudes of many religious women. PMID:25727764

  11. Oxidative stress during courtship affects male and female reproductive effort differentially in a wild bird with biparental care.

    PubMed

    Montoya, Bibiana; Valverde, Mahara; Rojas, Emilio; Torres, Roxana

    2016-12-15

    Oxidative stress has been suggested as one of the physiological mechanisms modulating reproductive effort, including investment in mate choice. Here, we evaluated whether oxidative stress influences breeding decisions by acting as a cost of or constraint on reproduction in the brown booby (Sula leucogaster), a long-lived seabird with prolonged biparental care. We found that during courtship, levels of lipid peroxidation (LP) of males and females were positively associated with gular skin color, a trait presumably used in mate choice, while levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were higher as laying approached and in early breeding pairs. Evidence of a constraining effect of oxidative stress for females was suggested by the fact that females with higher ROS during courtship laid smaller first eggs and had chicks with lower rates of body mass gain, and higher female LP was associated with lower offspring attendance time. No evidence of an oxidative cost of parental effort was found; from courtship to parental care, levels of ROS in males and females decreased, and changes in LP levels were non-significant. Finally, using a cross-fostering experiment we found that offspring ROS was unrelated to rearing and genetic parents' ROS. Interestingly, offspring LP was positively associated with the LP during courtship of both the rearing parents and the genetic father, suggesting that offspring LP might have both a genetic and an environmental component. Hence, in the brown booby, oxidative stress may be a cost of investment in reproductive traits before egg laying and constrain females' investment in eggs and parental care.

  12. Early social instability affects plasma testosterone during adolescence but does not alter reproductive capacity or measures of stress later in life.

    PubMed

    Siegeler, Katja; Wistuba, Joachim; Damm, Oliver S; von Engelhardt, Nikolaus; Sachser, Norbert; Kaiser, Sylvia

    2013-08-15

    The social environment plays an important role in modulating processes of the hormonal and behavioural profile of an animal in a variety of group-living species. In wild cavies for instance, unstable social environmental conditions during pregnancy and lactation lead to an infantilised biobehavioural profile of the male offspring. In the present study, the influence of the social environment during pregnancy and lactation on the male wild cavy offsprings' plasma testosterone development, reproductive capacity and stress system activity was investigated. To this purpose, 12 sons whose mothers had lived in an unstable social environment during pregnancy and lactation were compared with 12 sons whose mothers had lived in a stable social environment during the same time. Plasma testosterone (T) and plasma cortisol (C) concentrations were determined from days 20 to 107 of age. Adrenal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity and different parameters of reproductive capacity (weights of testes, epididymides and accessory sex glands, cellular composition of the testes, DNA fragmentation indices and sperm motility parameters) were analysed at day 107 of age. TH activity and plasma C were unaffected by different social environmental conditions early in life. The developmental time course of T concentrations, however, was significantly different: Sons whose mothers had lived in an unstable social environment during pregnancy and lactation showed a delayed increase in T concentrations around adolescence compared to controls. In contrast, no reproduction-related parameters measured within this study differed significantly between the two groups. Thus, early social instability affects plasma testosterone development during adolescence in a significant way but does not alter reproductive capacity or measures of stress later in life.

  13. Does long-term fungicide exposure affect the reproductive performance of leaf-shredders? A partial life-cycle study using Hyalella azteca.

    PubMed

    Baudy, Patrick; Zubrod, Jochen P; Konschak, Marco; Weil, Mirco; Schulz, Ralf; Bundschuh, Mirco

    2017-03-01

    Leaf-shredding amphipods play a critical role in the ecosystem function of leaf litter breakdown, a key process in many low order streams. Fungicides, however, may adversely influence shredders' behavior and the functions they provide, while there is only limited knowledge concerning effects on their reproductive performance. To assess the latter, a semi-static 56-day partial life-cycle bioassay using the model shredder Hyalella azteca (n = 30) was performed applying two environmentally relevant concentrations of a model fungicide mixture (i.e., 5 and 25 μg/L) composed of five fungicides with different modes of toxic action. Variables related to the food processing (leaf consumption and feces production), growth (body length and dry weight), energy reserves (lipid content), and reproduction (amplexus pairs, number and length of offspring) were determined to understand potential implications in the organisms' energy budget. While the fungicides did not affect leaf consumption, both fungicide treatments significantly reduced amphipods' feces production (∼20%) compared to the control. This observation suggests an increased food utilization to counteract the elevated and stress-related energy demand: although growth as well as energy reserves were unaffected, amplexus pairs were less frequently observed in both fungicide treatments (∼50-100%) suggesting a tradeoff regarding energy allocation favoring the maintenance of fundamental functions at the organism level over reproduction. As a result, the time to release of first offspring was delayed in both fungicide treatments (7 and 14 days) and the median number of offspring was significantly lower in the 25-μg/L treatment (100%), whereas offspring length remained unaffected. The results of this study thus indicate that chronic fungicide exposures can negatively impact shredders' reproductive performance. This may translate into lower abundances and thus a reduced contribution to leaf litter breakdown in

  14. Are introspective reaction times affected by the method of time estimation? A comparison of visual analogue scales and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Bryce, Donna; Bratzke, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    In this study, we investigated whether the method of time estimation plays a role in the apparent limits of introspection in dual-task processing. Previous studies showed that when participants reported introspective reaction times after each trial of a dual task by clicking on a visual analogue scale, they appeared to be unaware of the dual-task costs in their performance. However, visual analogue scales have seldom been used in interval estimation, and they may be inappropriate. In the present study, after each dual-task trial, participants reported their introspective reaction times either via a visual analogue scale or via the method of reproduction. The results replicated the previous findings, irrespective of method. That is, even though responses to the second task slowed down with increasing task overlap, this slowing was only very weakly reflected in the introspective reaction times. Thus, the participants' failure to report the objective dual-task costs in their reaction times is a rather robust finding that cannot be attributed to the method employed. However, introspective reaction times reported via visual analogue scales were more closely related to the objective reaction times, suggesting that visual analogue scales are preferable to reproduction. We conclude that introspective reaction times represent the same information regardless of method, but whether that information is temporal in nature is as yet unsettled.

  15. Experimental defoliation affects male but not female reproductive performance of the tropical monoecious plant Croton suberosus (Euphorbiaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Narbona, Eduardo; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Monoecious plants have the capacity to allocate resources separately to male and female functions more easily than hermaphrodites. This can be advantageous against environmental stresses such as leaf herbivory. However, studies showing effects of herbivory on male and female functions and on the interaction with the plant's pollinators are limited, particularly in tropical plants. Here, the effects of experimental defoliation were examined in the monoecious shrub Croton suberosus (Euphorbiaceae), a wasp-pollinated species from a Mexican tropical dry forest. Methods Three defoliation treatments were applied: 0 % (control), 25 % (low) or 75 % (high) of plant leaf area removed. Vegetative (production of new leaves) and reproductive (pistillate and staminate flower production, pollen viability, nectar production, fruit set, and seed set) performance variables, and the abundance and activity of floral visitors were examined. Key Results Defoliated plants overcompensated for tissue loss by producing more new leaves than control plants. Production of staminate flowers gradually decreased with increasing defoliation and the floral sex ratio (staminate : pistillate flowers) was drastically reduced in high-defoliation plants. In contrast, female reproductive performance (pistillate flower production, fruit set and seed set) and pollinator visitation and abundance were not impacted by defoliation. Conclusions The asymmetrical effects of defoliation on male and female traits of C. suberosus may be due to the temporal and spatial flexibility in the allocation of resources deployed by monoecious plants. We posit that this helps to maintain the plant's pollination success in the face of leaf herbivory stress. PMID:20519239

  16. Comparison of ceftiofur hydrochloride and estradiol cypionate for metritis prevention and reproductive performance in dairy cows affected with retained fetal membranes.

    PubMed

    Risco, C A; Hernandez, J

    2003-06-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the effect of ceftiofur hydrochloride and estradiol cypionate (ECP) administration for metritis prevention and reproductive performance in dairy cows affected with retained fetal membranes (RFMs). After parturition, 97 dairy cows affected with RFM from a single dairy herd were randomly allocated to 1 of 3 treatment groups. Cows in-group 1 (n=31) were treated daily for 5 days with ceftiofur hydrochloride (2.2mg/kg, i.m.); cows in group 2 (n=33) were treated once with ECP (4 mg, i.m.); and cows in group 3 (n=33) were not treated. The proportion of cows with metritis, uterine involution patterns and the calving-to-conception interval were compared between groups. The proportion of cows that developed metritis was significantly different (P<0.05) in cows treated with ceftiofur hydrochloride (13%), compared with cows treated with ECP (42%) or cows that received no treatment (42%). Uterine involution patterns (i.e. median time to complete retraction of the uterus and mean diameter measure of cervix and uterine horns) were not significantly different between groups. Cows treated with ECP were 0.40 times as likely to conceive as control cows (P=0.05); median time to conception in cows treated with ECP (192 days) was longer, compared to control cows (124 days). We conclude that systemic administration of ceftioufur hydrochloride is beneficial for prevention of metritis, but its effect on reproductive performance was not significantly different to that of ECP or no treatment. In addition, administration of ECP did not have beneficial effects on metritis prevention and reproductive performance.

  17. Nest-site selection and reproductive success of greater sage-grouse in a fire-affected habitat of northwestern Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lockyer, Zachary B.; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Identifying links between micro-habitat selection and wildlife reproduction is imperative to population persistence and recovery. This information is particularly important for landscape species such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; sage-grouse). Although this species has been widely studied, because environmental factors can affect sage-grouse populations, local and regional studies are crucial for developing viable conservation strategies. We studied the habitat-use patterns of 71 radio-marked sage-grouse inhabiting an area affected by wildfire in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada during 2009–2011 to determine the effect of micro-habitat attributes on reproductive success. We measured standard vegetation parameters at nest and random sites using a multi-scale approach (range = 0.01–15,527 ha). We used an information-theoretic modeling approach to identify environmental factors influencing nest-site selection and survival, and determine whether nest survival was a function of resource selection. Sage-grouse selected micro-sites with greater shrub canopy cover and less cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) cover than random sites. Total shrub canopy, including sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and other shrub species, at small spatial scales (0.8 ha and 3.1 ha) was the single contributing selection factor to higher nest survival. These results indicate that reducing the risk of wildfire to maintain important sagebrush habitats could be emphasized in sage-grouse conservation strategies in Nevada. Managers may seek to mitigate the influx of annual grass invasion by preserving large intact sagebrush-dominated stands with a mixture of other shrub species. For this area of Nevada, the results suggest that ≥40% total shrub canopy cover in sage-grouse nesting areas could yield improved reproductive success. 

  18. Assessment of risks to human reproduction and to development of the human conceptus from exposure to environmental substances

    SciTech Connect

    Galbraith, W.M.; Voytek, P.; Ryon, M.G.

    1982-02-01

    The Offices of Health Research and of Health and Environmental Assessment within the Office of Research and Development sponsored a conference to produce a technical document on the current status of risk assessment methodologies for teratogenic and other reproductive effects. The conference brought together scientists knowledgeable in reproductive biology and teratology to discuss techniques and concepts pertinent to developing risk assessment methodologies. The document is divided into three main subject areas: assessment of toxicity to female reproduction, assessment of toxicity to male reproduction, and assessment of toxicity to the conceptus. There are three supplemental parts: pharmacokinetics and epidemiologic considerations, which are common to all toxicological assessments, and a special section on the behavioral aspects of sexual development. The specific areas addressed are the potential adverse effects on the female and male reproductive systems as well as adverse effects on the developing conceptus. A broad range of problems and effects are discussed, including infertility, early resorption of the conceptus, and possible behavioral disorders producted by subtle changes in the biochemical environment of the fetus. Suggestions are given for improvement in standard toxicological protocols for evaluation of reproductive risks, identifies new concepts and procedures that can be immediately applicable, and designates those that need further expansion and development through research. Included is a discussion on the predictive ability of the tests in estimating risk.

  19. Differential Expression of Toll-Like Receptors 2 and 4 in Tissues of the Human Female Reproductive Tract

    PubMed Central

    Pioli, Patricia A.; Amiel, Eyal; Schaefer, Todd M.; Connolly, John E.; Wira, Charles R.; Guyre, Paul M.

    2004-01-01

    Toll-like receptor (TLR) signal transduction is a central component of the innate immune response to pathogenic challenge. Although recent studies have begun to elucidate differences in acquired immunity in tissues of the human female reproductive tract, there is a relative paucity of work regarding innate defense mechanisms. We investigated TLR mRNA and protein expression in tissues of the human female reproductive tract. Constitutive mRNA expression of TLRs 1 to 6 was observed in fallopian tubes, uterine endometrium, cervix, and ectocervix. Furthermore, transcripts of the signaling adapter MyD88 and the accessory molecule CD14 were also detected in all tissues assayed. Quantitative analysis of TLR2 mRNA levels revealed highest expression of this molecule in fallopian tube and cervical tissues, followed by endometrium and ectocervix. In contrast to TLR2, TLR4 expression declined progressively along the tract, with highest expression in the upper tissues (fallopian tubes and endometrium), followed by cervix and ectocervix. In addition to mRNA, protein expression of TLR2 and TLR4 was also documented in these tissues. These data suggest that TLRs are differentially expressed in distinct compartments of the female reproductive tract and may provide insight regarding the regulation of inflammation and immunity within the tract. PMID:15385480

  20. Time within reproductive season, but not age or inbreeding coefficient, affects seminal and sperm quality in the whooping crane (Grus americana).

    PubMed

    Brown, M E; Converse, S J; Chandler, J N; Crosier, A L; Lynch, W; Wildt, D E; Keefer, C L; Songsasen, N

    2015-08-11

    All living whooping cranes (Grus americana) are descended from 16 or fewer birds that remained alive in the early 1940s, a bottleneck that puts the species at potential risk for inbreeding depression. Although AI is commonly used in the management of the captive population of this species, little is known about seminal traits or factors affecting sperm quality in the whooping crane. In the present study, semen samples were collected from 29 adult males (age 3-27 years) during the early (March), mid (April) and late (May) breeding season over 2 consecutive years. The effects of donor age, time within reproductive season and level of inbreeding on seminal characteristics were analysed using regression and information-theoretic model selection. Only time within reproductive season significantly affected seminal traits, with total numbers of spermatozoa and proportions of pleiomorphisms increasing across the season. We conclude that, even with a highly restricted number of founders, there is no discernible influence of inbreeding (at the levels described) on sperm output or quality. Furthermore, although there is variance in seminal quality, the whooping crane produces significant numbers of motile spermatozoa throughout the breeding season, similar to values reported for the greater sandhill crane (Grus canadensis tabida).

  1. Increases in Endogenous or Exogenous Progestins Promote Virus-Target Cell Interactions within the Non-human Primate Female Reproductive Tract

    PubMed Central

    Carias, Ann M.; Fought, Angela J.; Kotnik Halavaty, Katarina; Anderson, Meegan R.; Jimenez, Maria L.; McRaven, Michael D.; Gioia, Casey J.; Henning, Tara R.; Smith, James M.; Pereira, Lara E.; Butler, Katherine; McNicholl, S. Janet M.; Hendry, R. Michael; Hope, Thomas J.

    2016-01-01

    Currently, there are mounting data suggesting that HIV-1 acquisition in women can be affected by the use of certain hormonal contraceptives. However, in non-human primate models, endogenous or exogenous progestin-dominant states are shown to increase acquisition. To gain mechanistic insights into this increased acquisition, we studied how mucosal barrier function and CD4+ T-cell and CD68+ macrophage density and localization changed in the presence of natural progestins or after injection with high-dose DMPA. The presence of natural or injected progestins increased virus penetration of the columnar epithelium and the infiltration of susceptible cells into a thinned squamous epithelium of the vaginal vault, increasing the likelihood of potential virus interactions with target cells. These data suggest that increasing either endogenous or exogenous progestin can alter female reproductive tract barrier properties and provide plausible mechanisms for increased HIV-1 acquisition risk in the presence of increased progestin levels. PMID:27658293

  2. Human rights and the sexual and reproductive health of women living with HIV – a literature review

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Shubha; Gruskin, Sofia; Khosla, Rajat; Narasimhan, Manjulaa

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Even as the number of women living with HIV around the globe continues to grow, realization of their sexual and reproductive health and human rights remains compromised. The objective of this study was to review the current state of knowledge on the sexual and reproductive health and human rights of women living with HIV to assess evidence and gaps. Methods Relevant databases were searched for peer-reviewed and grey literature. Search terms included a combination of MeSH terms and keywords representing women, HIV/AIDS, ART, human rights, sexual and reproductive health. We included both qualitative and quantitative literature published in English, French, or Spanish between July 2011 and December 2014. Results and discussion The search yielded 2228 peer-reviewed articles, of which 40 met the inclusion criteria in the final review. The grey literature search yielded 2186 documents of which seven met the inclusion criteria in the final review. Of the articles and documents reviewed, not a single peer-reviewed article described the explicit implementation of rights in programming, and only two documents from the grey literature did so. With one possible exception, no articles or documents were found which addressed rights comprehensively, or addressed the majority of relevant rights (i.e. equality; non-discrimination; participation; privacy and confidentiality; informed decision making; availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality (3AQ) of services individually or in their totality; and accountability). Additional findings indicate that the language of rights is used most often to describe the apparent neglect or violation of human rights and what does exist only addresses a few rights in the context of a few areas within sexual and reproductive health. Conclusions Findings from this review suggest the need to better integrate rights into interventions, particularly with attention to provider training, service delivery, raising awareness and

  3. Trace concentrations of imazethapyr (IM) affect floral organs development and reproduction in Arabidopsis thaliana: IM-induced inhibition of key genes regulating anther and pollen biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Qian, Haifeng; Li, Yali; Sun, Chongchong; Lavoie, Michel; Xie, Jun; Bai, Xiaocui; Fu, Zhengwei

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how herbicides affect plant reproduction and growth is critical to develop herbicide toxicity model and refine herbicide risk assessment. Although our knowledge of herbicides toxicity mechanisms at the physiological and molecular level in plant vegetative phase has increased substantially in the last decades, few studies have addressed the herbicide toxicity problematic on plant reproduction. Here, we determined the long-term (4-8 weeks) effect of a chiral herbicide, imazethapyr (IM), which has been increasingly used in plant crops, on floral organ development and reproduction in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. More specifically, we followed the effect of two IM enantiomers (R- and S-IM) on floral organ structure, seed production, pollen viability and the transcription of key genes involved in anther and pollen development. The results showed that IM strongly inhibited the transcripts of genes regulating A. thaliana tapetum development (DYT1: DYSFUNCTIONAL TAPETUM 1), tapetal differentiation and function (TDF1: TAPETAL DEVELOPMENT AND FUNCTION1), and pollen wall formation and developments (AMS: ABORTED MICROSPORES, MYB103: MYB DOMAIN PROTEIN 103, MS1: MALE STERILITY 1, MS2: MALE STERILITY 2). Since DYT1 positively regulates 33 genes involved in cell-wall modification (such as, TDF1, AMS, MYB103, MS1, MS2) that can catalyze the breakdown of polysaccharides to facilitate anther dehiscence, the consistent decrease in the transcription of these genes after IM exposure should hamper anther opening as observed under scanning electron microscopy. The toxicity of IM on anther opening further lead to a decrease in pollen production and pollen viability. Furthermore, long-term IM exposure increased the number of apurinic/apyrimidinic sites (AP sites) in the DNA of A. thaliana and also altered the DNA of A. thaliana offspring grown in IM-free soils. Toxicity of IM on floral organs development and reproduction was generally higher in the presence of the R

  4. The Sleeping Beauty: How Reproductive Diapause Affects Hormone Signaling, Metabolism, Immune Response and Somatic Maintenance in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Kubrak, Olga I.; Kučerová, Lucie; Theopold, Ulrich; Nässel, Dick R.

    2014-01-01

    Some organisms can adapt to seasonal and other environmental challenges by entering a state of dormancy, diapause. Thus, insects exposed to decreased temperature and short photoperiod enter a state of arrested development, lowered metabolism, and increased stress resistance. Drosophila melanogaster females can enter a shallow reproductive diapause in the adult stage, which drastically reduces organismal senescence, but little is known about the physiology and endocrinology associated with this dormancy, and the genes involved in its regulation. We induced diapause in D. melanogaster and monitored effects over 12 weeks on dynamics of ovary development, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, as well as expression of genes involved in endocrine signaling, metabolism and innate immunity. During diapause food intake diminishes drastically, but circulating and stored carbohydrates and lipids are elevated. Gene transcripts of glucagon- and insulin-like peptides increase, and expression of several target genes of these peptides also change. Four key genes in innate immunity can be induced by infection in diapausing flies, and two of these, drosomycin and cecropin A1, are upregulated by diapause independently of infection. Diapausing flies display very low mortality, extended lifespan and decreased aging of the intestinal epithelium. Many phenotypes induced by diapause are reversed after one week of recovery from diapause conditions. Furthermore, mutant flies lacking specific insulin-like peptides (dilp5 and dilp2-3) display increased diapause incidence. Our study provides a first comprehensive characterization of reproductive diapause in D. melanogaster, and evidence that glucagon- and insulin-like signaling are among the key regulators of the altered physiology during this dormancy. PMID:25393614

  5. The Arabidopsis DSO/ABCG11 transporter affects cutin metabolism in reproductive organs and suberin in roots.

    PubMed

    Panikashvili, David; Shi, Jian Xin; Bocobza, Samuel; Franke, Rochus Benni; Schreiber, Lukas; Aharoni, Asaph

    2010-05-01

    Apart from its significance in the protection against stress conditions, the cuticular cover is essential for proper development of the diverse surface structures formed on aerial plant organs. This layer mainly consists of a cutin matrix, embedded and overlaid with cuticular waxes. Following their biosynthesis in epidermal cells, cutin and waxes were suggested to be exported across the plasma membrane by ABCG-type transporters such as DSO/ABCG11 to the cell wall and further to extracellular matrix. Here, additional aspects of DSO/ABCG11 function were investigated, predominantly in reproductive organs, which were not revealed in the previous reports. This was facilitated by the generation of a transgenic DSO/ABCG11 silenced line (dso-4) that displayed relatively subtle morphological and chemical phenotypes. These included altered petal and silique morphology, fusion of seeds, and changes in levels of cutin monomers in flowers and siliques. The dso-4 phenotypes corresponded to the strong DSO/ABCG11 gene expression in the embryo epidermis as well as in the endosperm tissues of the developing seeds. Moreover, the DSO/ABCG11 protein displayed polar localization in the embryo protoderm. Transcriptome analysis of the dso-4 mutant leaves and stems showed that reduced DSO/ABCG11 activity suppressed the expression of a large number of cuticle-associated genes, implying that export of cuticular lipids from the plasma membrane is a rate-limiting step in cuticle metabolism. Surprisingly, root suberin composition of dso-4 was altered, as well as root expression of two suberin biosynthetic genes. Taken together, this study provides new insights into cutin and suberin metabolism and their role in reproductive organs and roots development.

  6. ABO (histo) blood group phenotype development and human reproduction as they relate to ancestral IgM formation: A hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Arend, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The formation of a histo (blood) group) ABO phenotype and the exclusion of an autoreactive IgM or isoagglutinin activity arise apparently in identical glycosylation of complementary domains on cell surfaces and plasma proteins. The fundamental O-glycan emptiness of the circulating IgM, which during the neonatal amino acid sequencing of the variable regions is exerting germline-specific O-GalNAc glycan-reactive serine/threonine residues that in the plasma of the adult human blood group O individuals apparently remain associated with the open glycosidic sites on the ABOH convertible red cell surface, must raise suggestions on a transient expression of developmental glycans, which have been "lost" over the course of maturation. In fact, while the mammalian non-somatic, embryogenic stem cell (ESC)- germ cell (GC) transformation is characterized by a transient and genetically as-yet-undefined trans-species-functional O-GalNAc glycan expression, in the C57BL/10 mouse such expression was potentially identified in growth-dependent, blood group A-like GalNAc glycan-bearing, ovarian glycolipids complementary with the syngeneic anti-A reactive IgM, which does not appear in early ovariectomized animals. This non-somatically encoded, polyreactive, ancestral IgM molecule has not undergone clonal selection and does primarily not differentiate between self and non-self and might, due to amino acid hydroxyl groups, highly suggest substrate competition with subsequent O-glycosylations in ongoing ESC-GC transformations and affecting GC maturation. However, the membrane-bound somatic N/O-glycotransferases, which initiate, after formation of the zygote, the complex construction of the human ABO phenotypes in the trans cisternae of the Golgi apparatus, are associated and/or completed with soluble enzyme versions exerting identical specificities in plasma and likely competing vice versa by glycosylation of neonatal IgM amino acids, where they suggest to accomplish the clearance of anti

  7. Comparative intrauterine development and placental function of ART concepti: implications for human reproductive medicine and animal breeding

    PubMed Central

    Bloise, Enrrico; Feuer, Sky K.; Rinaudo, Paolo F.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND The number of children conceived using assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has reached >5 million worldwide and continues to increase. Although the great majority of ART children are healthy, many reports suggest a forthcoming risk of metabolic complications, which is further supported by the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease hypothesis of suboptimal embryo/fetal conditions predisposing adult cardiometabolic pathologies. Accumulating evidence suggests that fetal and placental growth kinetics are important features predicting post-natal health, but the relationship between ART and intrauterine growth has not been systematically reviewed. METHODS Relevant studies describing fetoplacental intrauterine phenotypes of concepti generated by in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) in the mouse, bovine and human were comprehensively researched using PubMed and Google Scholar. Intrauterine growth plots were created from tabular formatted data available in selected reports. RESULTS ART pregnancies display minor but noticeable alterations in fetal and placental growth curves across mammalian species. In all species, there is evidence of fetal growth restriction in the earlier stages of pregnancy, followed by significant increases in placental size and accelerated fetal growth toward the end of gestation. However, there is a species-specific effect of ART on birthweights, that additionally vary in a culture condition-, strain-, and/or stage at transfer-specific manner. We discuss the potential mechanisms that underlie these changes, and how they are affected by specific components of ART procedures. CONCLUSIONS ART may promote measurable alterations to intrauterine growth trajectory and placental function. Key findings include evidence that birthweight is not a reliable marker of fetal stress, and that increases in embryo manipulation result in more deviant fetal growth curves

  8. Formaldehyde Crosses the Human Placenta and Affects Human Trophoblast Differentiation and Hormonal Functions.

    PubMed

    Pidoux, Guillaume; Gerbaud, Pascale; Guibourdenche, Jean; Thérond, Patrice; Ferreira, Fatima; Simasotchi, Christelle; Evain-Brion, Danièle; Gil, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    The chorionic villus of the human placenta is the source of specific endocrine functions and nutrient exchanges. These activities are ensured by the syncytiotrophobast (ST), which bathes in maternal blood. The ST arises and regenerates throughout pregnancy by fusion of underlying cytotrophoblasts (CT). Any anomaly of ST formation or regeneration can affect pregnancy outcome and fetal growth. Because of its direct interaction with maternal blood, the ST is sensitive to drugs, pollutants and xenohormones. Ex vivo assays of perfused cotyledon show that formaldehyde, a common pollutant present in furniture, paint and plastics, can accumulate in the human placenta and cross to the fetal compartment. By means of RT-qPCR, immunoblot and immunocytochemistry experiments, we demonstrate in vitro that formaldehyde exerts endocrine toxicity on human trophoblasts, including a decrease in the production of protein hormones of pregnancy. In addition, formaldehyde exposure triggered human trophoblast fusion by upregulating syncitin-1 receptor expression (ASC-type amino-acid transporter 2: ASCT2). Moreover, we show that formaldehyde-exposed trophoblasts present an altered redox status associated with oxidative stress, and an increase in ASCT2 expression intended to compensate for this stress. Finally, we demonstrate that the adverse effects of formaldehyde on trophoblast differentiation and fusion are reversed by N-acetyl-L-cysteine (Nac), an antioxidant.

  9. Formaldehyde Crosses the Human Placenta and Affects Human Trophoblast Differentiation and Hormonal Functions

    PubMed Central

    Pidoux, Guillaume; Gerbaud, Pascale; Guibourdenche, Jean; Thérond, Patrice; Ferreira, Fatima; Simasotchi, Christelle; Evain-Brion, Danièle; Gil, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    The chorionic villus of the human placenta is the source of specific endocrine functions and nutrient exchanges. These activities are ensured by the syncytiotrophobast (ST), which bathes in maternal blood. The ST arises and regenerates throughout pregnancy by fusion of underlying cytotrophoblasts (CT). Any anomaly of ST formation or regeneration can affect pregnancy outcome and fetal growth. Because of its direct interaction with maternal blood, the ST is sensitive to drugs, pollutants and xenohormones. Ex vivo assays of perfused cotyledon show that formaldehyde, a common pollutant present in furniture, paint and plastics, can accumulate in the human placenta and cross to the fetal compartment. By means of RT-qPCR, immunoblot and immunocytochemistry experiments, we demonstrate in vitro that formaldehyde exerts endocrine toxicity on human trophoblasts, including a decrease in the production of protein hormones of pregnancy. In addition, formaldehyde exposure triggered human trophoblast fusion by upregulating syncitin-1 receptor expression (ASC-type amino-acid transporter 2: ASCT2). Moreover, we show that formaldehyde-exposed trophoblasts present an altered redox status associated with oxidative stress, and an increase in ASCT2 expression intended to compensate for this stress. Finally, we demonstrate that the adverse effects of formaldehyde on trophoblast differentiation and fusion are reversed by N-acetyl-L-cysteine (Nac), an antioxidant. PMID:26186596

  10. 20 years of leptin: role of leptin in human reproductive disorders.

    PubMed

    Chou, Sharon H; Mantzoros, Christos

    2014-10-01

    Leptin, as a key hormone in energy homeostasis, regulates neuroendocrine function, including reproduction. It has a permissive role in the initiation of puberty and maintenance of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. This is notable in patients with either congenital or acquired leptin deficiency from a state of chronic energy insufficiency. Hypothalamic amenorrhea is the best-studied, with clinical trials confirming a causative role of leptin in hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Implications of leptin deficiency have also emerged in the pathophysiology of hypogonadism in type 1 diabetes. At the other end of the spectrum, hyperleptinemia may play a role in hypogonadism associated with obesity, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. In these conditions of energy excess, mechanisms of reproductive dysfunction include central leptin resistance as well as direct effects at the gonadal level. Thus, reproductive dysfunction due to energy imbalance at both ends can be linked to leptin.

  11. ANALYSIS OF DISCRIMINATING FACTORS IN HUMAN ACTIVITIES THAT AFFECT EXPOSURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Accurately modeling exposure to particulate matter (PM) and other pollutants ultimately involves the utilization of human location-activity databases to assist in understanding the potential variability of microenvironmental exposures. This paper critically considers and stati...

  12. Conscientious objection to sexual and reproductive health services: international human rights standards and European law and practice.

    PubMed

    Zampas, Christina; Andión-Ibañez, Ximena

    2012-06-01

    The practice of conscientious objection often arises in the area of individuals refusing to fulfil compulsory military service requirements and is based on the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion as protected by national, international and regional human rights law. The practice of conscientious objection also arises in the field of health care, when individual health care providers or institutions refuse to provide certain health services based on religious, moral or philosophical objections. The use of conscientious objection by health care providers to reproductive health care services, including abortion, contraceptive prescriptions, and prenatal tests, among other services is a growing phenomena throughout Europe. However, despite recent progress from the European Court of Human Rights on this issue (RR v. Poland, 2011), countries and international and regional bodies generally have failed to comprehensively and effectively regulate this practice, denying many women reproductive health care services they are legally entitled to receive. The Italian Ministry of Health reported that in 2008 nearly 70% of gynaecologists in Italy refuse to perform abortions on moral grounds. It found that between 2003 and 2007 the number of gynaecologists invoking conscientious objection in their refusal to perform an abortion rose from 58.7 percent to 69.2 percent. Italy is not alone in Europe, for example, the practice is prevalent in Poland, Slovakia, and is growing in the United Kingdom. This article outlines the international and regional human rights obligations and medical standards on this issue, and highlights some of the main gaps in these standards. It illustrates how European countries regulate or fail to regulate conscientious objection and how these regulations are working in practice, including examples of jurisprudence from national level courts and cases before the European Court of Human Rights. Finally, the article will provide recommendations

  13. Clones, controversy, and criminal law: a comment on the proposal for legislation governing assisted human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Caulfield, T

    2001-09-01

    In the past few years there has been a tremendous amount of regulatory conflict and social controversy in the area of reproductive genetics. The Canadian government has recently released a proposal for legislating in this complex arena. Although the proposed Bill contains many positive elements, it is argued that the use of the criminal law as a regulatory mechanism is neither warranted nor appropriate. The author suggests a more flexible and responsive system of moratoriums and licenses that would enable review and adjustment to the realities of emerging reproductive technologies is a better approach.

  14. Aversive Pavlovian Responses Affect Human Instrumental Motor Performance

    PubMed Central

    Rigoli, Francesco; Pavone, Enea Francesco; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    In neuroscience and psychology, an influential perspective distinguishes between two kinds of behavioral control: instrumental (habitual and goal-directed) and Pavlovian. Understanding the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction is fundamental for the comprehension of decision-making. Animal studies (as those using the negative auto-maintenance paradigm), have demonstrated that Pavlovian mechanisms can have maladaptive effects on instrumental performance. However, evidence for a similar effect in humans is scarce. In addition, the mechanisms modulating the impact of Pavlovian responses on instrumental performance are largely unknown, both in human and non-human animals. The present paper describes a behavioral experiment investigating the effects of Pavlovian conditioned responses on performance in humans, focusing on the aversive domain. Results showed that Pavlovian responses influenced human performance, and, similar to animal studies, could have maladaptive effects. In particular, Pavlovian responses either impaired or increased performance depending on modulator variables such as threat distance, task controllability, punishment history, amount of training, and explicit punishment expectancy. Overall, these findings help elucidating the computational mechanisms underlying the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction, which might be at the base of apparently irrational phenomena in economics, social behavior, and psychopathology. PMID:23060738

  15. Long-term pyrene exposure of grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, affects molting and reproduction of exposed males and offspring of exposed females.

    PubMed Central

    Oberdörster, E; Brouwer, M; Hoexum-Brouwer, T; Manning, S; McLachlan, J A

    2000-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of long-term pyrene exposure on molting and reproduction in the model estuarine invertebrate, the grass shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio). Grass shrimp were exposed to measured concentrations of 5.1, 15.0, and 63. 4 ppb (microg/L) pyrene for 6 weeks, during which time we determined molting and survivorship. At the end of the exposure, we immediately sacrificed some of the shrimp for biomarker (CYP1A and vitellin) analyses. The remaining shrimp were used to analyze fecundity and embryo survivorship during an additional 6 weeks after termination of pyrene exposure. Male shrimp at the highest pyrene dose (63 ppb) experienced a significant delay in molting and in time until reproduction, and showed elevated ethoxycoumarin o-deethylase (ECOD) activity immediately after the 6-week exposure period. In contrast, 63 ppb pyrene did not affect these parameters in female shrimp. Females produced the same number of eggs per body weight, with high egg viability (98-100%) at all exposure levels, but with decreased survival for the offspring of the 63-ppb pyrene-exposed females. In addition, vitellin levels were elevated only in females at 63 ppb pyrene after the 6-week exposure. We hypothesize that the elevated vitellin binds pyrene and keeps it biologically unavailable to adult females, resulting in maternal transfer of pyrene to the embryos. This would account for the lack of effect of pyrene exposure on ECOD activity, molting, and reproduction in the adult females, and for reduced survival of their offspring. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:10903618

  16. The entomopathogenic fungal endophytes Purpureocillium lilacinum (formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus) and Beauveria bassiana negatively affect cotton aphid reproduction under both greenhouse and field conditions.

    PubMed

    Castillo Lopez, Diana; Zhu-Salzman, Keyan; Ek-Ramos, Maria Julissa; Sword, Gregory A

    2014-01-01

    The effects of two entomopathogenic fungal endophytes, Beauveria bassiana and Purpureocillium lilacinum (formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus), were assessed on the reproduction of cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover (Homoptera:Aphididae), through in planta feeding trials. In replicate greenhouse and field trials, cotton plants (Gossypium hirsutum) were inoculated as seed treatments with two concentrations of B. bassiana or P. lilacinum conidia. Positive colonization of cotton by the endophytes was confirmed through potato dextrose agar (PDA) media plating and PCR analysis. Inoculation and colonization of cotton by either B. bassiana or P. lilacinum negatively affected aphid reproduction over periods of seven and 14 days in a series of greenhouse trials. Field trials were conducted in the summers of 2012 and 2013 in which cotton plants inoculated as seed treatments with B. bassiana and P. lilacinum were exposed to cotton aphids for 14 days. There was a significant overall effect of endophyte treatment on the number of cotton aphids per plant. Plants inoculated with B. bassiana had significantly lower numbers of aphids across both years. The number of aphids on plants inoculated with P. lilacinum exhibited a similar, but non-significant, reduction in numbers relative to control plants. We also tested the pathogenicity of both P. lilacinum and B. bassiana strains used in the experiments against cotton aphids in a survival experiment where 60% and 57% of treated aphids, respectively, died from infection over seven days versus 10% mortality among control insects. Our results demonstrate (i) the successful establishment of P. lilacinum and B. bassiana as endophytes in cotton via seed inoculation, (ii) subsequent negative effects of the presence of both target endophytes on cotton aphid reproduction using whole plant assays, and (iii) that the P. lilacinum strain used is both endophytic and pathogenic to cotton aphids. Our results illustrate the potential of using these

  17. Elevated corticosterone levels decrease reproductive output of chick-rearing Adélie penguins but do not affect chick mass at fledging

    PubMed Central

    Thierry, Anne-Mathilde; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Raclot, Thierry

    2013-01-01

    Study of physiological mechanisms can help us to understand how animals respond to changing environmental conditions. In particular, stress hormones (i.e. glucocorticoids, such as corticosterone) are described as mediating resource allocation, allowing animals to adjust their physiology and behaviour to predictable and unpredictable changes in the environment. In this study, we investigated the effects of an experimental increase in baseline corticosterone levels on the breeding effort and the reproductive output of chick-rearing male Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae). The number of chicks per nest, their body mass, and their size were monitored throughout the study. Direct observations allowed measurement of the time spent foraging at sea and caring for the young on the nest. At the end of the treatment, blood samples were collected for isotope analysis. Although all birds raised at least one chick, reproductive output was decreased by 42% in corticosterone-treated birds compared with control birds. The increase in corticosterone levels during the guard stage did not affect the mass of surviving chicks or the brood mass at fledging. Corticosterone-treated males spent on average 21% more time at the nest than control birds. However, the duration of foraging trips was similar between both groups. In addition, the similarity of isotopic signatures suggests that both groups foraged at similar locations and ingested the same prey species. The detailed on-land behaviour of birds should be examined in further studies to clarify the possible links between corticosterone levels, brooding time, and reproductive output. Understanding the relationships between glucocorticoids, fitness, and ultimately population dynamics is fundamental to enabling conservation physiology as a discipline to be successful in helping to manage species of conservation concern. PMID:27293591

  18. The Entomopathogenic Fungal Endophytes Purpureocillium lilacinum (Formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus) and Beauveria bassiana Negatively Affect Cotton Aphid Reproduction under Both Greenhouse and Field Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Castillo Lopez, Diana; Zhu-Salzman, Keyan; Ek-Ramos, Maria Julissa; Sword, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of two entomopathogenic fungal endophytes, Beauveria bassiana and Purpureocillium lilacinum (formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus), were assessed on the reproduction of cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover (Homoptera:Aphididae), through in planta feeding trials. In replicate greenhouse and field trials, cotton plants (Gossypium hirsutum) were inoculated as seed treatments with two concentrations of B. bassiana or P. lilacinum conidia. Positive colonization of cotton by the endophytes was confirmed through potato dextrose agar (PDA) media plating and PCR analysis. Inoculation and colonization of cotton by either B. bassiana or P. lilacinum negatively affected aphid reproduction over periods of seven and 14 days in a series of greenhouse trials. Field trials were conducted in the summers of 2012 and 2013 in which cotton plants inoculated as seed treatments with B. bassiana and P. lilacinum were exposed to cotton aphids for 14 days. There was a significant overall effect of endophyte treatment on the number of cotton aphids per plant. Plants inoculated with B. bassiana had significantly lower numbers of aphids across both years. The number of aphids on plants inoculated with P. lilacinum exhibited a similar, but non-significant, reduction in numbers relative to control plants. We also tested the pathogenicity of both P. lilacinum and B. bassiana strains used in the experiments against cotton aphids in a survival experiment where 60% and 57% of treated aphids, respectively, died from infection over seven days versus 10% mortality among control insects. Our results demonstrate (i) the successful establishment of P. lilacinum and B. bassiana as endophytes in cotton via seed inoculation, (ii) subsequent negative effects of the presence of both target endophytes on cotton aphid reproduction using whole plant assays, and (iii) that the P. lilacinum strain used is both endophytic and pathogenic to cotton aphids. Our results illustrate the potential of using these

  19. Affective neuroscience of pleasure: reward in humans and animals

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Pleasure and reward are generated by brain circuits that are largely shared between humans and other animals. Discussion Here, we survey some fundamental topics regarding pleasure mechanisms and explicitly compare humans and animals. Conclusion Topics surveyed include liking, wanting, and learning components of reward; brain coding versus brain causing of reward; subjective pleasure versus objective hedonic reactions; roles of orbitofrontal cortex and related cortex regions; subcortical hedonic hotspots for pleasure generation; reappraisals of dopamine and pleasure-electrode controversies; and the relation of pleasure to happiness. PMID:18311558

  20. Perilous plasticizers - are phthalate esters a risk for human reproductive health?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Phthalate diesters are high-production volume chemicals used to impart flexibility to polyvinyl chloride plastic (e.g. children’s toys and medical tubing) as well as other products (e.g. health and beauty products). Certain phthalate esters inhibit reproductive development in la...

  1. Perilous plastics - are phthalate esters a risk for human reproductive health?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Phthalate diesters are high-production volume chemicals used to impart flexibility to polyvinyl chloride plastic (e.g. children’s toys and medical tubing) and are also found in other products (e.g. health and beauty products). Certain phthalate esters inhibit reproductive develop...

  2. Solanum tuberosum and Lycopersicon esculentum Leaf Extracts and Single Metabolites Affect Development and Reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Ventrella, Emanuela; Adamski, Zbigniew; Chudzińska, Ewa; Miądowicz-Kobielska, Mariola; Marciniak, Paweł; Büyükgüzel, Ender; Büyükgüzel, Kemal; Erdem, Meltem; Falabella, Patrizia; Scrano, Laura; Bufo, Sabino Aurelio

    2016-01-01

    Glycoalkaloids are secondary metabolites commonly found in Solanaceae plants. They have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and insecticidal activities. In the present study we examine the effects of potato and tomato leaf extracts and their main components, the glycoalkaloids α-solanine, α-chaconine and α-tomatine, on development and reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster wild-type flies at different stages. Parental generation was exposed to five different concentrations of tested substances. The effects were examined also on the next, non-exposed generation. In the first (exposed) generation, addition of each extract reduced the number of organisms reaching the pupal and imaginal stages. Parent insects exposed to extracts and metabolites individually applied showed faster development. However, the effect was weaker in case of single metabolites than in case of exposure to extracts. An increase of developmental rate was also observed in the next, non-exposed generation. The imagoes of both generations exposed to extracts and pure metabolites showed some anomalies in body size and malformations, such as deformed wings and abdomens, smaller black abdominal zone. Our results further support the current idea that Solanaceae can be an impressive source of molecules, which could efficaciously be used in crop protection, as natural extract or in formulation of single pure metabolites in sustainable agriculture.

  3. Solanum tuberosum and Lycopersicon esculentum Leaf Extracts and Single Metabolites Affect Development and Reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Ventrella, Emanuela; Adamski, Zbigniew; Chudzińska, Ewa; Miądowicz-Kobielska, Mariola; Marciniak, Paweł; Büyükgüzel, Ender; Büyükgüzel, Kemal; Erdem, Meltem; Falabella, Patrizia; Scrano, Laura; Bufo, Sabino Aurelio

    2016-01-01

    Glycoalkaloids are secondary metabolites commonly found in Solanaceae plants. They have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and insecticidal activities. In the present study we examine the effects of potato and tomato leaf extracts and their main components, the glycoalkaloids α-solanine, α-chaconine and α-tomatine, on development and reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster wild-type flies at different stages. Parental generation was exposed to five different concentrations of tested substances. The effects were examined also on the next, non-exposed generation. In the first (exposed) generation, addition of each extract reduced the number of organisms reaching the pupal and imaginal stages. Parent insects exposed to extracts and metabolites individually applied showed faster development. However, the effect was weaker in case of single metabolites than in case of exposure to extracts. An increase of developmental rate was also observed in the next, non-exposed generation. The imagoes of both generations exposed to extracts and pure metabolites showed some anomalies in body size and malformations, such as deformed wings and abdomens, smaller black abdominal zone. Our results further support the current idea that Solanaceae can be an impressive source of molecules, which could efficaciously be used in crop protection, as natural extract or in formulation of single pure metabolites in sustainable agriculture. PMID:27213896

  4. Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans lipopolysaccharide affects human gingival fibroblast cytoskeletal organization.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Venegas, Gloria; Contreras-Marmolejo, Luis Arturo; Román-Alvárez, Patricia; Barajas-Torres, Carolina

    2008-04-01

    The cytoskeleton is a dynamic structure that plays a key role in maintaining cell morphology and function. This study investigates the effect of bacterial wall lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a strong inflammatory agent, on the dynamics and organization of actin, tubulin, vimentin, and vinculin proteins in human gingival fibroblasts (HGF). A time-dependent study showed a noticeable change in actin architecture after 1.5 h of incubation with LPS (1 microg/ml) with the formation of orthogonal fibers and further accumulation of actin filament at the cell periphery by 24 h. When 0.01-10 microg/ml of LPS was added to human gingival fibroblast cultures, cells acquired a round, flat shape and gradually developed cytoplasmic ruffling. Lipopolysaccharides extracted from Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans periodontopathogenic bacteria promoted alterations in F-actin stress fibres of human gingival cells. Normally, human gingival cells have F-actin fibres that are organized in linear distribution throughout the cells, extending along the cell's length. LPS-treated cells exhibited changes in cytoskeletal protein organization, and F-actin was reorganized by the formation of bundles underneath and parallel to the cell membrane. We also found the reorganization of the vimentin network into vimentin bundling after 1.5 h of treatment. HGF cells exhibited diffuse and granular gamma-tubulin stain. There was no change in LPS-treated HGF. However, vinculin plaques distributed in the cell body diminished after LPS treatment. We conclude that the dynamic and structured organization of cytoskeletal filaments and actin assembly in human gingival fibroblasts is altered by LPS treatment and is accompanied by a decrease in F-actin pools.

  5. Dietary vitamin A, ascorbic acid and α-tocopherol affect the gonad development and reproductive performance of starry flounder Platichthys stellatus broodstock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jiying; Li, Baoshan; Liu, Xudong; Ma, Jingjing; Wang, Shixin; Zhang, Limin

    2014-03-01

    The present trial was conducted with starry flounder Platichthys stellatus broodstock to evaluate the effects of dietary vitamin A, ascorbic acid, and α-tocopherol on the gonadal development and reproductive performance. 8 000 IU/kg diet vitamin A (VA group), 500 mg/kg diet ascorbic acid (Vcpp group), or 250 mg/kg diet α-tocopherol (α-TA group) was added into basal diet to create 3 vitamin experimental diets, respectively. Each diet was fed to 450 starry flounder broodstock for 104 days. Samples were collected weekly. The gonadosomatic index (GSI) of 3 vitamin experimental groups first decreased and then increased. Maximum GSI of Vcpp group was higher than that of α-TA group but lower than that of VA group. The spawning periods of 3 vitamin experimental groups lasted 49, 56, and 45 days, respectively. No mature eggs were observed in the control group during the trial. The absolute fecundity (AF) and relative fecundity (RF) of α-TA group was higher than that of Vcpp group but lower than that of VA group. The results suggest that different vitamins play different roles in the fish reproductive process. Vitamin A stimulated the maturation of the ovary, ascorbic acid prolonged the spawning period, and α-tocopherol affected the development of the eggs.

  6. Multiscale factors affecting human attitudes toward snow leopards and wolves.

    PubMed

    Suryawanshi, Kulbhushansingh R; Bhatia, Saloni; Bhatnagar, Yash Veer; Redpath, Stephen; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-12-01

    The threat posed by large carnivores to livestock and humans makes peaceful coexistence between them difficult. Effective implementation of conservation laws and policies depends on the attitudes of local residents toward the target species. There are many known correlates of human attitudes toward carnivores, but they have only been assessed at the scale of the individual. Because human societies are organized hierarchically, attitudes are presumably influenced by different factors at different scales of social organization, but this scale dependence has not been examined. We used structured interview surveys to quantitatively assess the attitudes of a Buddhist pastoral community toward snow leopards (Panthera uncia) and wolves (Canis lupus). We interviewed 381 individuals from 24 villages within 6 study sites across the high-elevation Spiti Valley in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. We gathered information on key explanatory variables that together captured variation in individual and village-level socioeconomic factors. We used hierarchical linear models to examine how the effect of these factors on human attitudes changed with the scale of analysis from the individual to the community. Factors significant at the individual level were gender, education, and age of the respondent (for wolves and snow leopards), number of income sources in the family (wolves), agricultural production, and large-bodied livestock holdings (snow leopards). At the community level, the significant factors included the number of smaller-bodied herded livestock killed by wolves and mean agricultural production (wolves) and village size and large livestock holdings (snow leopards). Our results show that scaling up from the individual to higher levels of social organization can highlight important factors that influence attitudes of people toward wildlife and toward formal conservation efforts in general. Such scale-specific information can help managers apply conservation measures at

  7. The nuclear hormone receptor coactivator NRC is a pleiotropic modulator affecting growth, development, apoptosis, reproduction, and wound repair.

    PubMed

    Mahajan, Muktar A; Das, Sharmistha; Zhu, Hong; Tomic-Canic, Marjana; Samuels, Herbert H

    2004-06-01

    Nuclear hormone receptor coregulator (NRC) is a 2,063-amino-acid coregulator of nuclear hormone receptors and other transcription factors (e.g., c-Fos, c-Jun, and NF-kappaB). We and others have generated C57BL/6-129S6 hybrid (C57/129) NRC(+/-) mice that appear outwardly normal and grow and reproduce. In contrast, homozygous deletion of the NRC gene is embryonic lethal. NRC(-/-) embryos are always smaller than NRC(+/+) embryos, and NRC(-/-) embryos die between 8.5 and 12.5 days postcoitus (dpc), suggesting that NRC has a pleotrophic effect on growth. To study this, we derived mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) from 12.5-dpc embryos, which revealed that NRC(-/-) MEFs exhibit a high rate of apoptosis. Furthermore, a small interfering RNA that targets mouse NRC leads to enhanced apoptosis of wild-type MEFs. The finding that C57/129 NRC(+/-) mice exhibit no apparent phenotype prompted us to develop 129S6 NRC(+/-) mice, since the phenotype(s) of certain gene deletions may be strain dependent. In contrast with C57/129 NRC(+/-) females, 20% of 129S6 NRC(+/-) females are infertile while 80% are hypofertile. The 129S6 NRC(+/-) males produce offspring when crossed with wild-type 129S6 females, although fertility is reduced. The 129S6 NRC(+/-) mice tend to be stunted in their growth compared with their wild-type littermates and exhibit increased postnatal mortality. Lastly, both C57/129 NRC(+/-) and 129S6 NRC(+/-) mice exhibit a spontaneous wound healing defect, indicating that NRC plays an important role in that process. Our findings reveal that NRC is a coregulator that controls many cellular and physiologic processes ranging from growth and development to reproduction and wound repair.

  8. Congo red dye affects survival and reproduction in the cladoceran Ceriodaphnia dubia. Effects of direct and dietary exposure.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Zamora, Miriam; Martínez-Jerónimo, Fernando; Cristiani-Urbina, Eliseo; Cañizares-Villanueva, Rosa Olivia

    2016-12-01

    Nearly 7 00000 tons of dyes are produced annually throughout the world. Azo dyes are widely used in the textile and paper industries due to their low cost and ease of application. Their extensive use results in large volumes of wastewater being discharged into aquatic ecosystems. Large volume discharges constitute a health risk since many of these dyes, such as Congo Red, are elaborated with benzidine, a known carcinogenic compound. Information regarding dye toxicity in aquatic ecosystems is limited. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of Congo Red on survival and reproduction of Ceriodaphnia dubia. We determined the 48 h median lethal concentration (LC50) and evaluated the effects of sublethal concentrations in subchronic exposures by using as food either fresh algae or algae previously exposed to the dye. LC50 was 13.58 mg L(-1). In subchronic assays, survival was reduced to 80 and 55 %, and fertility to 40 and 70 %, as compared to the control, in C. dubia fed with intoxicated cells or with the mix of intoxicated + fresh algae, respectively, so the quantity and type of food had a significant effect. We determined that Congo Red is highly toxic to C. dubia since it inhibits survival and fertility in concentrations exceeding 3 mg L(-1). Our results show that this dye produces negative effects at very low concentrations. Furthermore, our findings warn of the risk associated with discharging dyes into aquatic environments. Lastly, the results emphasize the need to regulate the discharge of effluents containing azo dyes.

  9. Synthetic progestins medroxyprogesterone acetate and dydrogesterone and their binary mixtures adversely affect reproduction and lead to histological and transcriptional alterations in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanbin; Castiglioni, Sara; Fent, Karl

    2015-04-07

    Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) and dydrogesterone (DDG) are synthetic progestins widely used in human and veterinary medicine. Although aquatic organisms are exposed to them through wastewater and animal farm runoff, very little is known about their effects in the environment. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of the responses of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to MPA, DDG, and their binary mixtures at measured concentrations between 4.5 and 1663 ng/L. DDG and both mixtures impaired reproductive capacities (egg production) of breeding pairs and led to histological alterations of ovaries and testes and increased gonadosomatic index. Transcriptional analysis of up to 28 genes belonging to different pathways demonstrated alterations in steroid hormone receptors, steroidogenesis enzymes, and specifically, the circadian rhythm genes, in different organs of adult zebrafish and eleuthero-embryos. Alterations occurred even at environmentally relevant concentrations of 4.5-4.8 ng/L MPA, DDG and the mixture in eleuthero-embryos and at 43-89 ng/L in adult zebrafish. Additionally, the mixtures displayed additive effects in most but not all parameters in adults and eleuthero-embryos, suggesting concentration addition. Our data suggest that MPA and DDG and their mixtures induce multiple transcriptional responses at environmentally relevant concentrations and adverse effects on reproduction and gonad histology at higher levels.

  10. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape.

    PubMed

    Moreira-Arce, Dario; Vergara, Pablo M; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250 m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250 m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500 m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in native forest remnants

  11. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Moreira-Arce, Dario; Vergara, Pablo M.; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in native forest remnants and

  12. Diabetes and the female reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Nandi, Anindita; Poretsky, Leonid

    2013-12-01

    The insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) pathways and glucose metabolism act as mediators of human ovarian function and female fertility. In normal insulin action, insulin binds to its own receptors in the ovary to mediate steroidogenesis and act as a co-gonadotropin. Insulin with other factors may influence ovarian growth and cyst formation. The IGF pathway also seems to influence normal ovarian function. Insulin signaling affects reproductive function. Dysregulation of this pathway leads to altered puberty, ovulation, and fertility. Better understanding of the normal physiology and pathophysiology of insulin, IGF, and glucose effects on the human reproductive system will allow for better outcomes.

  13. Psychobiological Factors Affecting Cortisol Variability in Human-Dog Dyads

    PubMed Central

    Schöberl, Iris; Wedl, Manuela; Beetz, Andrea; Kotrschal, Kurt

    2017-01-01

    Stress responses within dyads are modulated by interactions such as mutual emotional support and conflict. We investigated dyadic psychobiological factors influencing intra-individual cortisol variability in response to different challenging situations by testing 132 owners and their dogs in a laboratory setting. Salivary cortisol was measured and questionnaires were used to assess owner and dog personality as well as owners' social attitudes towards the dog and towards other humans. We calculated the individual coefficient of variance of cortisol (iCV = sd/mean*100) over the different test situations as a parameter representing individual variability of cortisol concentration. We hypothesized that high cortisol variability indicates efficient and adaptive coping and a balanced individual and dyadic social performance. Female owners of male dogs had lower iCV than all other owner gender-dog sex combinations (F = 14.194, p<0.001), whereas owner Agreeableness (NEO-FFI) scaled positively with owner iCV (F = 4.981, p = 0.028). Dogs of owners high in Neuroticism (NEO-FFI) and of owners who were insecure-ambivalently attached to their dogs (FERT), had low iCV (F = 4.290, p = 0.041 and F = 5.948, p = 0.016), as had dogs of owners with human-directed separation anxiety (RSQ) or dogs of owners with a strong desire of independence (RSQ) (F = 7.661, p = 0.007 and F = 9.192, p = 0.003). We suggest that both owner and dog social characteristics influence dyadic cortisol variability, with the human partner being more influential than the dog. Our results support systemic approaches (i.e. considering the social context) in science and in counselling. PMID:28178272

  14. Free radicals and male reproduction.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Ashok; Allamaneni, Shyam S R

    2011-03-01

    Male factor accounts for almost 50% cases of infertility. The exact mechanism of sperm dysfunction is not known in many cases. Extensive research in the last decade has led to the identification of free radicals (reactive oxygen species) as mediators of sperm dysfunction in both specific diagnoses and idiopathic cases of male infertility. Elevated levels of reactive oxygen species are seen in up to 30-80% of men with male infertility. The role of free radicals has been studied extensively in the process of human reproduction. We know now that a certain level of free radicals is necessary for normal sperm function, whereas an excessive level of free radicals can cause detrimental effect on sperm function and subsequent fertilisation and offspring health. Oxidative stress develops when there is an imbalance between generation of free radicals and scavenging capacity of anti-oxidants in reproductive tract. Oxidative stress has been shown to affect both standard semen parameters and fertilising capacity. In addition, high levels of free radicals have been associated with lack of or poor fertility outcome after natural conception or assisted reproduction. Diagnostic techniques to quantify free radicals in infertile patients can assist physicians treating patients with infertility to plan for proper treatment strategies. In vivo anti-oxidants can be used against oxidative stress in male reproductive tract. Supplementation of in vitro anti-oxidants can help prevent the oxidative stress during sperm preparation techniques in assisted reproduction.

  15. Disturbances of electrodynamic activity affect abortion in human

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jandová, A.; Nedbalová, M.; Kobilková, J.; Čoček, A.; Dohnalová, A.; Cifra, M.; Pokorný, J.

    2011-12-01

    Biochemical research of biological systems is highly developed, and it has disclosed a spectrum of chemical reactions, genetic processes, and the pathological development of various diseases. The fundamental hypothesis of physical processes in biological systems, in particular of coherent electrically polar vibrations and electromagnetic activity, was formulated by H. Fröhlich he assumed connection of cancer process with degradation of coherent electromagnetic activity. But the questions of cellular structures capable of the coherent electrical polar oscillation, mechanisms of energy supply, and the specific role of the endogenous electromagnetic fields in transport, organisation, interactions, and information transfer remained open. The nature of physical disturbances caused by some diseases (including the recurrent abortion in humans and the cancer) was unknown. We have studied the reasons of recurrent abortions in humans by means of the cell mediated immunity (using immunologic active RNA prepared from blood of inbred laboratory mice strain C3H/H2K, infected with the lactate dehydrogenase elevating virus-LD V) and the cytogenetic examination from karyotype pictures. The recurrent abortion group contained women with dg. spontaneous abortion (n = 24) and the control group was composed of 30 healthy pregnant women. Our hypothesis was related to quality of endometrium in relation to nidation of the blastocyst. The energetic insufficiency (ATP) inhibits normal development of fetus and placenta. We hope that these ideas might have impact on further research, which could provide background for effective interdisciplinary cooperation of malignant and non-malignant diseases.

  16. Human adverse reproductive outcomes and electromagnetic field exposures: review of epidemiologic studies.

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, G M; Croen, L A

    1993-01-01

    Concerns have been raised regarding a relation between residential and occupational electromagnetic (EM) field exposures and adverse reproductive effects. This paper reviews the epidemiologic evidence for this possible relation, including some pertinent methodologic issues, notes relevant findings from the experimental literature, and discusses areas for future research. Evidence is lacking for a strong association between a woman's use of a video display terminal (VDT) during pregnancy and spontaneous abortion. The evidence for a strong association between a women's use of a VDT and other adverse reproductive endpoints is also lacking, with some suggestive findings for congenital malformations and too few data to reach a conclusion about other endpoints. With respect to low-level EM field exposures other than VDTs, the paucity of data prevents one from determining whether there are reproductive health risks associated with such exposures. Therefore, this is an area that needs further investigation. Given that altered growth may be an underlying biologic effect of EM field exposures, endpoints that might be pursued in future studies include congenital malformations not associated with chromosomal anomalies, intrauterine growth retardation, and chromosomally normal spontaneous abortions. PMID:8206019

  17. Early-life disease exposure and associations with adult survival, cause of death, and reproductive success in preindustrial humans

    PubMed Central

    Hayward, Adam D.; Rigby, Francesca L.; Lummaa, Virpi

    2016-01-01

    A leading hypothesis proposes that increased human life span since 1850 has resulted from decreased exposure to childhood infections, which has reduced chronic inflammation and later-life mortality rates, particularly from cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer. Early-life cohort mortality rate often predicts later-life survival in humans, but such associations could arise from factors other than disease exposure. Additionally, the impact of early-life disease exposure on reproduction remains unknown, and thus previous work ignores a major component of fitness through which selection acts upon life-history strategy. We collected data from seven 18th- and 19th-century Finnish populations experiencing naturally varying mortality and fertility levels. We quantified early-life disease exposure as the detrended child mortality rate from infectious diseases during an individual’s first 5 y, controlling for important social factors. We found no support for an association between early-life disease exposure and all-cause mortality risk after age 15 or 50. We also found no link between early-life disease exposure and probability of death specifically from cardiovascular disease, stroke, or cancer. Independent of survival, there was no evidence to support associations between early-life disease exposure and any of several aspects of reproductive performance, including lifetime reproductive success and age at first birth, in either males or females. Our results do not support the prevailing assertion that exposure to infectious diseases in early life has long-lasting associations with later-life all-cause mortality risk or mortality putatively linked to chronic inflammation. Variation in adulthood conditions could therefore be the most likely source of recent increases in adult life span. PMID:27457937

  18. Designing prospective cohort studies for assessing reproductive and developmental toxicity during sensitive windows of human reproduction and development--the LIFE Study.

    PubMed

    Buck Louis, Germaine M; Schisterman, Enrique F; Sweeney, Anne M; Wilcosky, Timothy C; Gore-Langton, Robert E; Lynch, Courtney D; Boyd Barr, Dana; Schrader, Steven M; Kim, Sungduk; Chen, Zhen; Sundaram, Rajeshwari

    2011-09-01

    The relationship between the environment and human fecundity and fertility remains virtually unstudied from a couple-based perspective in which longitudinal exposure data and biospecimens are captured across sensitive windows. In response, we completed the LIFE Study with methodology that intended to empirically evaluate a priori purported methodological challenges: implementation of population-based sampling frameworks suitable for recruiting couples planning pregnancy; obtaining environmental data across sensitive windows of reproduction and development; home-based biospecimen collection; and development of a data management system for hierarchical exposome data. We used two sampling frameworks (i.e., fish/wildlife licence registry and a direct marketing database) for 16 targeted counties with presumed environmental exposures to persistent organochlorine chemicals to recruit 501 couples planning pregnancies for prospective longitudinal follow-up while trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy. Enrolment rates varied from <1% of the targeted population (n = 424,423) to 42% of eligible couples who were successfully screened; 84% of the targeted population could not be reached, while 36% refused screening. Among enrolled couples, ∼ 85% completed daily journals while trying; 82% of pregnant women completed daily early pregnancy journals, and 80% completed monthly pregnancy journals. All couples provided baseline blood/urine samples; 94% of men provided one or more semen samples and 98% of women provided one or more saliva samples. Women successfully used urinary fertility monitors for identifying ovulation and home pregnancy test kits. Couples can be recruited for preconception cohorts and will comply with intensive data collection across sensitive windows. However, appropriately sized sampling frameworks are critical, given the small percentage of couples contacted found eligible and reportedly planning pregnancy at any point in time.

  19. Melatonin differentially affects vascular blood flow in humans.

    PubMed

    Cook, Jonathan S; Sauder, Charity L; Ray, Chester A

    2011-02-01

    Melatonin is synthesized and released into the circulation by the pineal gland in a circadian rhythm. Melatonin has been demonstrated to differentially alter blood flow to assorted vascular beds by the activation of different melatonin receptors in animal models. The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of melatonin on blood flow to various vascular beds in humans. Renal (Doppler ultrasound), forearm (venous occlusion plethysmography), and cerebral blood flow (transcranial Doppler), arterial blood pressure, and heart rate were measured in 10 healthy subjects (29±1 yr; 5 men and 5 women) in the supine position for 3 min. The protocol began 45 min after the ingestion of either melatonin (3 mg) or placebo (sucrose). Subjects returned at least 2 days later at the same time of day to repeat the trial after ingesting the other substance. Melatonin did not alter heart rate and mean arterial pressure. Renal blood flow velocity (RBFV) and renal vascular conductance (RVC) were lower during the melatonin trial compared with placebo (RBFV, 40.5±2.9 vs. 45.4±1.5 cm/s; and RVC, 0.47±0.02 vs. 0.54±0.01 cm·s(-1)·mmHg(-1), respectively). In contrast, forearm blood flow (FBF) and forearm vascular conductance (FVC) were greater with melatonin compared with placebo (FBF, 2.4±0.2 vs. 1.9±0.1 ml·100 ml(-1)·min(-1); and FVC, 0.029±0.003 vs. 0.023±0.002 arbitrary units, respectively). Melatonin did not alter cerebral blood flow measurements compared with placebo. Additionally, phentolamine (5-mg bolus) after melatonin reversed the decrease in RVC, suggesting that melatonin increases sympathetic outflow to the kidney to mediate renal vasoconstriction. In summary, exogenous melatonin differentially alters vascular blood flow in humans. These data suggest the complex nature of melatonin on the vasculature in humans.

  20. Human monocyte differentiation stage affects response to arachidonic acid.

    PubMed

    Escobar-Alvarez, Elizabeth; Pelaez, Carlos A; García, Luis F; Rojas, Mauricio

    2010-01-01

    AA-induced cell death mechanisms acting on human monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM), U937 promonocytes and PMA-differentiated U937 cells were studied. Arachidonic acid induced apoptosis and necrosis in monocytes and U937 cells but only apoptosis in MDM and U937D cells. AA increased both types of death in Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected cells and increased the percentage of TNFalpha+ cells and reduced IL-10+ cells. Experiments blocking these cytokines indicated that AA-mediated death was TNFalpha- and IL-10-independent. The differences in AA-mediated cell death could be explained by high ROS, calpain and sPLA-2 production and activity in monocytes. Blocking sPLA-2 in monocytes and treatment with antioxidants favored M. tuberculosis control whereas AA enhanced M. tuberculosis growth in MDM. Such evidence suggested that AA-modulated effector mechanisms depend on mononuclear phagocytes' differentiation stage.

  1. International study of factors affecting human chromosome translocations

    PubMed Central

    Sigurdson, Alice J.; Ha, Mina; Hauptmann, Michael; Bhatti, Parveen; Sram, Radim J.; Beskid, Olena; Tawn, E. Janet; Whitehouse, Caroline A.; Lindholm, Carita; Nakano, Mimako; Kodama, Yoshiaki; Nakamura, Nori; Vorobtsova, Irena; Oestreicher, Ursula; Stephan, Günther; Yong, Lee C.; Bauchinger, Manfred; Schmid, Ernst; Chung, Hai Won; Darroudi, Firouz; Roy, Laurence; Voisin, Phillipe; Barquinero, Joan F.; Livingston, Gordon; Blakey, David; Hayata, Isamu; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Chunyan; Bennett, L. Michelle; Littlefield, L. Gayle; Edwards, Alan A.; Kleinerman, Ruth A.; Tucker, James D.

    2009-01-01

    Chromosome translocations in peripheral blood lymphocytes of normal, healthy humans increase with age, but the effects of gender, race, and cigarette smoking on background translocation yields have not been examined systematically. Further, the shape of the relationship between age and translocation frequency (TF) has not been definitively determined. We collected existing data from sixteen laboratories in North America, Europe, and Asia on TFs measured in peripheral blood lymphocytes by fluorescence in situ hybridization whole chromosome painting among 1933 individuals. In Poisson regression models, age, ranging from newborns (cord blood) to 85 years, was strongly associated with TF and this relationship showed significant upward curvature at older ages vs. a linear relationship (p <0.001). Ever smokers had significantly higher TFs than non-smokers (rate ratio (RR) = 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–1.30) and smoking modified the effect of age on TFs with a steeper age-related increase among ever smokers compared to non-smokers (p<0.001). TFs did not differ by gender. Interpreting an independent effect of race was difficult owing to laboratory variation. Our study is three times larger than any pooled effort to date, confirming a suspected curvilinear relationship of TF with age. The significant effect of cigarette smoking has not been observed with previous pooled studies of TF in humans. Our data provide stable estimates of background TF by age, gender, race, and smoking status and suggest an acceleration of chromosome damage above age 60 and among those with a history of smoking cigarettes. PMID:18337160

  2. A human reproductive approach to the study of infertility in chimpanzees: An experience at Leon’s Zoological Park, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Piña-Aguilar, Raul Eduardo; López-Saucedo, Janet; Ruiz-Galaz, Lilia Ivone; Barroso-Padilla, José de Jesús; Gallegos-Rivas, Mayra Celina; González-Ortega, Claudia; Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez, Antonio Martin

    2016-01-01

    Great apes are mammals close to humans in their genetic, behavioral, social and evolutionary characteristics and new genomic information is revolutionizing our understanding of evolution in primates. However, all these species are endangered. While there are many global programs to protect these species, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) projects that in a near future the wild populations will decrease significantly. Nowadays, the relevance of captive populations of great apes is becoming critical for research and understanding of pathophysiology of diseases. In this report, the evaluation of infertility in a group of captive chimpanzees maintained at Leon’s Zoological Park using a human infertility protocol is described. Our results suggested that infertility in this group was due to low hormonal levels and sperm alterations in the male characterized by hormonal assessment and a sperm sample obtained by electroejaculation and cryopreserved using human protocols. In the females, it was demonstrated that it is possible to follow the follicular cycle using non-invasive methods based on morphological changes in genitalia, detection of blood in urine and measurement of hormones in saliva samples; concluding that fertility in females was normal. Also, we demonstrate that human artificial insemination procedures may be applied. Our human approach was successful in finding the infertility cause in this group of captive chimpanzees. In countries with limited resources, collaboration of zoos with human infertility clinics can be beneficial for research and management of reproductive aspects of great apes. PMID:27872723

  3. A human reproductive approach to the study of infertility in chimpanzees: An experience at Leon's Zoological Park, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Piña-Aguilar, Raul Eduardo; López-Saucedo, Janet; Ruiz-Galaz, Lilia Ivone; Barroso-Padilla, José de Jesús; Gallegos-Rivas, Mayra Celina; González-Ortega, Claudia; Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez, Antonio Martin

    2016-01-01

    Great apes are mammals close to humans in their genetic, behavioral, social and evolutionary characteristics and new genomic information is revolutionizing our understanding of evolution in primates. However, all these species are endangered. While there are many global programs to protect these species, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) projects that in a near future the wild populations will decrease significantly. Nowadays, the relevance of captive populations of great apes is becoming critical for research and understanding of pathophysiology of diseases. In this report, the evaluation of infertility in a group of captive chimpanzees maintained at Leon's Zoological Park using a human infertility protocol is described. Our results suggested that infertility in this group was due to low hormonal levels and sperm alterations in the male characterized by hormonal assessment and a sperm sample obtained by electroejaculation and cryopreserved using human protocols. In the females, it was demonstrated that it is possible to follow the follicular cycle using non-invasive methods based on morphological changes in genitalia, detection of blood in urine and measurement of hormones in saliva samples; concluding that fertility in females was normal. Also, we demonstrate that human artificial insemination procedures may be applied. Our human approach was successful in finding the infertility cause in this group of captive chimpanzees. In countries with limited resources, collaboration of zoos with human infertility clinics can be beneficial for research and management of reproductive aspects of great apes.

  4. Human Sperm Quality and Metal Toxicants: Protective Effects of some Flavonoids on Male Reproductive Function

    PubMed Central

    Jamalan, Mostafa; Ghaffari, Mohammad Ali; Hoseinzadeh, Pooneh; Hashemitabar, Mahmoud; Zeinali, Majid

    2016-01-01

    Background Metals can cause male infertility through affection of spermatogenesis and sperm quality. Strong evidences confirm that male infertility in metal-exposed humans is mediated via various mechanisms such as production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Flavonoids have antioxidant and metal chelating properties which make them suitable candidates for neutralizing adverse effects of metals on semen quality. In the current study, we have evaluated the effects of five types of flavonoids (rutin, naringin, kaempferol, quercetin, and catechin) on recovery of sperm motility and prevention of membrane oxidative damage from aluminum chloride (AlCl3), cadmium chloride (CdCl2), and lead chloride (PbCl4). Materials and Methods In this experimental study, motility and lipid peroxidation of metalexposed sperm was investigated in the presence of different concentrations of five kinds of flavonoids. Malondialdehyde (MDA) production was assessed as a lipid peroxidation marker. Results Aluminum chloride (AlCl3), cadmium chloride (CdCl2), and lead chloride (PbCl4) diminished sperm motility. Treatment of metal-exposed sperm with rutin, naringin, and kaempferol attenuated the negative effects of the metals on sperm motility. Quercetin and catechin decreased the motility of metal-exposed sperm. Conclusion Based on the MDA production results, only AlCl3 significantly induced lipid peroxidation. Treatment with rutin, naringin, and kaempferol significantly decreased MDA production. PMID:27441055

  5. Maternal administration of flutamide during late gestation affects the brain and reproductive organs development in the rat male offspring.

    PubMed

    Pallarés, M E; Adrover, E; Imsen, M; González, D; Fabre, B; Mesch, V; Baier, C J; Antonelli, M C

    2014-10-10

    We have previously demonstrated that male rats exposed to stress during the last week of gestation present age-specific impairments of brain development. Since the organization of the fetal developing brain is subject to androgen exposure and prenatal stress was reported to disrupt perinatal testosterone surges, the aim of this research was to explore whether abnormal androgen concentrations during late gestation affects the morphology of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), hippocampus (HPC) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), three major areas that were shown to be affected by prenatal stress in our previous studies. We administered 10-mg/kg/day of the androgen receptor antagonist flutamide (4'nitro-3'-trifluoromethylsobutyranilide) or vehicle injections to pregnant rats from days 15-21 of gestation. The antiandrogenic effects of flutamide were confirmed by the analysis of androgen-dependent developmental markers: flutamide-exposed rats showed reduced anogenital distance, delay in the completion of testis descent, hypospadias, cryptorchidism and atrophied seminal vesicles. Brain morphological studies revealed that prenatal flutamide decreased the number of MAP2 (a microtubule-associated protein type 2, present almost exclusively in dendrites) immunoreactive neuronal processes in all evaluated brain areas, both in prepubertal and adult offspring, suggesting that prenatal androgen disruption induces long-term reductions of the dendritic arborization of several brain structures, affecting the normal connectivity between areas. Moreover, the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunopositive neurons in the VTA of prepubertal offspring was reduced in flutamide rats but reach normal values at adulthood. Our results demonstrate that the effects of prenatal flutamide on the offspring brain morphology resemble several prenatal stress effects suggesting that the mechanism of action of prenatal stress might be related to the impairment of the organizational role of androgens on brain

  6. Noisy human neighbours affect where urban monkeys live

    PubMed Central

    Duarte, Marina H. L.; Vecci, Marco A.; Hirsch, André; Young, Robert J.

    2011-01-01

    Urban areas and many natural habitats are being dominated by a new selection pressure: anthropogenic noise. The ongoing expansion of urban areas, roads and airports throughout the world makes the noise almost omnipresent. Urbanization and the increase of noise levels form a major threat to living conditions in and around cities. Insight into the behavioural strategies of urban survivors may explain the sensitivity of other species to urban selection pressures. Here, we show that urban black-tufted marmosets (Callithrix penicillata) living in noisy urban areas may select their home-range based primarily on ambient noise level. We have tested the hypothesis that the noise from vehicular traffic and visitors in an urban park in Brazil influences the use of home-range (space) by urban marmosets. Marmosets even avoided noisy areas with high food availability. In addition, they systematically preferred the quieter areas even with dynamic changes in the acoustic landscape of the park between weekdays and Sundays (no observations were made on Saturdays). These data provide evidence that the use of home-range by wild animals can be affected by a potential aversive stimulus such as noise pollution. PMID:21715396

  7. MISR Satellite Observations of Aerosol Types Affecting Human Health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalashnikova, O. V.; Franklin, M.; Garay, M. J.; Diner, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    Ground-based observations of pollutants and concentrations of particulate matter (PM), that includes small particles designated PM2.5 and dust-dominated PM10, are the gold standard in studies of environmental impacts on human health. However, because monitoring stations are costly, they typically provide only limited spatial coverage, especially in rural and remote areas. We will demonstrate how data from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument that has been flying on NASA's Terra Earth Observing System satellite since early 2000 can be used to provide estimates of surface PM types. The current MISR operational aerosol retrieval uses a combination of multi-spectral and multi-angle data to retrieve aerosol optical depth (AOD) and particle property information (including dust AOD) globally at 17.6 km spatial resolution. Using the same algorithm with data collected in all 36-channels at 275 m resolution (Local Mode), which is available over greater Los Angeles area, and also was activated during 2013 DISCOVER-AQ California field campaign, high-resolution 4.4 km aerosol retrievals were performed in addition to the standard 17.6 km retrievals. The 4.4 km spatial resolution of the PM information data is fine enough to be able to resolve local differences in PM loading that may be important for understanding regional health effects of pollution in the region. In particular, we demonstrate that MISR high-resolution AOD retrievals are in better agreement with ground-based aerosol observations and reveal more details about the aerosol spatial variability compared to the MISR standard 17.6 km product. Then we will discuss techniques and show examples of the application of high-resolution MISR data to provide estimates of surface PM for the greater Los Angeles area in 2008 and for California San Joaquin Valley during the 2013 DISCOVER-AQ field campaign. Finally, we will discuss future NASA instruments that will provide new information allowing for better

  8. Factors affecting distribution of airflow in a human tracheobronchial cast.

    PubMed

    Cohen, B S; Sussman, R G; Lippmann, M

    1993-09-01

    Air velocity was measured at end airways of hollow replicate casts of the human tracheobronchial tree in order to determine the flow distribution within casts extending to 3 mm diameter airways. Measurements were made by hot-wire anemometry for constant inspiratory flow rates of 7.5, 15, 30 and 60 L.min-1. Average flow distribution among the lung lobes was as follows: right upper, 18.5%; right middle, 9.2%; right lower, 32.3%; left upper, 15.7%; and left lower, 24.3%. An empirical model derived from the experimental flow distribution data demonstrated the effect of various morphometric parameters of the hollow cast on the distribution of airflow. Airway cross-sectional area, branching angle and total path-length were found to have the greatest influence. As the tracheal flow rate decreased from 60 to 7.5 L.min-1, the influence of branching angle was reduced, while total path-length became more influential. These results provide evidence for the transition of flow regimes within the TB tree within normal physiological flow ranges.

  9. Mimicry profiles are affected by human-induced habitat changes.

    PubMed

    Azmeh, S; Owen, J; Sørensen, K; Grewcock, D; Gilbert, F

    1998-12-07

    Mimicry theory predicts that mimics in a Batesian mimicry complex evolve to resemble models closely, and that there is a limit on the numbers of mimics relative to models. For hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae), supposed mimics of social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, neither of these is true; many mimics are imperfect and in the UK and Europe they outnumber their models manifold. We hypothesized that the high abundance of mimics relative to models in the UK may be the result not just of mimic model dynamics, but of habitat changes caused by humans. Most of the larvae of poor mimics are aphidophagous, and changes from ancient forest to agricultural and/or urban habitats may have vastly augmented aphid numbers. Using new and literature data, we compared mimicry profiles of habitats differing in their degree of habitat disturbance. In both cases more highly disturbed habitats had proportionally more poor mimics and fewer high-fidelity mimics than less disturbed habitats. This supports the hypothesis that habitat change has an effect on model to mimic ratios.

  10. Family poverty affects the rate of human infant brain growth.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Jamie L; Hair, Nicole; Shen, Dinggang G; Shi, Feng; Gilmore, John H; Wolfe, Barbara L; Pollak, Seth D

    2013-01-01

    Living in poverty places children at very high risk for problems across a variety of domains, including schooling, behavioral regulation, and health. Aspects of cognitive functioning, such as information processing, may underlie these kinds of problems. How might poverty affect the brain functions underlying these cognitive processes? Here, we address this question by observing and analyzing repeated measures of brain development of young children between five months and four years of age from economically diverse backgrounds (n = 77). In doing so, we have the opportunity to observe changes in brain growth as children begin to experience the effects of poverty. These children underwent MRI scanning, with subjects completing between 1 and 7 scans longitudinally. Two hundred and three MRI scans were divided into different tissue types using a novel image processing algorithm specifically designed to analyze brain data from young infants. Total gray, white, and cerebral (summation of total gray and white matter) volumes were examined along with volumes of the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes. Infants from low-income families had lower volumes of gray matter, tissue critical for processing of information and execution of actions. These differences were found for both the frontal and parietal lobes. No differences were detected in white matter, temporal lobe volumes, or occipital lobe volumes. In addition, differences in brain growth were found to vary with socioeconomic status (SES), with children from lower-income households having slower trajectories of growth during infancy and early childhood. Volumetric differences were associated with the emergence of disruptive behavioral problems.

  11. Family Poverty Affects the Rate of Human Infant Brain Growth

    PubMed Central

    Hanson, Jamie L.; Hair, Nicole; Shen, Dinggang G.; Shi, Feng; Gilmore, John H.; Wolfe, Barbara L.; Pollak, Seth D.

    2013-01-01

    Living in poverty places children at very high risk for problems across a variety of domains, including schooling, behavioral regulation, and health. Aspects of cognitive functioning, such as information processing, may underlie these kinds of problems. How might poverty affect the brain functions underlying these cognitive processes? Here, we address this question by observing and analyzing repeated measures of brain development of young children between five months and four years of age from economically diverse backgrounds (n = 77). In doing so, we have the opportunity to observe changes in brain growth as children begin to experience the effects of poverty. These children underwent MRI scanning, with subjects completing between 1 and 7 scans longitudinally. Two hundred and three MRI scans were divided into different tissue types using a novel image processing algorithm specifically designed to analyze brain data from young infants. Total gray, white, and cerebral (summation of total gray and white matter) volumes were examined along with volumes of the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes. Infants from low-income families had lower volumes of gray matter, tissue critical for processing of information and execution of actions. These differences were found for both the frontal and parietal lobes. No differences were detected in white matter, temporal lobe volumes, or occipital lobe volumes. In addition, differences in brain growth were found to vary with socioeconomic status (SES), with children from lower-income households having slower trajectories of growth during infancy and early childhood. Volumetric differences were associated with the emergence of disruptive behavioral problems. PMID:24349025

  12. Administration of thyroxine affects the morphometric parameters and VEGF expression in the uterus and placenta and the uterine vascularization but does not affect reproductive parameters in gilts during early gestation.

    PubMed

    Souza, C A; Ocarino, N M; Silva, J F; Boeloni, J N; Nascimento, E F; Silva, I J; Castro, R D; Moreira, L P; Almeida, F R C L; Chiarini-Garcia, H; Serakides, R

    2011-02-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of thyroxine administration on morphometric parameters, expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and vascularization in the uterus and placenta and reproductive parameters in gilts at 70 days of gestation. At 150 days of age, i.e., before first heat, 20 gilts were randomly divided into two experimental groups: treated (n=10) and control (n=10). The treated group received a daily dose of 400 μg of L-thyroxine (T(4)) in their diet until slaughter and the control group received only typical meals. Before artificial insemination, blood was collected to determine plasma total T(4). The gilts were inseminated in the second oestrus and slaughtered at 70 days of gestation. The foetal thyroid follicular epithelium height, number, size and weight of foetuses; foetal myogenesis, corpora lutea number, embryonic mortality rate, uterine weight, placental weight and placental fluid volume were measured. Histomorphometric and immunohistochemical analysis of uterus and placenta were determined. The averages of all variables were compared by the Student's t-test. The gilts treated with thyroxine showed significant increase of plasma total T(4). At 70 days of gestation, the heights of the trophoblastic epithelium, endometrial epithelium and endometrial gland epithelium were significantly higher in the group treated with T(4). The expression of cytoplasmatic and nuclear VEGF in trophoblastic cells and the number of blood vessels per field in endometrial stroma were significantly higher in the gilts treated with T(4). No other significant differences between groups were obtained with respect to other parameters (p>0.05). We conclude that oral administration of T(4) up to 70 days of pregnancy in gilts affects the morphometric parameters, the expression of placental VEGF and the uterine vascularization but does not affect reproductive parameters in gilts during early gestation.

  13. What experimental experience affects dogs' comprehension of human communicative actions?

    PubMed

    Hauser, Marc D; Comins, Jordan A; Pytka, Lisa M; Cahill, Donal P; Velez-Calderon, Sofia

    2011-01-01

    Studies of dogs report that individuals reliably respond to the goal-directed communicative actions (e.g., pointing) of human experimenters. All of these studies use some version of a multi-trial approach, thereby allowing for the possibility of rapid learning within an experimental session. The experiments reported here ask whether dogs can respond correctly to a communicative action based on only a single presentation, thereby eliminating the possibility of learning within the experimental context. We tested 173 dogs. For each dog reaching our test criteria, we used a single presentation of six different goal-directed actions within a session, asking whether they correctly follow to a target goal (container with concealed food) a (1) distal hand point, (2) step toward one container, (3) hand point to one container followed by step toward the other, (4) step toward one container and point to the other, (5) distal foot point with the experimenter's hands free, and (6) distal foot point with the experimenter's hands occupied. Given only a single presentation, dogs selected the correct container when the experimenter hand pointed, foot pointed with hands occupied, or stepped closer to the target container, but failed on the other actions, despite using the same method. The fact that dogs correctly followed foot pointing with hands occupied, but not hands free, suggests that they are sensitive to environmental constraints, and use this information to infer rational, goal-directed action. We discuss these results in light of the role of experience in recognizing communicative gestures, as well as the significance of coding criteria for studies of canine competence.

  14. Visual stimulus eccentricity affects human gamma peak frequency.

    PubMed

    van Pelt, Stan; Fries, Pascal

    2013-09-01

    The peak frequency of neuronal gamma-band synchronization has received much attention in recent years. Gamma peak frequency shifts to higher frequency values for higher contrast, faster moving, and attended stimuli. In monkey V1, gamma peak frequency for a drifting grating is higher for a parafoveal as compared to an eccentric stimulus (Lima et al., 2010). This effect might be due to the cortical magnification factor: the higher cortical magnification for parafoveal stimuli increases the velocity with which the cortical representations of the moving grating stripes move across the cortical surface. Since faster moving stimuli lead to higher gamma frequency, a faster moving cortical representation might do the