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Sample records for affect human reproduction

  1. 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.

  2. DESTAF: a database of text-mined associations for reproductive toxins potentially affecting human fertility.

    PubMed

    Dawe, Adam S; Radovanovic, Aleksandar; Kaur, Mandeep; Sagar, Sunil; Seshadri, Sundararajan V; Schaefer, Ulf; Kamau, Allan A; Christoffels, Alan; Bajic, Vladimir B

    2012-01-01

    The Dragon Exploration System for Toxicants and Fertility (DESTAF) is a publicly available resource which enables researchers to efficiently explore both known and potentially novel information and associations in the field of reproductive toxicology. To create DESTAF we used data from the literature (including over 10500 PubMed abstracts), several publicly available biomedical repositories, and specialized, curated dictionaries. DESTAF has an interface designed to facilitate rapid assessment of the key associations between relevant concepts, allowing for a more in-depth exploration of information based on different gene/protein-, enzyme/metabolite-, toxin/chemical-, disease- or anatomically centric perspectives. As a special feature, DESTAF allows for the creation and initial testing of potentially new association hypotheses that suggest links between biological entities identified through the database. DESTAF, along with a PDF manual, can be found at http://cbrc.kaust.edu.sa/destaf. It is free to academic and non-commercial users and will be updated quarterly. PMID:22198179

  3. 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)

  4. 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. PMID:26574894

  5. Advances in human reproductive ecology.

    PubMed

    Ellison, P T

    1994-01-01

    Human reproductive ecology pertains to reproduction biology and changes due to environmental influences. The research literature relies on clinical, epidemiological, and demographic analysis. The emphasis is on normal, nonpathological states and a broad range of ecological conditions. This review focused on the importance of age and energetic stress from ecological conditions rather than dieting or self-directed exercise in changing female fecundity. The literature on male reproductive ecology is still small but growing. J.W. Wood provided a comprehensive overview of the field. Natural fertility, as defined by Henry, is the lack of parity-specific fertility limitation. There is evidence that fertility can vary widely in natural fertility populations. There are consistent age patterns among different natural fertility populations. Doring found that there was higher frequency of anovulatory and luteal insufficiency in cycles during perimenarche and perimenopausal periods. Infertility studies have shown declines in pregnancy rates in women over the age of 30 years. Ovum donation evaluations have found both uterine age and ovarian and oocyte age to be related to the probability of a successful pregnancy. Basal follicle stimulating hormone and the endometrial thickness are important predictors of ovarian capacity and related to age and declining fecundity. Much of the literature on fecundity is derived from women with impaired reproductive physiology. In Lipson and Ellison's study of healthy women, average follicular and average luteal estradiol values declined with increasing subject age. Low follicular levels were correlated with smaller follicular size, low oocyte fertilizability, reduced endometrial thickness, and low pregnancy rates. Comparisons across populations have shown that populations experience declines in luteal function with age, but levels of luteal functions varied widely. Chronic conditions which slow growth and delay reproductive maturation may impact

  6. 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. PMID:24000935

  7. Leptin: a possible metabolic signal affecting reproduction.

    PubMed

    Spicer, L J

    2001-11-01

    Since its discovery in 1994, leptin, a protein hormone synthesized and secreted by adipose tissue, has been shown to regulate feed intake in several species including sheep and pigs. Although a nimiety of information exists regarding the physiological role of leptin in rodents and humans, the regulation and action of leptin in domestic animals is less certain. Emerging evidence in several species indicates that leptin may also affect the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. Leptin receptor mRNA is present in the anterior pituitary and hypothalamus of several species, including sheep. In rats, effects of leptin on GnRH, LH and FSH secretion have been inconsistent, with leptin exhibiting both stimulatory and inhibitory action in vivo and in vitro. Evidence to support direct action of leptin at the level of the gonad indicates that the leptin receptor and its mRNA are present in ovarian tissue of several species, including cattle. These leptin receptors are functional, since leptin inhibits insulin-induced steroidogenesis of both granulosa and thecal cells of cattle in vitro. Leptin receptor mRNA is also found in the testes of rodents. As with the ovary, these receptors are functional, at least in rats, since leptin inhibits hCG-induced testosterone secretion by Leydig cells in vitro. During pregnancy, placental production of leptin may be a major contributor to the increase in maternal leptin in primates but not rodents. However, in both primates and rodents, leptin receptors exist in placental tissues and may regulate metabolism of the fetal-placental unit. As specific leptin immunoassays are developed for domestic animals, in vivo associations may then be made among leptin, body energy stores, dietary energy intake and reproductive function. This may lead to a more definitive role of leptin in domestic animal reproduction. PMID:11872320

  8. Reproductive conflict and the separation of reproductive generations in humans

    PubMed Central

    Cant, Michael A.; Johnstone, Rufus A.

    2008-01-01

    An enduring puzzle of human life history is why women cease reproduction midway through life. Selection can favor postreproductive survival because older females can help their offspring to reproduce. But the kin-selected fitness gains of helping appear insufficient to outweigh the potential benefits of continued reproduction. Why then do women cease reproduction in the first place? Here, we suggest that early reproductive cessation in humans is the outcome of reproductive competition between generations, and we present a simple candidate model of how this competition will be resolved. We show that among primates exhibiting a postreproductive life span, humans exhibit an extraordinarily low degree of reproductive overlap between generations. The rapid senescence of the human female reproductive system coincides with the age at which, in natural fertility populations, women are expected to encounter reproductive competition from breeding females of the next generation. Several lines of evidence suggest that in ancestral hominids, this younger generation typically comprised immigrant females. In these circumstances, relatedness asymmetries within families are predicted to give younger females a decisive advantage in reproductive conflict with older females. A model incorporating both the costs of reproductive competition and the benefits of grandmothering can account for the timing of reproductive cessation in humans and so offers an improved understanding of the evolution of menopause. PMID:18378891

  9. Parthenogenesis and Human Assisted Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Bos-Mikich, Adriana; Bressan, Fabiana F; Ruggeri, Rafael R; Watanabe, Yeda; Meirelles, Flávio V

    2016-01-01

    Parthenogenetic activation of human oocytes obtained from infertility treatments has gained new interest in recent years as an alternative approach to create embryos with no reproductive purpose for research in areas such as assisted reproduction technologies itself, somatic cell, and nuclear transfer experiments and for derivation of clinical grade pluripotent embryonic stem cells for regenerative medicine. Different activating methods have been tested on human and nonhuman oocytes, with varying degrees of success in terms of parthenote generation rates, embryo development stem cell derivation rates. Success in achieving a standardized artificial activation methodology for human oocytes and the subsequent potential therapeutic gain obtained from these embryos depends mainly on the availability of gametes donated from infertility treatments. This review will focus on the creation of parthenotes from clinically unusable oocytes for derivation and establishment of human parthenogenetic stem cell lines and their potential applications in regenerative medicine. PMID:26635881

  10. Parthenogenesis and Human Assisted Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Bos-Mikich, Adriana; Bressan, Fabiana F.; Ruggeri, Rafael R.; Watanabe, Yeda; Meirelles, Flávio V.

    2016-01-01

    Parthenogenetic activation of human oocytes obtained from infertility treatments has gained new interest in recent years as an alternative approach to create embryos with no reproductive purpose for research in areas such as assisted reproduction technologies itself, somatic cell, and nuclear transfer experiments and for derivation of clinical grade pluripotent embryonic stem cells for regenerative medicine. Different activating methods have been tested on human and nonhuman oocytes, with varying degrees of success in terms of parthenote generation rates, embryo development stem cell derivation rates. Success in achieving a standardized artificial activation methodology for human oocytes and the subsequent potential therapeutic gain obtained from these embryos depends mainly on the availability of gametes donated from infertility treatments. This review will focus on the creation of parthenotes from clinically unusable oocytes for derivation and establishment of human parthenogenetic stem cell lines and their potential applications in regenerative medicine. PMID:26635881

  11. 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. PMID:26515381

  12. Microbes Central to Human Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25250861

  13. 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. PMID:25250861

  14. 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. PMID:18410290

  15. DEHP Impairs Zebrafish Reproduction by Affecting Critical Factors in Oogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Carnevali, Oliana; Tosti, Luca; Speciale, Claudia; Peng, Chun; Zhu, Yong; Maradonna, Francesca

    2010-01-01

    Public concerns on phthalates distributions in the environment have been increasing since they can cause liver cancer, structural abnormalities and reduce sperm counts in male reproductive system. However, few data are actually available on the effects of Di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP) in female reproductive system. The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of DEHP on zebrafish oogenesis and embryo production. Female Danio rerio were exposed to environmentally relevant doses of DEHP and a significant decrease in ovulation and embryo production was observed. The effects of DEHP on several key regulators of oocyte maturation and ovulation including bone morphogenetic protein-15 (BMP15), luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR), membrane progesterone receptors (mPRs) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 (ptgs2) were determined by real time PCR. The expressions of BMP15 and mPR proteins were further determined by Western analyses to strengthen molecular findings. Moreover, plasma vitellogenin (vtg) titers were assayed by an ELISA procedure to determine the estrogenic effects of DEHP and its effects on oocyte growth. A significant reduction of fecundity in fish exposed to DEHP was observed. The reduced reproductive capacity was associated with an increase in ovarian BMP15 levels. This rise, in turn, was concomitant with a significant reduction in LHR and mPRβ levels. Finally, ptgs2 expression, the final trigger of ovulation, was also decreased by DEHP. By an in vitro maturation assay, the inhibitory effect of DEHP on germinal vesicle breakdown was further confirmed. In conclusion, DEHP affecting signals involved in oocyte growth (vtg), maturation (BMP15, LHR, mPRs,) and ovulation (ptgs2), deeply impairs ovarian functions with serious consequences on embryo production. Since there is a significant genetic similarity between D.rerio and humans, the harmful effects observed at oocyte level may be relevant for further molecular studies on humans. PMID:20419165

  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. Ethical issues in human reproduction: Catholic perspectives.

    PubMed

    Lanzone, Antonio

    2013-11-01

    The catholic perspective in human reproduction is based on the concept that the human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception. In this paper the ethical implications derived from such a principle are discussed. PMID:24020861

  18. Human follicular fluid and effects on reproduction.

    PubMed

    Basuino, Laís; Silveira, Carolina F

    2016-01-01

    Fertility - the ability to produce offspring - is considered a prerequisite for the development and perpetuation of species. Several factors may positively or negatively affect one's reproductive capabilities, such as regular exercises and maintaining a healthy bodyweight, versus aging, obesity, and stress. Follicular fluid (FF) is a liquid composed primarily of hormones, enzymes, anticoagulants, electrolytes, reactive oxygen species and antioxidants, which fills the follicular antrum and acts as an important mediator in the communication between cells in the antral follicle while bathing and carrying nutrients to the oocyte. Thus, human FF is a key element to the success of natural fertilization present in every stage of the conception process, from the communication between gametes to the development of fully viable embryos, and a vital component in the occurrence of spontaneous pregnancies. This literature review aimed to describe the possible effects of human follicular fluid on the natural fertilization process and to assess its role in follicular growth, oocyte quality, sperm capacitation, fertilization, and early embryonic development. PMID:27203305

  19. Social context and reproductive potential affect worker reproductive decisions in a eusocial insect.

    PubMed

    Yagound, Boris; Blacher, Pierre; Chameron, Stéphane; Châline, Nicolas

    2012-01-01

    Context-dependent decision-making conditions individual plasticity and is an integrant part of alternative reproductive strategies. In eusocial Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps), the discovery of worker reproductive parasitism recently challenged the view of workers as a homogeneous collective entity and stressed the need to consider them as autonomous units capable of elaborate choices which influence their fitness returns. The reproductive decisions of individual workers thus need to be investigated and taken into account to understand the regulation of reproduction in insect societies. However, we know virtually nothing about the proximate mechanisms at the basis of worker reproductive decisions. Here, we test the hypothesis that the capacity of workers to reproduce in foreign colonies lies in their ability to react differently according to the colonial context and whether this reaction is influenced by a particular internal state. Using the bumble bee Bombus terrestris, we show that workers exhibit an extremely high reproductive plasticity which is conditioned by the social context they experience. Fertile workers reintroduced into their mother colony reverted to sterility, as expected. On the contrary, a high level of ovary activity persisted in fertile workers introduced into a foreign nest, and this despite more frequent direct contacts with the queen and the brood than control workers. Foreign workers' reproductive decisions were not affected by the resident queen, their level of fertility being similar whether or not the queen was removed from the host colony. Workers' physiological state at the time of introduction is also of crucial importance, since infertile workers failed to develop a reproductive phenotype in a foreign nest. Therefore, both internal and environmental factors appear to condition individual reproductive strategies in this species, suggesting that more complex decision-making mechanisms are involved in the regulation of worker

  20. 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. PMID:24004295

  1. The synthetic progestin megestrol acetate adversely affects zebrafish reproduction.

    PubMed

    Han, Jian; Wang, Qiangwei; Wang, Xianfeng; Li, Yonggang; Wen, Sheng; Liu, Shan; Ying, Guangguo; Guo, Yongyong; Zhou, Bingsheng

    2014-05-01

    Synthetic progestins contaminate the aquatic ecosystem, and may cause adverse health effects on aquatic organisms. Megestrol acetate (MTA) is present in the aquatic environment, but its possible effects on fish reproduction are unknown. In the present study, we investigated the endocrine disruption and impact of MTA on fish reproduction. After a pre-exposure period of 14 days, reproductively mature zebrafish (Danio rerio) (F0) were exposed to MTA at environmental concentrations (33, 100, 333, and 666 ng/L) for 21 days. Egg production was decreased in F0 fish exposed to MTA, with a significant decrease at 666 ng/L. The exposure significantly decreased the circulating concentrations of estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) in female fish or 11-keto testosterone (11-KT) in male fish. MTA exposure significantly downregulated the transcription of certain genes along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. MTA did not affect early embryonic development or hatching success in the F1 generation. The present study showed that MTA is a potent endocrine disruptor in fish, and short-term exposure to MTA could significantly affect reproduction in fish and negatively impact the fish population. PMID:24647012

  2. 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

  3. The commodification of human reproductive materials.

    PubMed

    Resnik, D B

    1998-12-01

    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

  4. Reproductive interference between Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria affects reproductive success in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Hettyey, Attila; Vági, Balázs; Kovács, Tibor; Ujszegi, János; Katona, Patrik; Szederkényi, Márk; Pearman, Peter B; Griggio, Matteo; Hoi, Herbert

    2014-10-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that reproductive interference between heterospecifics can seriously affect individual fitness; support from field studies for such an effect has, however, remained scarce. We studied reproductive interference in 25 natural breeding ponds in an area where two ranid frogs, Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria, co-occur. The breeding seasons of the two species usually overlap and males of both species are often found in amplexus with heterospecific females, even though matings between heterospecifics produce no viable offspring. We estimated species abundance ratios based on the number of clutches laid and evaluated fertilization success. In ponds with low spatial complexity and a species abundance ratio biased towards R. temporaria, the average fertilization success of R. dalmatina eggs decreased, while this relationship was not detectable in spatially more complex ponds. Fertilization success of R. temporaria did not decrease with increasing relative numbers of heterospecifics. This asymmetry in fitness effects of reproductive interference may be attributed to R. temporaria males being more competitive in scramble competition for females than R. dalmatina males. Our study is among the first to demonstrate that in natural breeding populations of vertebrates interference among heterospecifics has the potential to substantially lower reproductive success at the population level, which may in turn affect population dynamics. PMID:25138258

  5. Seasonal variation in human reproduction: environmental factors.

    PubMed

    Bronson, F H

    1995-06-01

    Almost all human populations exhibit seasonal variation in births, owing mostly to seasonal variation in the frequency of conception. This review focuses on the degree to which environmental factors like nutrition, temperature and photoperiod contribute to these seasonal patterns by acting directly on the reproductive axis. The reproductive strategy of humans is basically that of the apes: Humans have the capacity to reproduce continuously, albeit slowly, unless inhibited by environmental influences. Two, and perhaps three, environmental factors probably act routinely as seasonal inhibitors in some human populations. First, it seems likely that ovulation is regulated seasonally in populations experiencing seasonal variation in food availability. More specifically, it seems likely that inadequate food intake or the increased energy expenditure required to obtain food, or both, can delay menarche, suppress the frequency of ovulation in the nonlactating adult, and prolong lactational amenorrhea in these populations on a seasonal basis. This action is most easily seen in tropical subsistence societies where food availability often varies greatly owing to seasonal variation in rainfall; hence births in these populations often correlate with rainfall. Second, it seems likely that seasonally high temperatures suppress spermatogenesis enough to influence the incidence of fertilization in hotter latitudes, but possibly only in males wearing clothing that diminishes scrotal cooling. Since most of our knowledge about this phenomenon comes from temperate latitudes, the sensitivity of spermatogenesis in both human and nonhuman primates to heat in the tropics needs further study. It is quite possible that high temperatures suppress ovulation and early embryo survival seasonally in some of these same populations. Since we know less than desired about the effect of heat stress on ovulation and early pregnancy in nonhuman mammals, and nothing at all about it in humans or any of the

  6. 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. PMID:23778256

  7. [The policy of human biological reproduction in Brazil].

    PubMed

    Oliveira, M A

    1992-08-01

    The author presents some of the historical determinations of the policies of human reproduction in Brazil, placing them among other social policies. She argues that reproductive profile of the social classes depends upon not only the biological reproduction, but also upon the work power. PMID:1295016

  8. [The influence of melatonin on human reproduction].

    PubMed

    Boczek-Leszczyk, Emilia; Juszczak, Marlena

    2007-08-01

    This paper reviews the possible participation of melatonin in the process of human reproduction. The results of several studies have shown the clear correlation between melatonin and gonadotropins and/or sexual steroids, which suggest that melatonin may be involved in the sexual maturation, ovulation or menopause. Decreased secretion of melatonin which coexists with increased fertility in the summer is specific for women living on the north hemisphere. Moreover, abnormal levels of melatonin in the blood are associated with several disorders of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonads axis activity, i.e., precocious or delayed pubertas, hypogonadotrophic or hypergonadotrophic hypogonadism or amenorrhoea. Melatonin binding sites have been demonstrated in the central nervous system (mainly in the pars dystalis of the pituitary and hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus) as well as in the reproductive organs, e.g., human granulosa cells, prostate and spermatozoa. Melatonin can, therefore, influence the gonadal function indirectly--via its effect on gonadotropin-releasing hormone and/or gonadotropins secretion. It may also act directly; several data show that melatonin can be synthesized in gonads. PMID:18044344

  9. 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

  10. Reproductive cessation and post-reproductive lifespan in Asian elephants and pre-industrial humans

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Short post-reproductive lifespan is widespread across species, but prolonged post-reproductive life-stages of potential adaptive significance have been reported only in few mammals with extreme longevity. Long post-reproductive lifespan contradicts classical evolutionary predictions of simultaneous senescence in survival and reproduction, and raises the question of whether extreme longevity in mammals promotes such a life-history. Among terrestrial mammals, elephants share the features with great apes and humans, of having long lifespan and offspring with long dependency. However, little data exists on the frequency of post-reproductive lifespan in elephants. Here we use extensive demographic records on semi-captive Asian elephants (n = 1040) and genealogical data on pre-industrial women (n = 5336) to provide the first comparisons of age-specific reproduction, survival and post-reproductive lifespan in both of these long-lived species. Results We found that fertility decreased after age 50 in elephants, but the pattern differed from a total loss of fertility in menopausal women with many elephants continuing to reproduce at least until the age of 65 years. The probability of entering a non-reproductive state increased steadily in elephants from the earliest age of reproduction until age 65, with the longer living elephants continuing to reproduce until older ages, in contrast to humans whose termination probability increased rapidly after age 35 and reached 1 at 56 years, but did not depend on longevity. Post-reproductive lifespan reached 11–17 years in elephants and 26–27 years in humans living until old age (depending on method), but whereas half of human adult lifespan (of those reproductive females surviving to the age of 5% fecundity) was spent as post-reproductive, only one eighth was in elephants. Consequently, although some elephants have long post-reproductive lifespans, relatively few individuals reach such a phase and the

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Promoting Reproductive Options for HIV-Affected Couples in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Mmeje, Okeoma; Cohen, Craig R.; Murage, Alfred; Ong’ech, John; Kiarie, James; van der Poel, Sheryl

    2014-01-01

    HIV-affected couples have unique challenges that require access to information and reproductive services which prevent HIV transmission to the uninfected partner and offspring while allowing couples to fulfill their reproductive goals. In high HIV prevalent regions of sub-Saharan Africa, HIV-affected couples require multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) to enhance their reproductive healthcare options beyond contraception and prevention of HIV/sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to include assistance in childbearing. The unique characteristics of the condom and its accepted use in conjunction with safer conception interventions allow HIV-serodiscordant couples an opportunity to maintain reproductive health, prevent HIV/STI transmission, and achieve their reproductive goals while timing conception. Rethinking the traditional view of the condom and incorporating a broader reproductive health perspective of HIV-affected couples into MPT methodologies will impact demand, acceptability, and uptake of these future technologies. PMID:25335844

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:11070641

  16. Analgesic exposure in pregnant rats affects fetal germ cell development with inter-generational reproductive consequences

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Afshan; van den Driesche, Sander; Wang, Yili; McKinnell, Chris; Macpherson, Sheila; Eddie, Sharon L.; Kinnell, Hazel; Hurtado-Gonzalez, Pablo; Chambers, Tom J.; Stevenson, Kerrie; Wolfinger, Elke; Hrabalkova, Lenka; Calarrao, Ana; Bayne, Rosey AL; Hagen, Casper P.; Mitchell, Rod T.; Anderson, Richard A.; Sharpe, Richard M.

    2016-01-01

    Analgesics which affect prostaglandin (PG) pathways are used by most pregnant women. As germ cells (GC) undergo developmental and epigenetic changes in fetal life and are PG targets, we investigated if exposure of pregnant rats to analgesics (indomethacin or acetaminophen) affected GC development and reproductive function in resulting offspring (F1) or in the F2 generation. Exposure to either analgesic reduced F1 fetal GC number in both sexes and altered the tempo of fetal GC development sex-dependently, with delayed meiotic entry in oogonia but accelerated GC differentiation in males. These effects persisted in adult F1 females as reduced ovarian and litter size, whereas F1 males recovered normal GC numbers and fertility by adulthood. F2 offspring deriving from an analgesic-exposed F1 parent also exhibited sex-specific changes. F2 males exhibited normal reproductive development whereas F2 females had smaller ovaries and reduced follicle numbers during puberty/adulthood; as similar changes were found for F2 offspring of analgesic-exposed F1 fathers or mothers, we interpret this as potentially indicating an analgesic-induced change to GC in F1. Assuming our results are translatable to humans, they raise concerns that analgesic use in pregnancy could potentially affect fertility of resulting daughters and grand-daughters. PMID:26813099

  17. Allopregnanolone as a Mediator of Affective Switching in Reproductive Mood Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Schiller, Crystal Edler; Schmidt, Peter J.; Rubinow, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Rationale Reproductive mood disorders, including premenstrual dysphoria (PMD) and postpartum depression (PPD), are characterized by affective dysregulation that occurs during specific reproductive states. The occurrence of illness onset during changes in reproductive endocrine function has generated interest in the role of gonadal steroids in the pathophysiology of reproductive mood disorders, yet the mechanisms by which the changing hormone milieu triggers depression in susceptible women remain poorly understood. Objectives This review focuses on one of the neurosteroid metabolites of progesterone – allopregnanolone (ALLO) – that acutely regulates neuronal function and may mediate affective dysregulation that occurs concomitant with changes in reproductive endocrine function. We describe the role of the ‘neuroactive’ steroids estradiol and progesterone in reproductive endocrine-related mood disorders to highlight the potential mechanisms by which ALLO might contribute to their pathophysiology. Finally, using existing data, we test the hypothesis that changes in ALLO levels may trigger affective dysregulation in susceptible women. Results Although there is no reliable evidence that basal ALLO levels distinguish those with PMD or PPD from those without, existing animal models suggest potential mechanisms by which specific reproductive states may unmask susceptibility to affective dysregulation. Consistent with these models, initially euthymic women with PMD and those with a history of PPD show a negative association between depressive symptoms and circulating ALLO levels following progesterone administration. Conclusions Existing animal models and our own preliminary data suggest that ALLO may play an important role in the pathophysiology of reproductive mood disorders by triggering affective dysregulation in susceptible women. PMID:24846476

  18. Effect of the Human Genome Initiative on women's rights and reproductive decisions.

    PubMed

    Charo, R Alta

    1993-04-01

    The Human Genome Project is likely to exacerbate historic tendencies to balance demographic concerns on the backs of women. This kind of policy is unjustified in law and violates classic theories of justice. Reproductive decision making, which affects women personally, is not the legitimate domain of community concern or manipulation. PMID:11653014

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:18983736

  3. 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. PMID:17115496

  4. Human Papillomavirus Infection, Infertility, and Assisted Reproductive Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Nigel; Kucharczyk, Katherine M.; Estes, Jaclyn L.; Gerber, Rachel S.; Lekovich, Jovana P.; Elias, Rony T.; Spandorfer, Steven D.

    2015-01-01

    The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection common among men and women across all geographic and socioeconomic subgroups worldwide. Recent evidence suggests that HPV infection may affect fertility and alter the efficacy of assisted reproductive technologies. In men, HPV infection can affect sperm parameters, specifically motility. HPV-infected sperm can transmit viral DNA to oocytes, which may be expressed in the developing blastocyst. HPV can increase trophoblastic apoptosis and reduce the endometrial implantation of trophoblastic cells, thus increasing the theoretical risk of miscarriage. Vertical transmission of HPV during pregnancy may be involved in the pathophysiology of preterm rupture of membranes and spontaneous preterm birth. In patients undergoing intrauterine insemination for idiopathic infertility, HPV infection confers a lower pregnancy rate. In contrast, the evidence regarding any detrimental impact of HPV infection on IVF outcomes is inconclusive. It has been suggested that vaccination could potentially counter HPV-related sperm impairment, trophoblastic apoptosis, and spontaneous miscarriages; however, these conclusions are based on in vitro studies rather than large-scale epidemiological studies. Improvement in the understanding of HPV sperm infection mechanisms and HPV transmission into the oocyte and developing blastocyst may help explain idiopathic causes of infertility and miscarriage. PMID:26609434

  5. Critical windows of exposure for children's health: the reproductive system in animals and humans.

    PubMed Central

    Pryor, J L; Hughes, C; Foster, W; Hales, B F; Robaire, B

    2000-01-01

    Drugs and environmental chemicals can adversely affect the reproductive system. Currently, available data indicate that the consequences of exposure depend on the nature of the chemical, its target, and the timing of exposure relative to critical windows in development of the reproductive system. The reproductive system is designed to produce gametes in far greater excess than would seem to be necessary for the survival of species. Ten to hundreds of millions of spermatozoa are generated daily by most adult male mammals, yet very few of these germ cells succeed in transmitting their genetic material to the next generation. Although the number of oocytes produced in mammalian females is more limited, and their production occurs only during fetal life, most ovaries contain several orders of magnitude more oocytes than ever will be fertilized. Toxicant exposures may affect critical events in the development of the reproductive system, ranging from early primordial germ cell determination to gonadal differentiation, gametogenesis, external genitalia, or signaling events regulating sexual behavior. Although there are differences between the human reproductive system and that of the usual animal models, such models have been extremely useful in assessing risks for key human reproductive and developmental processes. The objectives for future studies should include the elucidation of the specific cellular and molecular targets of known toxicants; the design of a systematic approach to the identification of reproductive toxicants; and the development of sensitive, specific, and predictive animal models, minimally invasive surrogate markers, or in vitro tests to assess reproductive system function during embryonic, postnatal, and adult life. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 PMID:10852849

  6. 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. PMID:26831072

  7. 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

  8. Integrated Reproduction of Human Motion Components by Motion Copying System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsunashima, Noboru; Katsura, Seiichiro

    Currently, the development of leading-edge technology for recording and loading human motion on the basis of haptic information is required in the field of manufacturing and human support. Human movement is an assembly of motion components. Since human movements should be supported by a robot in real time, it is necessary to integrate the morion components, which were saved earlier. Once such motion integration is realized, future technology for use in daily human life is developed. This paper proposes the integrated reproduction of the decomposed components of human motion by using a motion copying system. This system is the key technology for the realization of the acquisition, saving and reproduction of the real-world haptic information. By the proposed method, it is possible not only to achieve expert skill acquisition, skill transfer to robots, and power assist for each motion component but also to open up new areas of applications.

  9. 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.

  10. How female education affects reproductive behavior in urban Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Sathar, Z A; Mason, K O

    1993-01-01

    Although Pakistan remains in a pretransitional stage (contraceptive prevalence of only 11.9% among married women in 1992), urban women with post-primary levels of education are spearheading the gradual move toward fertility transition. Data collected in the city of Karachi in 1987 were used to determine whether the inverse association between fertility and female education is attributable to child supply variables, demand factors, or fertility regulation costs. Karachi, with its high concentration of women with secondary educations employed in professional occupations, has a contraceptive prevalence rate of 31%. Among women married for less than 20 years, a 10-year increment in education predicts that a woman will average two-fifths of a child less than other women in the previous 5 years. Regression analysis identified 4 significant intervening variables in the education-fertility relationship: marriage duration, net family income, formal sector employment, and age at first marriage. Education appears to affect fertility because it promotes a later age at marriage and thus reduces life-time exposure to the risk of childbearing, induces women to marry men with higher incomes (a phenomenon that either reduces the cost of fertility regulation or the demand for children), leads women to become employed in the formal sector (leading to a reduction in the demand for children), and has other unspecified effects on women's values or opportunities that are captured by their birth cohort. When these intervening variables are held constant, women's attitude toward family planning loses its impact on fertility, as do women's domestic autonomy and their expectations of self-support in old age. These findings lend support to increased investments in female education in urban Pakistan as a means of limiting the childbearing of married women. Although it is not clear if investment in female education would have the same effect in rural Pakistan, such action is important from a

  11. 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. PMID:23124333

  12. 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)

  13. 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

    2011-01-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:20595703

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:17012502

  18. [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. PMID:10822640

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. NTP-CERHR Monograph on the Potential Human Reproductive and Developmental Effects of Fluoxetine.

    PubMed

    2004-11-01

    The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) conducted an evaluation of the potential for fluoxetine to cause adverse effects on reproduction and development in humans. Fluoxetine (Prozac(R); Serafemtrade mark) was selected for evaluation because of 1) sufficient reproductive and developmental studies, 2) human exposure information, 3) changing prescription patterns, and 4) public concern about potential reproductive and/or developmental hazards associated with exposure. Fluoxetine, an antidepressant, is also prescribed to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder and has recently been approved for use in 7-17 year-olds. The results of this evaluation on fluoxetine are published in an NTP-CERHR monograph which includes: 1) the NTP Brief, 2) the Expert Panel Report on the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of Fluoxetine, 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 fluoxetine on human development and reproduction. First, there is some concern for developmental effects, specifically shortened gestation and poor neonatal adaptation at therapeutic doses (20-80 mg/day). This conclusion is based on evidence from human studies that fluoxetine produces an increased rate of poor neonatal adaptation and that fluoxetine exposure during pregnancy can result in a shortened gestation and reduced birth weight at term. Second, there is minimal concern for adverse reproductive effects in fluoxetine-exposed adults. Evidence from human studies show that therapeutic doses of fluoxetine may, in both men and women, result in reversible, impaired sexual function, specifically a delay in or an inability to achieve orgasm. Finally, there are insufficient data to draw conclusions on 1) an association between fluoxetine therapy in pregnant women and pregnancy loss; and 2) on how breast milk or therapeutic

  2. 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.

  3. Manifestations of immune tolerance in the human female reproductive tract

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Gary F.; Schust, Danny J.

    2012-01-01

    Like other mucosal surfaces (e.g., the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract), the human female reproductive tract acts as an initial barrier to foreign antigens. In this role, the epithelial surface and subepithelial immune cells must balance protection against pathogenic insults against harmful inflammatory reactions and acceptance of particular foreign antigens. Two common examples of these acceptable foreign antigens are the fetal allograft and human semen/sperm. Both are purposely deposited into the female genital tract and appropriate immunologic response to these non-self antigens is essential to the survival of the species. In light of the weight of this task, it is not surprising that multiple, redundant and overlapping mechanisms are involved. For instance, cells at the immunologic interface between self (female reproductive tract epithelium) and non-self (placental trophoblast cells or human sperm) express glycosylation patterns that mimic those on many metastatic cancer cells and successful pathogens. The cytokine/chemokine milieu at this interface is altered through endocrine and immunologic mechanisms to favor tolerance of non-self. The “foreign” cells themselves also play an integral role in their own immunologic acceptance, since sperm and placental trophoblast cells are unusual and unique in their antigen presenting molecule expression patterns. Here, we will discuss these and other mechanisms that allow the human female reproductive tract to perform this delicate and indispensible balancing act. PMID:23407606

  4. 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. PMID:25620292

  5. Selenium status affects selenoprotein expression, reproduction, and F₁ generation locomotor activity in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Penglase, Sam; Hamre, Kristin; Rasinger, Josef D; Ellingsen, Staale

    2014-06-14

    Se is an essential trace element, and is incorporated into selenoproteins which play important roles in human health. Mammalian selenoprotein-coding genes are often present as paralogues in teleost fish, and it is unclear whether the expression patterns or functions of these fish paralogues reflect their mammalian orthologues. Using the model species zebrafish (Danio rerio; ZF), we aimed to assess how dietary Se affects key parameters in Se metabolism and utilisation including glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity, the mRNA expression of key Se-dependent proteins (gpx1a, gpx1b, sepp1a and sepp1b), oxidative status, reproductive success and F1 generation locomotor activity. From 27 d until 254 d post-fertilisation, ZF were fed diets with graded levels of Se ranging from deficient ( < 0·10 mg/kg) to toxic (30 mg/kg). The mRNA expression of gpx1a and gpx1b and GPX activity responded in a similar manner to changes in Se status. GPX activity and mRNA levels were lowest when dietary Se levels (0·3 mg/kg) resulted in the maximum growth of ZF, and a proposed bimodal mechanism in response to Se status below and above this dietary Se level was identified. The expression of the sepp1 paralogues differed, with only sepp1a responding to Se status. High dietary Se supplementation (30 mg/kg) decreased reproductive success, while the offspring of ZF fed above 0·3 mg Se/kg diet had lower locomotor activity than the other groups. Overall, the novel finding of low selenoprotein expression and activity coinciding with maximum body growth suggests that even small Se-induced variations in redox status may influence cellular growth rates. PMID:24666596

  6. 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

  7. Ozone affects gas exchange, growth and reproductive development in Brassica campestris (Wisconsin fast plants).

    PubMed

    Black, V J; Stewart, C A; Roberts, J A; Black, C R

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to ozone (O(3)) may affect vegetative and reproductive development, although the consequences for yield depend on the effectiveness of the compensatory processes induced. This study examined the impact on reproductive development of exposing Brassica campestris (Wisconsin Fast Plants) to ozone during vegetative growth. Plants were exposed to 70 ppb ozone for 2 d during late vegetative growth or 10 d spanning most of the vegetative phase. Effects on gas exchange, vegetative growth, reproductive development and seed yield were determined. Impacts on gas exchange and foliar injury were related to pre-exposure stomatal conductance. Exposure for 2 d had no effect on growth or reproductive characteristics, whereas 10-d exposure reduced vegetative growth and reproductive site number on the terminal raceme. Mature seed number and weight per pod and per plant were unaffected because seed abortion was reduced. The observation that mature seed yield per plant was unaffected by exposure during the vegetative phase, despite adverse effects on physiological, vegetative and reproductive processes, shows that indeterminate species such as B. campestris possess sufficient compensatory flexibility to avoid reductions in seed production. PMID:17803646

  8. 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. PMID:26574895

  9. [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. PMID:12882120

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:27060783

  12. Inflammatory bowel diseases and human reproduction: a comprehensive evidence-based review.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-21

    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

  13. Human cerebral response to animal affective vocalizations

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    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. PMID:18077254

  14. The disadvantages of mating outside home: How breeding in captivity affects the reproductive success of seahorses?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faleiro, Filipa; Narciso, Luís

    2013-04-01

    In captivity, husbandry conditions are distinct from those experienced by fish in the wild and may have a significant effect on reproductive success. This study evaluates the effect of supportive breeding (i.e., breeding animals in captivity using wild parents) on some quantitative and qualitative aspects of the reproductive success of the long-snouted seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus. Wild and captive broods were compared in terms of juvenile number, size, condition and fatty acid profile at birth. Reproductive investment and breeding success of H. guttulatus decreased considerably in captivity. Juveniles from captive broods were fewer in number, smaller, generally thinner and with lower fatty acid contents (per juvenile) than those from wild broods, although their fatty acid composition (μg mg- 1 DW or %TFA) was not significantly affected. Although not greatly encouraging, the poor reproductive performance of captive seahorses should not, however, efface the potential of supportive breeding as a tool for seahorse conservation. Enhanced conditions and long-term breeding in captivity will allow to improve the reproductive success of the species and the quality of the fingerlings.

  15. Prepubertal tamoxifen treatment affects development of heifer reproductive tissues and related signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Al Naib, A; Tucker, H L M; Xie, G; Keisler, D H; Bartol, F F; Rhoads, R P; Akers, R M; Rhoads, M L

    2016-07-01

    Prepubertal exposure of the developing ovaries and reproductive tract (RT) to estrogen or xenoestrogens can have acute and long-term consequences that compromise the reproductive performance of cattle. This research examined effects of the selective estrogen receptor modulator tamoxifen (TAM) on gene and protein abundance in prepubertal ovaries and RT, with a particular focus on signaling pathways that affect morphology. Tamoxifen was administered to Holstein heifer calves (n=8) daily (0.3mg/kg subcutaneously) from 28 to 120 d of age, when tissues were collected. Control calves (n=7) received an equal volume of excipient. Weight, gross measurements, and samples of reproductive tissues were collected, and protein and mRNA were extracted from snap-frozen samples of vagina, cervix, uterus, oviduct, ovary, and liver. Neither estradiol nor insulin-like growth factor I (IGFI) concentrations in the serum were affected by TAM treatment. Tamoxifen treatment reduced ovarian weight independently from effects on antral follicle populations, as there was no difference in visible antral follicle numbers on the day of collection. Estrogen receptor α (ESR1) and β (ESR2) mRNA, ESR1 protein, IGFI, progesterone receptor, total growth hormone receptor, WNT4, WNT5A, and WNT7A mRNA, in addition to mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphorylated MAPK proteins were affected differently depending on the tissue examined. However, neither IGFI receptor mRNA nor protein abundance were affected by TAM treatment. Results indicate that reproductive development in prepubertal Holstein heifer calves is TAM-sensitive, and that bovine RT and ovarian development are supported, in part, by estrogen receptor-dependent mechanisms during the period studied here. Potential long-term consequences of such developmental disruption remain to be defined. PMID:27085397

  16. 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

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:25680855

  19. Depressing Antidepressant: Fluoxetine Affects Serotonin Neurons Causing Adverse Reproductive Responses in Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Campos, Bruno; Rivetti, Claudia; Kress, Timm; Barata, Carlos; Dircksen, Heinrich

    2016-06-01

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used antidepressants. As endocrine disruptive contaminants in the environment, SSRIs affect reproduction in aquatic organisms. In the water flea Daphnia magna, SSRIs increase offspring production in a food ration-dependent manner. At limiting food conditions, females exposed to SSRIs produce more but smaller offspring, which is a maladaptive life-history strategy. We asked whether increased serotonin levels in newly identified serotonin-neurons in the Daphnia brain mediate these effects. We provide strong evidence that exogenous SSRI fluoxetine selectively increases serotonin-immunoreactivity in identified brain neurons under limiting food conditions thereby leading to maladaptive offspring production. Fluoxetine increases serotonin-immunoreactivity at low food conditions to similar maximal levels as observed under high food conditions and concomitantly enhances offspring production. Sublethal amounts of the neurotoxin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine known to specifically ablate serotonin-neurons markedly decrease serotonin-immunoreactivity and offspring production, strongly supporting the effect to be serotonin-specific by reversing the reproductive phenotype attained under fluoxetine. Thus, SSRIs impair serotonin-regulation of reproductive investment in a planktonic key organism causing inappropriately increased reproduction with potentially severe ecological impact. PMID:27128505

  20. Hippocampal morphology is differentially affected by reproductive experience in the mother.

    PubMed

    Pawluski, Jodi L; Galea, Liisa A M

    2006-01-01

    Pregnancy and mothering result in a number of hormonal, neurological, and behavioral changes that are necessary to ensure reproductive success. With subsequent reproductive experience (multiparity and mothering), further neurological and behavioral changes may result. Recent research has shown that previous motherhood enhances both hippocampus-dependent learning and memory and long-term potentiation (LTP); together with decreases in hippocampus volumes during pregnancy it is suggested that the hippocampus is affected by pregnancy and/or mothering. The present experiment aimed to investigate the effect of reproductive experience (nulli, primi-, and multiparity and mothering) on dendritic morphology in the CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus. Brains were stained with a modified version of the single-section Golgi impregnation technique, and dendritic length, number of branch points, and spine density was analyzed for apical and basal regions of CA1 and CA3 pyramidal neurons. Primiparity and/or mothering resulted in dendritic remodeling in both the CA1 and CA3 hippocampal regions, and multiparity resulted in enhanced spine density in the basal CA1 region, which was positively correlated with number of male pups in a litter. These findings point to the effect of reproductive experience and offspring on plasticity in the hippocampus, an area not traditionally associated with motherhood. PMID:16216005

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:17393802

  4. How does childhood socioeconomic hardship affect reproductive strategy? Pathways of development

    PubMed Central

    Pearce, Mark S.; Sear, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    Objectives In high‐income populations, evidence suggests that socioeconomic disadvantage early in life is correlated with reproductive strategy. Children growing up in unfavorable rearing environments tend to experience earlier sexual maturity and first births. Earlier first births may be associated with higher fertility, but links between socioeconomic disadvantage and larger family size have rarely been tested. The pathways through which early disadvantage influences reproduction are unknown. We test whether physiological factors link childhood adversity to age at first birth and total children. Methods Using data from the Newcastle Thousand Families Study, a 1947 British birth cohort, we developed path models to identify possible physiological traits linking childhood socioeconomic status, and poor housing standards, to two reproductive outcomes: age at first birth and total children. We explored birth weight, weight gain after birth, childhood illnesses, body mass index at age 9, age at menarche, and adult height as possible mediators. Results We found direct, negative effects of socioeconomic status (SES) and housing on age at first birth, and of housing on fertility. Although we found links between childhood disadvantage and menarche and height, neither of these were significantly correlated with either reproductive outcome. Age at first birth completely mediates the relationship between childhood adversity and total fertility, which we believe has not been empirically demonstrated before. Conclusions While there are some links between childhood adversity and child health, we find little evidence that physiological pathways, such as child health and growth, link early childhood adversity to reproductive outcomes in this relatively well‐nourished population. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 28:356–363, 2016. © 2015 The Authors American Journal of Human Biology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26407916

  5. Does the inclusion of protease inhibitors in the insemination extender affect rabbit reproductive performance?

    PubMed

    Casares-Crespo, L; Vicente, J S; Talaván, A M; Viudes-de-Castro, M P

    2016-03-15

    The bioavailability of buserelin acetate when added to the seminal dose appears to be determined by the activity of the existing aminopeptidases. Thus, the addition of aminopeptidase inhibitors to rabbit semen extenders could be a solution to decrease the hormone degradation. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of the protease activity inhibition on rabbit semen quality parameters and reproductive performance after artificial insemination. Seminal quality was not affected by the incubation with protease inhibitors, being the values of motility, viability, and acrosome integrity not significantly different between the protease inhibitors and the control group. In addition, seminal plasma aminopeptidase activity was inhibited in a 55.1% by the protease inhibitors. On the other hand, regarding the effect of protease inhibitors on reproductive performance, our results showed that the presence of protease inhibitors affected the prolificacy rate (9.2 ± 0.26 and 9.3 ± 0.23 vs. 8.2 ± 0.22 total born per litter for negative control, positive control, and aminopeptidase inhibitors group, respectively; P < 0.05), having this group one kit less per delivery. We conclude that the addition of a wide variety of protease inhibitors in the rabbit semen extender negatively affects prolificacy rate. Therefore, the development of new extenders with specific aminopeptidase inhibitors would be one of the strategies to increase the bioavailability of GnRH analogues without affecting the litter size. PMID:26639641

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Effect of radiation on the human reproductive system.

    PubMed Central

    Ogilvy-Stuart, A L; Shalet, S M

    1993-01-01

    Irradiation may have a profound effect on reproductive function. The schedule of the delivered irradiation (total dose, number of fractions, and duration) is an important determinant of the radiobiological effect on the tissues involved and varies among different tissues and organs. Irradiation to the central nervous system may affect the timing of the onset of puberty, result in hyperprolactinemia, or cause gonadotropin deficiency if the hypothalamic-pituitary axis is involved in the radiation field. Direct irradiation to the testis will, in lower doses, affect the germinal epithelium: doses of irradiation greater than 0.35 Gy cause aspermia, which may be reversible. The time taken for recovery increases with larger doses; however, with doses in excess of 2 Gy aspermia may be permanent. At higher radiation doses (> 15 Gy), Leydig cell function will also be affected. In addition to radiation dose, the vulnerability of the testis is dependent on the age at irradiation and the pubertal status of the male. In the female, the response of the ovary to the effects of irradiation varies with age as well as dose, and separation of ovarian dysfunction into hormonal and fertility effects is not clearcut. An ovarian dose of 4 Gy may cause a 30% incidence of sterility in young women, but 100% sterility in women over 40 years of age. Pelvic irradiation may also have a profound effect on the uterus, with arrested growth in the prepubertal girl, and failure of uterine expansion during pregnancy with subsequent miscarriages and premature labor. PMID:8243379

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  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. Food availability affects onset of reproduction in a long-lived seabird

    PubMed Central

    Vincenzi, Simone; Hatch, Scott; Mangel, Marc; Kitaysky, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    Life-history theory predicts that suboptimal developmental conditions may lead to faster life histories (younger age at recruitment and higher reproductive investment), but experimental testing of this prediction is still scarce in long-lived species. We report the effects of an experimental manipulation of food availability during early development and at recruitment on the onset of reproduction and reproductive performance (productivity at first breeding) in a long-lived seabird, the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, breeding on Middleton Island, Alaska. Birds were born and raised in nests with supplemented food (‘fed’) or unsupplemented control nests (‘unfed’), and later recruited into either fed or unfed nests. Fed chicks grew faster than unfed chicks, and males grew faster than females. Birds were more likely to reproduce at younger ages when recruiting into fed nests. Faster growth during development tended to increase age at recruitment in all individuals. Social rank of individuals also affected age at recruitment: B-chicks recruited earlier than A-chicks and singletons recruited later than A- and B-chicks. Productivity increased with the age at recruitment and growth rate as chick, but much of the variability remained unexplained. We conclude that results of this study at least partially support predictions of life-history theory: younger age at first breeding for kittiwakes that experienced suboptimal natal conditions, as well as greater productivity of early recruiting kittiwakes that grew in control nests compared with those that grew in food-supplemented nests. PMID:23576791

  14. Fishing top predators indirectly affects condition and reproduction in a reef-fish community.

    PubMed

    Walsh, S M; Hamilton, S L; Ruttenberg, B I; Donovan, M K; Sandin, S A

    2012-03-01

    To examine the indirect effects of fishing on energy allocation in non-target prey species, condition and reproductive potential were measured for five representative species (two-spot red snapper Lutjanus bohar, arc-eye hawkfish Paracirrhites arcatus, blackbar devil Plectroglyphidodon dickii, bicolour chromis Chromis margaritifer and whitecheek surgeonfish Acanthurus nigricans) from three reef-fish communities with different levels of fishing and predator abundance in the northern Line Islands, central Pacific Ocean. Predator abundance differed by five to seven-fold among islands, and despite no clear differences in prey abundance, differences in prey condition and reproductive potential among islands were found. Body condition (mean body mass adjusted for length) was consistently lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the four prey species. Mean liver mass (adjusted for total body mass), an indicator of energy reserves, was also lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the prey species and the predator. Trends in reproductive potential were less clear. Mean gonad mass (adjusted for total body mass) was high where predator abundance was high for only one of the three species in which it was measured. Evidence of consistently low prey body condition and energy reserves in a diverse suite of species at reefs with high predator abundance suggests that fishing may indirectly affect non-target prey-fish populations through changes in predation and predation risk. PMID:22380551

  15. Evidence that elevated water temperature affects the reproductive physiology of the European bullhead Cottus gobio.

    PubMed

    Dorts, Jennifer; Grenouillet, Gaël; Douxfils, Jessica; Mandiki, Syaghalirwa N M; Milla, Sylvain; Silvestre, Frédéric; Kestemont, Patrick

    2012-04-01

    Climate change is predicted to increase the average water temperature and alter the ecology and physiology of several organisms including fish species. To examine the effects of increased water temperature on freshwater fish reproduction, adult European bullhead Cottus gobio of both genders were maintained under three temperature regimes (T1: 6-10, T2: 10-14 and T3: 14-18°C) and assessed for gonad development (gonadosomatic index-GSI and gonad histology), sex steroids (testosterone-T, 17β-estradiol-E2 and 11-ketotestosterone-11-KT) and vitellogenin (alkali-labile phosphoprotein phosphorus-ALP) dynamics in December, January, February and March. The results indicate that a 8°C rise in water temperature (T3) deeply disrupted the gonadal maturation in both genders. This observation was associated with the absence of GSI peak from January to March, and low levels of plasma sex steroids compared with T1-exposed fish. Nevertheless, exposure to an increasing temperature of 4°C (T2) appeared to accelerate oogenesis with an early peak value in GSI and level of plasma T recorded in January relative to T1-exposed females. In males, the low GSI, reduced level of plasma 11-KT and the absence of GSI increase from January to March support the deleterious effects of increasing water temperature on spermatogenesis. The findings of the present study suggest that exposure to elevated temperatures within the context of climate warming might affect the reproductive success of C. gobio. Specifically, a 4°C rise in water temperature affects gametogenesis by advancing the spawning, and a complete reproductive failure is observed at an elevated temperature of 8°C. PMID:21638008

  16. 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. PMID:25023674

  17. Corticosterone metabolism by chicken follicle cells does not affect ovarian reproductive hormone synthesis in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Rettenbacher, Sophie; Henriksen, Rie; Groothuids, Ton G.; Lepschy, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Glucocorticoids affect reproductive hormone production in many species. In chickens, elevated plasma corticosterone down-regulates testosterone and progesterone concentrations in plasma, but also in egg yolk. This suppression could be mediated via the hypothalamic-pituitary system but also via local inhibition of gonadal activity by glucocorticoids. As the latter has not been tested in birds yet, we tested if corticosterone directly inhibits ovarian steroid synthesis under in vitro conditions. We hypothesized that degradation of corticosterone by follicular cells impairs their ability to synthesize reproductive hormones due to either inhibition of enzymes or competition for common co-factors. Therefore, we first established whether follicles degrade corticosterone. Follicular tissue was harvested from freshly euthanized laying hens and incubated with radiolabelled corticosterone. Radioactive metabolites were visualized and quantified by autoradiography. Follicles converted corticosterone in a time-dependent manner into metabolites with a higher polarity than corticosterone. The predominant metabolite co-eluted with 20β-dihydrocorticosterone. Other chicken tissues mostly formed the same metabolite when incubated with corticosterone. In a second experiment, follicles were incubated with either progesterone or dehydroepiandrosterone. Corticosterone was added in increasing dosages up to 1000 ng per ml medium. Corticosterone did not inhibit the conversion of progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone into a number of different metabolites, including 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione and testosterone. In conclusion, avian tissues degrade corticosterone mostly to 20β-dihydrocorticosterone and even high corticosterone dosages do not affect follicular hormone production under in vitro conditions. PMID:23333751

  18. Advancing the sexual and reproductive health and human rights of women living with HIV

    PubMed Central

    Loutfy, Mona; Khosla, Rajat; Narasimhan, Manjulaa

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Many women living with HIV can have safe, healthy and satisfying sexual and reproductive health, but there is still a long way to go for this to be a reality, especially for the most vulnerable amongst them who face repeated violations of their rights. Discussion The contributions in this Supplement from researchers, clinicians, programme managers, policy makers, and women living with HIV demands an important appreciation that the field of sexual and reproductive health and human rights for women living with HIV is complex on many levels, and women living with HIV form a very diverse community. Conclusions The manuscripts emphasize that attention must be paid to the following critical dimensions: 1) Placing human rights and gender equality at the centre of a comprehensive approach to health programming, in particular in relation to sexuality and sexual health; 2) Ensuring health systems responsiveness to minimizing inequalities in access to health care and quality of care that often do not meet the needs of women living with HIV; 3) Engaging and empowering women living with HIV in the development of policies and programmes that affect them; and 4) Strengthening monitoring, evaluation and accountability procedures to provide good quality data and ensuring remedies for violations of health and human rights of women living with HIV. PMID:26643465

  19. Disruption of amylase genes by RNA interference affects reproduction in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas.

    PubMed

    Huvet, Arnaud; Béguel, Jean-Philippe; Cavaleiro, Nathalia Pereira; Thomas, Yoann; Quillien, Virgile; Boudry, Pierre; Alunno-Bruscia, Marianne; Fabioux, Caroline

    2015-06-01

    Feeding strategies and digestive capacities can have important implications for variation in energetic pathways associated with ecological and economically important traits, such as growth or reproduction in bivalve species. Here, we investigated the role of amylase in the digestive processes of Crassostrea gigas, using in vivo RNA interference. This approach also allowed us to investigate the relationship between energy intake by feeding and gametogenesis in oysters. Double-stranded (ds)RNA designed to target the two α-amylase genes A and B was injected in vivo into the visceral mass of oysters at two doses. These treatments caused significant reductions in mean mRNA levels of the amylase genes: -50.7% and -59% mRNA A, and -71.9% and -70.6% mRNA B in 15 and 75 µg dsRNA-injected oysters, respectively, relative to controls. Interestingly, reproductive knock-down phenotypes were observed for both sexes at 48 days post-injection, with a significant reduction of the gonad area (-22.5% relative to controls) and germ cell under-proliferation revealed by histology. In response to the higher dose of dsRNA, we also observed reductions in amylase activity (-53%) and absorption efficiency (-5%). Based on these data, dynamic energy budget modeling showed that the limitation of energy intake by feeding that was induced by injection of amylase dsRNA was insufficient to affect gonadic development at the level observed in the present study. This finding suggests that other driving mechanisms, such as endogenous hormonal modulation, might significantly change energy allocation to reproduction, and increase the maintenance rate in oysters in response to dsRNA injection. PMID:25883379

  20. Metabolic stressors and signals differentially affect energy allocation between reproduction and immune function.

    PubMed

    Carlton, Elizabeth D; Cooper, Candace L; Demas, Gregory E

    2014-11-01

    Most free-living animals have finite energy stores that they must allocate to different physiological and behavioral processes. In times of energetic stress, trade-offs in energy allocation among these processes may occur. The manifestation of trade-offs may depend on the source (e.g., glucose, lipids) and severity of energy limitation. In this study, we investigated energetic trade-offs between the reproductive and immune systems by experimentally limiting energy availability to female Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) with 2-deoxy-d-glucose, a compound that disrupts cellular utilization of glucose. We observed how glucoprivation at two levels of severity affected allocation to reproduction and immunity. Additionally, we treated a subset of these hamsters with leptin, an adipose hormone that provides a direct signal of available fat stores, in order to determine how increasing this signal of fat stores influences glucoprivation-induced trade-offs. We observed trade-offs between the reproductive and immune systems and that these trade-offs depended on the severity of energy limitation and exogenous leptin signaling. The majority of the animals experiencing mild glucoprivation entered anestrus, whereas leptin treatment restored estrous cycling in these animals. Surprisingly, virtually all animals experiencing more severe glucoprivation maintained normal estrous cycling throughout the experiment; however, exogenous leptin resulted in lower antibody production in this group. These data suggest that variation in these trade-offs may be mediated by shifts between glucose and fatty acid utilization. Collectively, the results of the present study highlight the context-dependent nature of these trade-offs, as trade-offs induced by the same metabolic stressor can manifest differently depending on its intensity. PMID:25125082

  1. Resources, attractiveness, family commitment; reproductive decisions in human mate choice.

    PubMed

    Bereczkei, T; Voros, S; Gal, A; Bernath, L

    1997-08-01

    This study of reproductive decisions in human mate selection used data from "lonely hearts" advertisements to examine a series of predictions based on the mate preferences of male and females relating to age; physical appearance; financial condition and socioeconomic status; family commitment and personal traits; short- and long-term mating; and marital status and preexisting children. The sample consisted of 1000 personal advertisements (500 male) placed in two daily, national papers between February and October 1994 in Hungary. The research procedure included a pilot study of 150 advertisers (75 male) to refine the categories examined. Analysis was performed using 1) a matrix with one axis referring to offers and the other to demands of males and females separately; 2) a matrix of offers only to derive correlated traits of claims by males and females; and 3) a matrix with columns describing sex, offers, demands, advertiser's age, and required age and a row for each of the 1000 samples. It was found that men preferred younger mates, while women preferred older ones. Men were more likely to seek physical attractiveness, while women were more likely to seek financial resources (ranked 7th) and high status (ranked 6th). Women strongly preferred male domestic virtue and family commitment, and twice as many women as men demanded long-term relationships. Women more frequently declared preexisting children, and men exhibited a reluctance to accept these children. Both males and females employed "trade-off" strategies, making greater demands if they felt they had attractive offers. PMID:12293453

  2. 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. PMID:16485361

  3. Maternal nutrition affects reproductive output and sex allocation in a lizard with environmental sex determination.

    PubMed

    Warner, Daniel A; Lovern, Matthew B; Shine, Richard

    2007-03-22

    Life-history traits such as offspring size, number and sex ratio are affected by maternal feeding rates in many kinds of animals, but the consequences of variation in maternal diet quality (rather than quantity) are poorly understood. We manipulated dietary quality of reproducing female lizards (Amphibolurus muricatus; Agamidae), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination, to examine strategies of reproductive allocation. Females maintained on a poor-quality diet produced fewer clutches but massively (twofold) larger eggs with lower concentrations of yolk testosterone than did conspecific females given a high-quality diet. Although all eggs were incubated at the same temperature, and yolk steroid hormone levels were not correlated with offspring sex, the nutrient-deprived females produced highly male-biased sex ratios among their offspring. These responses to maternal nutrition generate a link between sex and offspring size, in a direction likely to enhance maternal fitness if large body size enhances reproductive success more in sons than in daughters (as seems plausible, given the mating system of this species). Overall, our results show that sex determination in these animals is more complex, and responsive to a wider range of environmental cues, than that suggested by the classification of 'environmental sex determination'. PMID:17251109

  4. Maternal nutrition affects reproductive output and sex allocation in a lizard with environmental sex determination

    PubMed Central

    Warner, Daniel A; Lovern, Matthew B; Shine, Richard

    2007-01-01

    Life-history traits such as offspring size, number and sex ratio are affected by maternal feeding rates in many kinds of animals, but the consequences of variation in maternal diet quality (rather than quantity) are poorly understood. We manipulated dietary quality of reproducing female lizards (Amphibolurus muricatus; Agamidae), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination, to examine strategies of reproductive allocation. Females maintained on a poor-quality diet produced fewer clutches but massively (twofold) larger eggs with lower concentrations of yolk testosterone than did conspecific females given a high-quality diet. Although all eggs were incubated at the same temperature, and yolk steroid hormone levels were not correlated with offspring sex, the nutrient-deprived females produced highly male-biased sex ratios among their offspring. These responses to maternal nutrition generate a link between sex and offspring size, in a direction likely to enhance maternal fitness if large body size enhances reproductive success more in sons than in daughters (as seems plausible, given the mating system of this species). Overall, our results show that sex determination in these animals is more complex, and responsive to a wider range of environmental cues, than that suggested by the classification of ‘environmental sex determination’. PMID:17251109

  5. 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. PMID:26081278

  6. Spring phenology does not affect timing of reproduction in the great tit (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Schaper, Sonja V; Rueda, Carolina; Sharp, Peter J; Dawson, Alistair; Visser, Marcel E

    2011-11-01

    Many seasonal breeders adjust the timing of reproduction in response to year-to-year variations in supplementary environmental cues, amongst which ambient temperature is thought to be most influential. However, it is possible that for species such as the great tit (Parus major L.), phenological cues from sprouting vegetation and the consequent abundance of invertebrate prey, although dependent on temperature, may provide supplementary environmental cues per se. This hypothesis was investigated in breeding pairs of great tits kept in outdoor aviaries. In spring, experimental pairs were provided with access to leafing birch branches and caterpillars as a visual food cue, while control pairs were provided with non-leafing branches. Observations were made on the onset of laying and on concentrations of plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) at regular intervals to monitor changes in reproductive function. The onset of egg laying was not advanced by the presence of leafing branches and caterpillars. LH concentrations increased during the course of the study, but phenological cues did not affect plasma LH levels in females and males. Early spring vegetation, such as the leafing of birch branches, and the appearance of caterpillar prey do not appear to play a significant role in fine-tuning the onset of egg laying in great tits. PMID:21993796

  7. Second-Hand Eating? Maternal perception of the food environment affects reproductive investment in mice

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Tonia S.; Gainer, Renee; Dohm, Erik D.; Johnson, Maria S.; Wyss, J. Michael; Allison, David B.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Little information exists on how perception of the food (or ‘energetic’) environment affects body composition and reproductive investment. We test the hypothesis that female mice, who are themselves consuming standard chow diets, but who are exposed to conspecifics eating a rich “cafeteria diet”, will exhibit altered weight gain and reproductive investment. Design and Methods Female C57BL/6 mice were raised on a cafeteria diet. At maturity, subjects were switched to a standard chow diet and their cage-mate was assigned to consume either a cafeteria diet (treatment, n=20), or standard chow (control, n=20). Subjects were mated, and pups raised to weaning. Subjects and pups were analyzed for body composition. Results Treatment had no discernable effect on dam body weight or composition, but caused pups to have lower body weight (p=0.036), and less fat mass (p=0.041). We found a nearly significant treatment effect on ‘time to successful reproduction’ (avg. 55 vs. 44 days) likely due to increased failed first pregnancies (14/19 versus 8/19, p=0.099). Conclusions These data indicate that perceived food environment (independent of the diet actually consumed) can produce small pups with less body fat, and possibly induce difficulties in pregnancy for dams. Replication and mechanistic studies should follow. PMID:25864567

  8. 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

  9. Sodium fluoride and sulfur dioxide affected male reproduction by disturbing blood-testis barrier in mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianhai; Li, Zhihui; Qie, Mingli; Zheng, Ruibo; Shetty, Jagathpala; Wang, Jundong

    2016-08-01

    Fluoride and sulfur dioxide (SO2), two well-known environmental toxicants, have been implicated to have adverse effects on male reproductive health in humans and animals. The objective of this study to investigate if the BTB is one of the pathways that lead to reproductive toxicity of sodium fluoride and sulfur dioxide alone or in combination, in view of the key role of blood testis barrier (BTB) in testis. The results showed that a marked decrease in sperm quality, and altered morphology and ultrastructure of BTB in testis of mice exposure to fluoride (100 mg NaF/L in drinking water) or/and sulfur dioxide (28 mg SO2/m(3), 3 h/day). Meanwhile, the mRNA expression levels of some vital BTB-associated proteins, including occluding, claudin-11, ZO-1, Ncadherin, α-catenin, and connexin-43 were all strikingly reduced after NaF exposure, although only the reduction of DSG-2 was statistically significant in all treatment groups. Moreover, the proteins expressions also decreased significantly in claudin-11, N-cadherin, α-catenin, connexin-43 and desmoglein-2 in mice treated with fluoride and/or SO2. These changes in BTB structure and constitutive proteins may therefore be connected with the low sperm quality in these mice. The role of fluoride should deserves more attention in this process. PMID:27237588

  10. 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. PMID:23805855

  11. [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. PMID:24340827

  12. USE OF PRIMATE FOLLICULOGENESIS MODELS IN UNDERSTANDING HUMAN REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY AND APPLICABILITY TO TOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The nonhuman primate reproductive system provides an excellent model for studying basic physiological processes applicable to humans. This article reviews hormonal observations and experimental manipulations useful in the evaluation of ovarian events in various stages of the repr...

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

    PubMed

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Reproductive performance in sows treated with estradiol benzoate/human chorionic gonadotrophin combination at weaning.

    PubMed Central

    Friendship, R M; Bosu, W T; King, G J

    1982-01-01

    The effects of estradiol benzoate plus human chorionic gonadotrophin administered on the day of weaning on the reproductive performance in sows was studied. The treatment advanced the onset of estrus but the duration of estrus was slightly prolonged. Breeding on the post-weaning estrus was associated with poor pregnancy rate and smaller litters. The treatment did not cause permanent damage to the reproductive tract as the reproductive performance of the treated sows after subsequent breedings were unaffected. The possible causes of the poor fertility in the estradiol benzoate plus human chorionic gonadotrophin treated sows are discussed. PMID:6890868

  17. 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.

  18. 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). PMID:26511087

  19. Evaluating the fitness of human lysozyme transgenic dairy goats: growth and reproductive traits

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Kathryn A.; Berg, Jolene M.; Murray, James D.

    2010-01-01

    While there are many reports in the literature describing the attributes of specific applications of transgenic animals for agriculture, there are relatively few studies focusing on the fitness of the transgenic animals themselves. This work was designed to gather information on genetically modified food animals to determine if the presence of a transgene can impact general animal production traits. More specifically, we used a line of transgenic dairy goats expressing human lysozyme in their mammary gland to evaluate the reproductive fitness and growth and development of these animals compared to their non-transgenic counterparts and the impact of consuming a transgenic food product, lysozyme-containing milk. In males, none of the parameters of semen quality, including semen volume and concentration, total sperm per ejaculate, sperm morphology, viability and motility, were significantly different between transgenic bucks and non-transgenic full-sib controls. Likewise, transgenic females of this line did not significantly differ in the reproductive traits of gestation length and litter size compared to their non-transgenic counterparts. To evaluate growth, transgenic and non-transgenic kid goats received colostrum and milk from either transgenic or non-transgenic does from birth until weaning. Neither the presence of the transgene nor the consumption of milk from transgenic animals significantly affected birth weight, weaning weight, overall gain and post-wean gain. These results indicate that the analyzed reproductive and growth traits were not regularly or substantially impacted by the presence or expression of the transgene. The evaluation of these general parameters is an important aspect of defining the safety of applying transgenic technology to animal agriculture. PMID:20135222

  20. Genetically Determined Dosage of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Affects Male Reproductive Parameters

    PubMed Central

    Grigorova, Marina; Punab, Margus; Ẑilaitienė, Birutė; Erenpreiss, Juris; Ausmees, Kristo; Matuleviĉius, Valentinas; Tsarev, Igor; Jørgensen, Niels

    2011-01-01

    Context: The detailed role of FSH in contributing to male testicular function and fertility has been debated. We have previously identified the association between the T-allele of the FSHB promoter polymorphism (rs10835638; G/T, −211 bp from the mRNA start) and significantly reduced male serum FSH. Objective: In the current study, the T-allele carriers of the FSHB −211 G/T single nucleotide polymorphism represented a natural model for documenting downstream phenotypic consequences of insufficient FSH action. Design and Subjects: We genotyped rs10835638 in the population-based Baltic cohort of young men (n = 1054; GG carriers, n = 796; GT carriers, n = 244; TT carriers, n = 14) recruited by Andrology Centres in Tartu, Estonia; Riga, Latvia; and Kaunas, Lithuania. Marker-trait association testing was performed using linear regression (additive, recessive models) adjusted by age, body mass index, smoking, and recruitment center. Results: Serum hormones directly correlated with the T-allele dosage of rs10835638 included FSH (additive model, P = 1.11 × 10−6; T-allele effect, −0.41 IU/liter), inhibin-B (P = 2.16 × 10−3; T-allele effect, −14.67 pg/ml), and total testosterone (P = 9.30 × 10−3; T-allele effect, −1.46 nmol/liter). Parameters altered only among TT homozygotes were reduced testicular volume (recessive model, P = 1.19 × 10−4; TT genotype effect, −9.47 ml) and increased serum LH (P = 2.25 × 10−2; TT genotype effect, 1.07 IU/liter). The carrier status of rs10835638 alternative genotypes did not affect sperm motility and morphology, calculated free testosterone, serum SHBG, and estradiol concentrations. Conclusion: We showed for the first time that genetically determined low FSH may have wider downstream effects on the male reproductive system, including impaired testes development, altered testicular hormone levels (inhibin-B, total testosterone, LH), and affected male reproductive potential. PMID:21733993

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. NTP CENTER FOR THE EVALUATION OF RISKS TO HUMAN REPRODUCTION: PHTHALATES EXPERT PANEL REPORT ON THE REPRODUCTIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY OF DI-N-HEXYL PHTHALATE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The phthalates are a family of environmentally important compounds with diverse uses. Reproductive toxicity has been demonstrated for some members of this family. The NTP Center for the Evaluation of Risk to Human Reproduction (CERHR) convened an expert panel charged with examini...

  7. NTP CENTER FOR THE EVALUATION OF RISKS TO HUMAN REPRODUCTION: PHTHALATES EXPERT PANEL REPORT ON THE REPRODUCTIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY OF BUTYL BENZYL PHTHALATE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The phthalates are a family of environmentally important compounds with diverse uses. Reproductive toxicity has been demonstrated for some members of this family. The NTP Center for the Evaluation of Risk to Human Reproduction (CERHR) convened an expert panel charged with examini...

  8. 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. PMID:26370242

  9. 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. ...

  10. Reproductive Hazards

    MedlinePlus

    ... and female reproductive systems play a role in pregnancy. Problems with these systems can affect fertility and ... a reproductive hazard can cause different effects during pregnancy, depending on when she is exposed. During the ...

  11. Associations of in Utero Exposure to Perfluorinated Alkyl Acids with Human Semen Quality and Reproductive Hormones in Adult Men

    PubMed Central

    Ramlau-Hansen, Cecilia Høst; Olsen, Sjurdur Frodi; Bonde, Jens Peter; Kristensen, Susanne Lund; Halldorsson, Thorhallur Ingi; Becher, Georg; Haug, Line Småstuen; Ernst, Emil Hagen; Toft, Gunnar

    2013-01-01

    Background: Perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs), persistent chemicals with unique water-, dirt-, and oil-repellent properties, are suspected of having endocrine-disrupting activity. The PFAA compounds perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) are found globally in humans; because they readily cross the placental barrier, in utero exposure may be a cause for concern. Objectives: We investigated whether in utero exposure to PFOA and PFOS affects semen quality, testicular volume, and reproductive hormone levels. Methods: We recruited 169 male offspring (19–21 years of age) from a pregnancy cohort established in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1988–1989, corresponding to 37.6% of the eligible sons. Each man provided a semen sample and a blood sample. Semen samples were analyzed for sperm concentration, total sperm count, motility, and morphology, and blood samples were used to measure reproductive hormones. As a proxy for in utero exposure, PFOA and PFOS were measured in maternal blood samples from pregnancy week 30. Results: Multivariable linear regression analysis suggested that in utero exposure to PFOA was associated with lower adjusted sperm concentration (ptrend = 0.01) and total sperm count (ptrend = 0.001) and with higher adjusted levels of luteinizing hormone (ptrend = 0.03) and follicle-stimulating hormone (ptrend = 0.01). PFOS did not appear to be associated with any of the outcomes assessed, before or after adjustment. Conclusions: The results suggest that in utero exposure to PFOA may affect adult human male semen quality and reproductive hormone levels. PMID:23360585

  12. NTP-CERHR monograph on the potential human reproductive and developmental effects of di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP).

    PubMed

    Shelby, Michael D

    2006-11-01

    The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) conducted an updated evaluation of the potential for DEHP to cause adverse effects on reproduction and development in humans. The first CERHR expert panel evaluation of DEHP was completed in 2000 by the Phthalates Expert Panel. CERHR selected DEHP for an updated evaluation because of: (1) widespread human exposure, (2) public and government interest in adverse health effects, (3) recently available human exposure studies, and (4) the large number of relevant toxicity papers published since the earlier evaluation. DEHP (CAS RN: 117-81-7) is a high production volume chemical used as a plasticizer of polyvinyl chloride in the manufacture of a wide variety of consumer goods, such as building products, car products, clothing, food packaging, children's products (but not in toys intended for mouthing), and in medical devices made of polyvinyl chloride. The public can be exposed to DEHP by ingesting food, drink or dust that has been in contact with DEHP-containing materials, by inhaling contaminated air or dust, or by undergoing a medical procedure that uses polyvinyl chloride medical tubing or storage bags. It is estimated that the general population of the United States is exposed to DEHP levels ranging from 1 to 30 microg/kg bw/day (micrograms per kilogram body weight per day). The results of this DEHP update evaluation are published in an NTP-CERHR monograph that includes: (1) the NTP Brief, (2) the Expert Panel Update on the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of DEHP, and (3) public comments on the expert panel report. The NTP reached the following conclusions on the possible effects of exposure to DEHP on human development and reproduction. Note that the possible levels of concern, from lowest to highest, are negligible concern, minimal concern, some concern, concern, and serious concern. There is serious concern that certain intensive medical treatments of

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Prenatal exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) affects reproductive outcomes in female mice.

    PubMed

    Niermann, Sarah; Rattan, Saniya; Brehm, Emily; Flaws, Jodi A

    2015-06-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that prenatal DEHP exposure affects female reproduction. To test this hypothesis, pregnant female CD-1 mice were orally dosed daily with tocopherol-stripped corn oil (vehicle control) or DEHP (20 μg/kg/day-750 mg/kg/day) from gestation day 11-birth. Pups were counted, weighed, and sexed at birth, ovaries were subjected to evaluations of follicle numbers on postnatal days (PNDs) 8 and 21, and fertility was evaluated at 3-9 months. The results indicate that prenatal DEHP exposure increased male-to-female ratio compared to controls. Prenatal DEHP exposure also increased preantral follicle numbers at PND 21 compared to controls. Further, 22.2% of the 20 μg/kg/day treated animals took longer than 5 days to get pregnant at 3 months and 28.6% of the 750 mg/kg/day treated animals lost some of their pups at 6 months. Thus, prenatal DEHP exposure alters F1 sex ratio, increases preantral follicle numbers, and causes some breeding abnormalities. PMID:25765777

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    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

  17. 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., Jr.; 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

  18. Celiac disease and its effect on human reproduction: a review.

    PubMed

    Soni, Shelly; Badawy, Shawky Z A

    2010-01-01

    Celiac disease is an intestinal inflammatory disease that is triggered by gluten in the diet. Patients present with a wide array of symptoms due to malabsorption that include diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating and weight loss. In women, this disease may have implications on menstrual and reproductive health. The symptom complex includes delayed menarche, early menopause, secondary amenorrhea, infertility, recurrent miscarriages and intrauterine growth restriction. These women benefit from early diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, celiac disease should be considered and screening tests performed on women presenting with menstrual and reproductive problems and treated accordingly. The objective of this article is to review the current literature on celiac disease and its association with the above-mentioned disorders. PMID:20337200

  19. [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. PMID:19507921

  20. 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. PMID:26847433

  1. Reproductive Factors Associated to Human Papillomavirus Infection in Iranian Woman

    PubMed Central

    Jahdi, Freshteh; Khoei, Effat Merghati; Haghani, Hamid; Yarandi, Fariba

    2013-01-01

    Objective In recent years, humman papilomaviruses (HPV) infection is the most common type of sexual trasmitted diseases (STD) in majority of countries. It's a significant source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In this study, we aimed to compare the history of reproductive disease between two groups of Iranian women with and without HPV infection through colposcopy precedure. Materials and methods This case -control study included 210 women reffered to a training gynecology hospital of Tehran University of Medical Science in Tehran. Case group was composed of 70 women with diagnosis of HPV infection, while control group was composed of 140 women with no sign of mentioned-infectious diseases of the control group. Reproductive history was prepared using the standard questionnaire, and obtianed data were analized by SPSS 20. Results Our findings showed that the risk factors for HPV infection were as follows: low parity (p = 0.000), reduction of number of weekly sexual intercourse (p = 0.000), no consumption of oral contraceptive pill (OCP) (p = 0.006), and history of withdrawal contraceptive method (p = 0.001). Conclusion Improvement of our knowledge about reproductive factors associated with HPV may help us to identify women at risk and to develope different methods of preventive interventions. PMID:24971117

  2. 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…

  3. Human species and mating systems: Neandertal-Homo sapiens reproductive isolation and the archaeological and fossil records.

    PubMed

    Overmann, Karenleigh; Coolidge, Frederick

    2013-01-01

    The present paper examined the assumption of strong reproductive isolation (RI) between Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens, as well as the question of what form it might have taken, using insights from the parallel case of chimpanzee–bonobo hybridization. RI from hybrid sterility or inviability was thought unlikely based on the short separation-to-introgression timeline. The forms of RI that typically develop in primates have relatively short timelines (especially for partial implementation); they generally preclude mating or influence hybrid survival and reproduction in certain contexts, and they have the potential to skew introgression directionality. These RI barriers are also consistent with some interpretations of the archaeological and fossil records, especially when behavioral, cognitive, morphological, and genetic differences between the two human species are taken into consideration. Differences potentially influencing patterns of survival and reproduction include interspecies violence, Neandertal xenophobia, provisioning behavior, and ontogenetic, morphological, and behavioral differences affecting matters such as kin and mate recognition, infanticide, and sexual selection. These factors may have skewed the occurrence of interbreeding or the survival and reproduction of hybrids in a way that might at least partially explain the pattern of introgression. PMID:24344097

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Weegman, Mitch D; 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

  6. Reproductive state affects hiding behaviour under risk of predation but not exploratory activity of female Spanish terrapins.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, Alejandro; Marzal, Alfonso; López, Pilar; Martín, José

    2015-02-01

    Female investment during reproduction may reduce survivorship due to increased predation risk. During pregnancy, the locomotor performance of gravid females might be diminished due to the additional weight acquired. In addition, egg production may also increase thermoregulatory, metabolic and physiological costs. Also, pregnant females have greater potential fitness and should take fewer risks. Thus, females should ponder their reproductive state when considering their behavioural responses under risky situations. Here, we examine how reproductive state influence risk-taking behaviour in different contexts in female Spanish terrapins (Mauremys leprosa). We simulated predator attacks of different risk levels and measured the time that the turtles spent hiding entirely inside their own shells (i.e. appearance times). We also assessed the subsequent time after emergence from the shell that the turtles spent immobile monitoring for predators before starting to escape actively (i.e. waiting times). Likewise, we performed a novel-environment test and measured the exploratory activity of turtles. We found no correlations between appearance time, waiting time or exploratory activity, but appearance times were correlated across different risk levels. Only appearance time was affected by the reproductive state, where gravid females reappeared relatively later from their shells after a predator attack than non-gravid ones. Moreover, among gravid females, those carrying greater clutches tended to have longer appearance times. This suggests that only larger clutches could affect hiding behaviour in risky contexts. In contrast, waiting time spent scanning for predators and exploratory activity were not affected by the reproductive state. These differences between gravid and non-gravid females might be explained by the metabolic-physiological costs associated with egg production and embryo maintenance, as well as by the relatively higher potential fitness of gravid females. PMID

  7. [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. PMID:24645628

  8. 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...

  9. Mortality affects adaptive allocation to growth and reproduction: field evidence from a guild of body snatchers

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The probability of being killed by external factors (extrinsic mortality) should influence how individuals allocate limited resources to the competing processes of growth and reproduction. Increased extrinsic mortality should select for decreased allocation to growth and for increased reproductive effort. This study presents perhaps the first clear cross-species test of this hypothesis, capitalizing on the unique properties offered by a diverse guild of parasitic castrators (body snatchers). I quantify growth, reproductive effort, and expected extrinsic mortality for several species that, despite being different species, use the same species' phenotype for growth and survival. These are eight trematode parasitic castrators—the individuals of which infect and take over the bodies of the same host species—and their uninfected host, the California horn snail. Results As predicted, across species, growth decreased with increased extrinsic mortality, while reproductive effort increased with increased extrinsic mortality. The trematode parasitic castrator species (operating stolen host bodies) that were more likely to be killed by dominant species allocated less to growth and relatively more to current reproduction than did species with greater life expectancies. Both genders of uninfected snails fit into the patterns observed for the parasitic castrator species, allocating as much to growth and to current reproduction as expected given their probability of reproductive death (castration by trematode parasites). Additionally, species differences appeared to represent species-specific adaptations, not general plastic responses to local mortality risk. Conclusions Broadly, this research illustrates that parasitic castrator guilds can allow unique comparative tests discerning the forces promoting adaptive evolution. The specific findings of this study support the hypothesis that extrinsic mortality influences species differences in growth and reproduction

  10. Affective Learning: Environmental Ethics and Human Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gough, Noel P.

    1977-01-01

    This discussion of home economics as a discipline which should focus on its affective foundations, covers the following areas: Affective context of home economics education, the adequacy of the home economics value complex for coping with environmental problems, and toward an acceptable environmental ethic. (SH)

  11. 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. PMID:22210199

  12. 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. PMID:26218965

  13. Father's death does not affect growth and maturation but hinders reproduction: evidence from adolescent girls in post-war Estonia.

    PubMed

    Hõrak, Peeter; Valge, Markus

    2015-12-01

    The popular concept of predictive-adaptive responses poses that girls growing up without a father present in the family mature and start reproduction earlier because the father's absence is a cue for environmental harshness and uncertainty that favours switching to a precocious life-history strategy. Most studies supporting this concept have been performed in situations where the father's absence is caused by divorce or abandonment. Using a dataset of Estonian adolescent girls who had lost their fathers over the period of World War II, we show that father's death did not affect the rate of pubertal maturation (assessed on the basis of development of breasts and axillary hair) or growth. Father's death did not affect the age of first birth but, contrary to predictions, reduced lifetime reproductive success. Our findings thus do not support the concept of predictive-adaptive responses and suggest that alternative explanations for covariation between fatherlessness and early maturation are required. PMID:26673934

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Sex ratio effects on reproductive strategies in humans

    PubMed Central

    Schacht, Ryan; Borgerhoff Mulder, Monique

    2015-01-01

    Characterizations of coy females and ardent males are rooted in models of sexual selection that are increasingly outdated. Evolutionary feedbacks can strongly influence the sex roles and subsequent patterns of sex differentiated investment in mating effort, with a key component being the adult sex ratio (ASR). Using data from eight Makushi communities of southern Guyana, characterized by varying ASRs contingent on migration, we show that even within a single ethnic group, male mating effort varies in predictable ways with the ASR. At male-biased sex ratios, men's and women's investment in mating effort are indistinguishable; only when men are in the minority are they more inclined towards short-term, low investment relationships than women. Our results support the behavioural ecological tenet that reproductive strategies are predictable and contingent on varying situational factors. PMID:26064588

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    Cell cryopreservation maintains 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

  18. 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

  19. DOSE-RESPONSE FALLACY IN HUMAN REPRODUCTIVE STUDIES OF TOXIC EXPOSURES

    EPA Science Inventory

    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: ...

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Role of Seminal Plasma in Human Female Reproductive Failure: Immunomodulation, Inflammation, and Infections.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Deborah J; Politch, Joseph A

    2015-01-01

    Human seminal plasma contains factors that can regulate the female immune system and potentially promote reproductive fitness. Adverse effects on fertility and pregnancy may occur when seminal plasma provides insufficient, excessive, or altered signals or when the female partner is incapable of receiving these signals. PMID:26178849

  3. 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

    ... December 16-18, 2009, CERHR (74 FR 53508) convened an expert panel to conduct an updated evaluation of the... CERHR in 1998 (63 FR 68782). CERHR is a publicly accessible resource for information about adverse... Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR); Availability of the Final Expert Panel Report on...

  4. 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

  5. DIBROMOACETIC ACID AFFECTS REPRODUCTIVE COMPETENCE AND SPERM QUALITY IN THE MALE RAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    We have recently shown that Dibromoacetic acid (DBAA) alters sperm quality in short duration tests. n this study, male rats were gavaged with 0, 2, 10, 50, 250 mg DBAA/kg/d for up to 49 d. Interim. and terminal measurements of sperm quality & reproductive outcome were made. BAA c...

  6. Age and reproductive status of adult Varroa mites affect grooming success of honey bees.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study evaluated for the first time the grooming response of honey bees to different ages and reproductive statuses of varroa mites in the laboratory. Plastic cages containing a section of dark comb and about 200 bees were inoculated with groups of four different classes of mites: gravid, phoret...

  7. Benzyl isothiocyanate affects development, hatching and reproduction of the soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) applied at micromolar doses decreased Heterodera glycines J2 movement, H. glycines hatching, and reproduction of H. glycines on soybean, Glycine max. Direct exposure of J2 to 30 microM BITC caused an immediate decrease (17%; P < 0.05) in J2 movement relative to 1% methan...

  8. Within-species reproductive costs affect the asymmetry of satyrization in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Yassin, A; David, J R

    2016-02-01

    Understanding how species interactions influence their distribution and evolution is a fundamental question in evolutionary biology. Theory suggests that asymmetric reproductive interference, in which one species induces higher reproductive costs on another species, may be more important in delimiting species boundaries than interspecific competition over resources. However, the underlying mechanisms of such asymmetry remain unclear. Here, we test whether differences in within-species reproductive costs determine the between-species asymmetry of costs using three allopatric Drosophila species belonging to the melanogaster subgroup. Our results support this hypothesis, especially in a pair of insular species. Males of one species that induce costs to their conspecific females led to a 5-fold increase of heterospecific females mortality with dead flies bearing spectacular large melanized wounds on their genitalia. Males of the other species were harmful neither to their conspecific nor heterospecific females. Comparative studies of within-species reproductive costs may therefore be a valuable tool for predicting between-species interactions and community structures. PMID:26538290

  9. Transgenerational interactions involving parental age and immune status affect female reproductive success in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Nystrand, M.; Dowling, D. K.

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that the parental phenotype can influence offspring phenotypic expression, independent of the effects of the offspring's own genotype. Nonetheless, the evolutionary implications of such parental effects remain unclear, partly because previous studies have generally overlooked the potential for interactions between parental sources of non-genetic variance to influence patterns of offspring phenotypic expression. We tested for such interactions, subjecting male and female Drosophila melanogaster of two different age classes to an immune activation challenge or a control treatment. Flies were then crossed in all age and immune status combinations, and the reproductive success of their immune- and control-treated daughters measured. We found that daughters produced by two younger parents exhibited reduced reproductive success relative to those of other parental age combinations. Furthermore, immune-challenged daughters exhibited higher reproductive success when produced by immune-challenged relative to control-treated mothers, a pattern consistent with transgenerational immune priming. Finally, a complex interplay between paternal age and parental immune statuses influenced daughter's reproductive success. These findings demonstrate the dynamic nature of age- and immune-mediated parental effects, traceable to both parents, and regulated by interactions between parents and between parents and offspring. PMID:25253454

  10. 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

  11. Social variables affecting mate preferences, copulation and reproductive outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs.

    PubMed

    Cafazzo, Simona; Bonanni, Roberto; 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

  12. Water availability and population origin affect the expression of the tradeoff between reproduction and growth in Plantago coronopus.

    PubMed

    Hansen, C F; García, M B; Ehlers, B K

    2013-05-01

    Investment in reproduction and growth represent a classic tradeoff with implication for life history evolution. The local environment can play a major role in the magnitude and evolutionary consequences of such a tradeoff. Here, we examined the investment in reproductive and vegetative tissue in 40 maternal half-sib families from four different populations of the herb Plantago coronopus growing in either a dry or wet greenhouse environment. Plants originated from populations with an annual or a perennial life form, with annuals prevailing in drier habitats with greater seasonal variation in both temperature and precipitation. We found that water availability affected the expression of the tradeoff (both phenotypic and genetic) between reproduction and growth, being most accentuated under dry condition. However, populations responded very differently to water treatments. Plants from annual populations showed a similar response to drought condition with little variation among maternal families, suggesting a history of selection favouring genotypes with high allocation to reproduction when water availability is low. Plants from annual populations also expressed the highest level of plasticity. For the perennial populations, one showed a large variation among maternal families in resource allocation and expressed significant negative genetic correlations between reproductive and vegetative biomass under drought. The other perennial population showed less variation in response to treatment and had trait values similar to those of the annuals, although it was significantly less plastic. We stress the importance of considering intraspecific variation in response to environmental change such as drought, as conspecific plants exhibited very different abilities and strategies to respond to high versus low water availability even among geographically close populations. PMID:23621367

  13. Hormonal characteristics of the human menstrual cycle throughout reproductive life.

    PubMed

    Sherman, B M; Korenman, S G

    1975-04-01

    The changes in serum levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FHS), estradiol, and progesterone that occur both early and late in reproductive life were characterized and compared with findings in young, normal women and in patients with certain menstrual disorders. A total of 50 complete menstrual cycles in 37 were examined. Five distinct patterns of hormonal regulation were found, three of which are reported here: (a) A long follicular phase and delayed follicular maturation in young women with long, unpredictable intermenstrual intervals from menarche; (b) a short follicular phase with increasing age and in short cycles in perimenopausal women; and (c) true anovulatory vaginal bleeding in long cycles in perimenopausal women. The short cycles before and during the menopausal transition were found to have lower E2 levels and high FSH concentrations throughout, while LH remained in the normal range. During long cycles in perimenopausal women, concentrations of LH and FSH were in the menopausal range. However, follicular maturation was observed months after high levels of gonadotropins were attained. These studies permit the characterization of the menstrual history of the normal woman in terms of the hormonal changes that occur and provide a basis for the definition of several disorders of follicular maturation. PMID:1120778

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:9354044

  16. 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. PMID:24852016

  17. Role of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling in the neuroendocrine control of human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Miraoui, Hichem; Dwyer, Andrew; Pitteloud, Nelly

    2011-10-22

    Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling is critical for a broad range of developmental processes. In 2003, Fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) was discovered as a novel locus causing both forms of isolate GnRH Deficiency, Kallmann syndrome [KS with anosmia] and normosmic idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism [nIHH] eventually accounting for approximately 10% of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) deficiency cases. Such cases are characterized by a broad spectrum of reproductive phenotypes from severe congenital forms of GnRH deficiency to reversal of HH. Additionally, the variable expressivity of both reproductive and non-reproductive phenotypes among patients and family members harboring the identical FGFR1 mutations has pointed to a more complex, oligogenic model for GnRH deficiency. Further, reversal of HH in patients carrying FGFR1 mutations suggests potential gene-environment interactions in human GnRH deficiency disorders. PMID:21664428

  18. 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. PMID:25014902

  19. Genotypic variation in host response to infection affects parasite reproductive rate.

    PubMed

    Tavalire, Hannah F; Blouin, Michael S; Steinauer, Michelle L

    2016-02-01

    Parasite fitness is largely influenced by a variation in host response due to the host's genetic background. Here we investigated the impact of host genotype on pathogen success in the snail vector of its castrating parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. We infected five inbred lines of Biomphalaria glabrata with two infection doses and followed their growth, reproductive output and parasite production throughout the course of infection. There was no difference in resistance to infection among inbred lines, but lines varied in their responses to infection and the numbers of parasites produced. Snails did not compensate for castration by increasing their fecundity during the early phase of infection (fecundity compensation). However, some lines were able to delay parasite shedding for up to 30 weeks, thus prolonging reproduction before the onset of castration. Here we propose this strategy as a novel defense against castrating pathogens in snails. Gigantism, a predicted outcome of castration due to energy reallocation, occurred early in infection (<15 weeks) and was not universal among the snail lines. Lines that did not show gigantism were also characterised by a high parasite production rate and low survivorship, perhaps indicating energy reallocation into parasite production and costly immune defense. We observed no differences in total parasite production among lines throughout the entire course of infection, although lines differed in their parasite reproductive rate. The average rate of parasite production varied among lines from 1300 to 2450 cercariae within a single 2h shedding period, resulting in a total production of 6981-29,509 cercariae over the lifetime of a single snail. Regardless of genetic background, snail size was a strong predictor of parasite reproduction: each millimetre increase in snail size at the time of the first shed resulted in up to 3500 more cercariae over the lifetime of the snail. The results of this study provide a detailed picture of

  20. NTP-CERHR monograph on the potential human reproductive and developmental effects of methylphenidate.

    PubMed

    2005-08-01

    The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) conducted an evaluation of the potential for methylphenidate to cause adverse effects on reproduction and development in humans. Methylphenidate was selected for evaluation because of 1) widespread usage in children, 2) availability of developmental studies in children and experimental animals, and 3) public concern about the effect of this stimulant on child development. Methylphenidate is a central nervous system stimulant approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in persons 6 years of age and older and for narcolepsy. The results of this evaluation on methylphenidate are published in an NTP-CERHR monograph which includes: 1) the NTP Brief, 2) the Expert Panel Report on the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of Methylphenidate, 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 methylphenidate on human development and reproduction. First, there is negligible concern for methylphenidate-induced tics and movement disorders. This conclusion is based on studies showing that children treated with therapeutic doses of methylphenidate have no evidence of movement disorders or tics due to the medication. Second, there is minimal concern for methylphenidate-induced growth restriction. This conclusion is based on growth restriction being observed in animal studies only at high doses of methylphenidate using a non-therapeutic route of exposure. The effect on growth was reversible. Finally, there are insufficient data to draw conclusions on 1) an association between methylphenidate therapy in pregnant women and pregnancy loss and 2) possible reproductive effects of methylphenidate in humans. NTP-CERHR monographs are transmitted to federal and state agencies, interested

  1. 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…

  2. Modern approaches to the treatment of human infertility through assisted reproduction.

    PubMed

    Fernández Pelegrina, R; Kessler, A G; Rawlins, R G

    1991-08-01

    Medical statistics from the United States show approximately 15 percent of all couples of reproductive age are unable to conceive naturally. In recent years, the numbers of couples with reproductive problems has increased, principally due to changes in life style and delayed childbearing. Only 13 years after the birth of the first "test tube baby", advances in the field of human reproduction have created a wide range of alternatives to help infertile couples conceive a healthy infant. Together, these techniques are called Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and include: in vitro fertilization (IVF), intratubal transfer of gametes (GIFT), intratubal transfer of zygotes (ZIFT), tubal transfer of preimplantation embryos (TET), gamete or embryo donation, cryopreservtion, and micromanipulation. The application of these techniques is presented here. While much remains to be learned, the ability to fertilize ova in vitro and sustain early embryonic life outside the body is now a reality. Contrary to the idea that these techniques create life in vitro, they simply remove barriers caused by different forms of infertility which impede the creation of life. More than 30,000 infants have now been produced world-wide through ART. In the future, new developments in the field of assisted reproduction promise to bring new hope to the growing numbers of infertile couples around the world. PMID:1946922

  3. Risk factors that affect reproductive target achievement in fertile dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Aungier, S P M; Roche, J F; Diskin, M G; Crowe, M A

    2014-01-01

    The aims of the present study were to investigate (1) the risk factors that influence the achievement of reproductive targets postpartum (pp) and (2) the key factors that influence pregnancy rate following first artificial insemination (AI) in dairy cows. Ninety-eight Holstein-Friesian pp cows were blood sampled from wk 1 to 4 pp for hematology and biochemistry. Reproductive tract health was assessed weekly by ultrasonography and vaginal mucus scoring. Body condition score (BCS), lameness score, and milk yield were assessed every 2 wk. Milk samples for progesterone assay were collected twice weekly and on d 4, 5, and 7 after AI. Risk factors associated with achieving reproductive targets depended on (1) increased metabolic activity of the liver (increased glutamate dehydrogenase at calving and increased γ-glutamyl transpeptidase in wk 4), (2) a competent immune system (increased neutrophils in wk 1; decreased α1-acid glycoprotein in wk 1, 2, and 3), (3) an endocrine system that was capable of responding by producing sufficient triiodothyronine in wk 2 and increased insulin-like growth factor I in wk 3 and 4, (4) a lower negative energy balance status (decreased nonesterified fatty acid concentration in wk 1; decreased β-hydroxybutyrate concentration in wk 2; BCS loss between calving and d 28 pp <0.5), (5) good reproductive tract health [normal uterine scan at d 45 pp; clear vaginal mucus discharge at first ovulation and at d 45 pp; resumed ovarian cyclicity by the end of the voluntary waiting period (≥ d 35 pp)], and (6) adequate diet (to ensure increased glutathione peroxidase in wk 2 and 3 and increased magnesium in wk 4). Risk factors that increased the odds of a successful first AI were previous ovulation(s) (odds ratio=3.17 per ovulation), BCS >2.5 at AI (odds ratio=3.01), and clear vaginal mucus (score=0) compared with purulent mucus (score >0) 4 d after first AI (odds ratio=2.99). In conclusion, this study identified key risk factors in the early pp

  4. 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. PMID:23334245

  5. Skin Blood Perfusion and Oxygenation Colour Affect Perceived Human Health

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:19337378

  6. Do r/K reproductive strategies apply to human differences?

    PubMed

    Rushton, J P

    1988-01-01

    This article discusses the r/K theory of Social Biology and how it relates to humans. The symbols r and K originate in the mathematics of population biology and refer to 2 ends of a continuum in which a compensatory exchange occurs between gamete production (the r-strategy) and longevity (the K-strategy). Both across and within species, r and K strategists differ in a suite of correlated characteristics. Humans are the most K of all. K's supposedly have a longer gestation period, a higher birthweight, a more delayed sexual maturation, a lower sex drive, and a longer life. Studies providing evidence for the expected covariation among K attributes are presented. Additional evidence for r/K theory comes from the comparison of human population known to differ in gamete production. The pattern of racial differences observed to occur in sexual behavior has also been found to exist on numerous other indices of K. For instance, there are racial differences in brain size, intelligence, and maturation rate, among others. The findings suggest that, on the average, Mongoloids are more K than Caucasoids, who in turn, are more K than Negroids. Recently conducted studies have extended the data in favor of r/K theory, and further research is currently underway, including whether r/K attributes underlie individual and social class differences in health and longevity. PMID:3241997

  7. Reproductive health in humans and wildlife: are adverse trends associated with environmental chemical exposure?

    PubMed

    Harrison, P T; Holmes, P; Humfrey, C D

    1997-10-20

    In recent years, evidence from disparate observations has indicated adverse changes in the reproductive health and fecundity of animals and humans. In humans, there is strong evidence for such trends in the incidences of testicular and female breast cancer, and concern has also been expressed regarding semen quality, cryptorchidism, hypospadias and polycystic ovaries. Laboratory studies have indicated that some chemicals in the environment, both natural and synthetic, have the potential to disrupt the endocrine system and that these could, at least theoretically, be partly responsible for the observed changes. Chemicals thus identified include the naturally occurring steroid hormones, phyto- and myco-estrogens, and anthropogenic chemicals such as synthetic hormones, organotins, organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, alkylphenol polyethoxylates, phthalates and bisphenol-A. While there is no direct evidence from human studies to confirm a causal link between exposure and effect, concern exists and is strengthened by reports of adverse reproductive and developmental effects in wildlife, possibly mediated via endocrine disruptive pathways. The development of imposex in neogastropod molluscs exposed to tributyltin has been attributed to such a mechanism and in wild populations of fish, alligators and birds, instances of masculinisation or feminisation in polluted areas have been noted. Among mammals, disturbed fertility of Florida panthers and some marine species has also been reported. A concentrated research and monitoring programme is required to clarify the nature and extent of effects on reproductive health in humans and wildlife, and to assess human and wildlife exposure to relevant naturally occurring or anthropogenic endocrine disrupting substances. This will enable a more robust evaluation of the contribution that environmental chemical exposure may have on adverse trends in the reproductive health of humans and wildlife. PMID:9372623

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  11. 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

  12. Senescence of reproduction may explain adaptive menopause in humans: a test of the "mother" hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Pavard, Samuel; E Metcalf, C Jessica; Heyer, Evelyne

    2008-06-01

    The "mother" hypothesis is one of the main adaptive explanations of human menopause. It postulates that reproductive cessation constitutes a strategy that has been selected for during human evolution because mothers at older ages might maximize their fitness by investing resources in the survival and reproduction of their living children rather than by continuing to reproduce. This study provides a test of this hypothesis. Fertility functions that maximize fitness are built into a model incorporating the fact that the survival of females during the rearing period is a major determinant of their children's survival. Results are given according to different scenarios of increase with mothers' age of maternal mortality risk and risk of stillbirth and birth defects (on the assumption that these females do not experience menopause). Different estimates of the effect of a mother's death on her child's survival were also incorporated. Finally, a population genetics framework allows us to estimate selection on these optimal fertility functions. To determine whether or not these fertility functions show a menopause, three criteria are discussed: the rapidity of fertility decline, if any; the magnitude of selection on menopause compared with a nonmenopausal strategy; and the selection on survival during post-reproductive life. Our results show that menopause and subsequent post-reproductive life are significantly advantageous when two conditions are satisfied: a marked increase in stillbirth and risk of birth defects as well as in maternal mortality with mother's age. PMID:18322919

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

    PubMed

    Rangel, Juliana; 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 that other external

  14. 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

  15. Food availability affects Osmia pumila (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) foraging, reproduction, and brood parasitism.

    PubMed

    Goodell, Karen

    2003-03-01

    Food limitation can reduce reproductive success directly, as well as indirectly, if foraging imposes a risk of predation or parasitism. The solitary bee Osmia pumila suffers brood parasitism by the cleptoparasitic wasp Sapyga centrata, which enters the host nest to oviposit while the female bee is away. I studied foraging and reproduction of O. pumila nesting within cages stocked with rich or sparse floral resources, and the presence or absence of S. centrata to test (1) the response of nesting female O. pumila to food shortages, (2) the response of nesting female O. pumila to the presence of parasites, and (3) whether brood produced under scarce resources are more likely to be parasitized by S. centrata. The rate of brood cell production was significantly lower in cages with sparse floral resources, although females in sparse cages did not produce significantly fewer brood cells overall. Sapyga centrata did not influence the rate of brood cell production, but females exposed to the cleptoparasites had marginally significantly lower reproductive output. Nests in parasite cages had significantly fewer brood cells than those in parasite free cages. The mean duration of foraging bouts made by female O. pumila in sparse cages was not significantly longer than that in rich cages. O. pumila spent less time in the nest between pollen and nectar foraging bouts in sparse cages with S. centrata than those in other cages suggesting that these individuals made more frequent food foraging trips. Despite the weak effects of parasites and bloom density on foraging behavior, O. pumila brood cells experienced a 5-fold higher probability of parasitism by S. centrata in cages with sparse bloom than in those with rich bloom [corrected]. These results support the hypothesis that indirect effects of food scarcity increase O. pumila susceptibility to brood parasitism, although the exact mechanism is not entirely clear yet. PMID:12647124

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

    PubMed

    Uberoi, Diya; de Bruyn, Maria

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:25006084

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. Alloparenting experience affects future parental behavior and reproductive success in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Stone, Anita Iyengar; Mathieu, Denise; Griffin, Luana; Bales, Karen Lisa

    2010-01-01

    Various hypotheses have been proposed to explain the function of alloparental behavior in cooperatively breeding species. We examined whether alloparental experience as juveniles enhanced later parental care and reproductive success in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), a cooperatively breeding rodent. Juveniles cared for one litter of siblings (1EX), two litters of siblings (2EX) or no siblings (0EX). As adults, these individuals were mated to other 0EX, 1EX or 2EX voles, yielding seven different pair combinations, and we recorded measures of parental behaviors, reproductive success, and pup development. As juveniles, individuals caring for siblings for the first time were more alloparental; and as adults, 0EX females paired with 0EX males spent more time in the nest with their pups. Taken together, these results suggest that inexperienced animals spend more time in infant care. As parents, 1EX males spent more time licking their pups than 2EX and 0EX males. Pups with either a 1EX or 2EX parent gained weight faster than pups with 0EX parents during certain developmental periods. While inexperienced animals may spend more time in pup care, long-term benefits of alloparenting may become apparent in the display of certain, particularly important parental behaviors such as licking pups, and in faster weight gain of offspring. PMID:19732810

  20. 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. PMID:25637403

  1. 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. PMID:26746137

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:27354660

  5. 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

  6. Gonadal steroids and affective symptoms during in vitro fertilization: implication for reproductive mood disorders.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Miki; Aharonov, Inbar; Ben Avi, Irit; Schreiber, Shaul; Amit, Ami; Weizman, Abraham; Azem, Foad

    2011-07-01

    Gonadal steroids (GSs) have been associated with the onset of a number of reproductive-related mood disorders in women, in which fluctuating or unstable hormonal levels are postulated to act as the trigger for the destabilization of mood. There is, however, rather limited direct clinical evidence that can link rapidly changing GS levels with the induction of mood symptoms. We aimed to study the effect of controlled and rapid GS fluctuations on mood in an in vivo model. Women undergoing in vitro fertilization (n=108) were assessed for depression and anxiety levels on 3 time points: during a low estradiol and progesterone baseline, during a gonadotropin stimulated estradiol-dominant phase, and after embryo transfer, during a progesterone-dominant low estrogen phase. Plasma levels for estrogen and progesterone were drawn on these time points. Symptoms of depression and anxiety significantly increased from baseline to the high estradiol levels but were not correlated with estrogen. The sharp drop from high estradiol levels at the estradiol-dominant phase to low levels at the progesterone-dominant phase was significantly correlated with rising depression scores. The rise in progesterone levels from low levels at the estradiol-dominant phase to high levels at the progesterone-dominant phase was significantly and inversely correlated with depression scores. This study suggests that the mechanism underlying the role of estrogen in reproductive-related mood disorders involves an abrupt and precipitous drop in its plasma level that can precipitate negative mood states. This finding has implications on the treatment of GS-related mood disorders. PMID:21106297

  7. Male Reproductive System

    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, ...

  8. 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 ...

  9. Female Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

    ... Story" 5 Things to Know About Zika & Pregnancy Female Reproductive System KidsHealth > For Parents > Female Reproductive System Print A ... the egg or sperm. continue Components of the Female Reproductive System Unlike the male, the human female has a ...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24107531

  11. Key Factors Affecting Reproductive Success of Thoroughbred Mares and Stallions on a Commercial Stud Farm.

    PubMed

    Lane, E A; Bijnen, Mlj; Osborne, M; More, S J; Henderson, Isf; Duffy, P; Crowe, M A

    2016-04-01

    To evaluate factors contributing to fertility of thoroughbred mares, data from 3743 oestrous periods of 2385 mares were collected on a large thoroughbred farm in Ireland. Fourteen stallions (mean age 8.3 years; range 4-15 years) had bred 2385 mares (mean age 9.4 years; range 3-24 years). Maiden mares accounted for 12%, mares with a foal at foot for 64%, and barren, slipped or rested mares for 24% of the total. The mean pregnancy rate per cycle was 67.8% (68.6% in year 1 and 66.9% in year 2). Backward stepwise multivariable logistic regression analysis was utilized to develop two models to evaluate mare factors, including mare age, reproductive status, month of foaling, dystocia, month of cover, foal heat, cycle number, treatments, walk-in status and stallion factors including stallion identity, stallion age, shuttle status, time elapsed between covers and high stallion usage on the per cycle pregnancy rate and pregnancy loss. Old age (p < 0.001) and cover within 20 days post-partum (p < 0.003) were associated with lowered pregnancy rates. High mare age (p < 0.05) and barren, slipped or rested reproductive status (p = 0.05) increased the likelihood of pregnancy loss. Uterine inflammation or infection, if appropriately treated, did not affect fertility. Only high usage of stallions (used more than 21 times in previous week) was associated with lowered (p = 0.009) pregnancy rates. However, shuttle stallions were more likely to have increased (p = 0.035) pregnancy survival, perhaps reflecting a bias in stallion selection. In conclusion, mare age exerted the greatest influence on fertility; nonetheless, thoroughbreds can be effectively managed to achieve high reproductive performance in a commercial setting. PMID:26815482

  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. NTP-CERHR Monograph on the Potential Human Reproductive and Developmental Effects of Di-n-Hexyl Phthalate (DnHP).

    PubMed

    2003-05-01

    The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) conducted an evaluation of the potential for di-n-hexyl phthalate (DnHP) to cause adverse effects on reproduction and development in humans. DnHP 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. Available information indicates that DnHP is manufactured in relatively small amounts but occurs in a variety of commercial products including dip-molded products such as tool handles or dishwasher baskets, flooring, vinyl gloves, flea collars, and conveyer belts used in food processing. The results of this evaluation on DnHP are published in an NTP-CERHR monograph which includes: 1) the NTP Brief, 2) the Expert Panel Report on the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of DnHP, 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 DnHP on human development and reproduction. The scientific evidence was insufficient to reach a conclusion regarding the potential for DnHP to adversely affect human development or reproduction. There was very limited information on developmental and reproductive toxicity available to the panel. The panel evaluated only a single developmental toxicity study using a high dose (9,900 mg/kg body weight/day on gestational days 6-13) of DnHP. No live pups were delivered. In a reproductive study, effects on fertility were noted in all treatment groups (380-1,670 mg/ kg body weight/day). These studies provided sufficient information in experimental animals to conclude that DnHP is a reproductive and developmental toxicant at the doses tested. However, the treatment doses were high and these

  14. Physical attractiveness and reproductive success in humans: Evidence from the late 20th century United States

    PubMed Central

    Jokela, Markus

    2010-01-01

    Physical attractiveness has been associated with mating behavior, but its role in reproductive success of contemporary humans has received surprisingly little attention. In the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (1244 women, 997 men born between 1937 and 1940) we examined whether attractiveness assessed from photographs taken at age ~18 predicted the number of biological children at age 53–56. In women, attractiveness predicted higher reproductive success in a nonlinear fashion, so that attractive (second highest quartile) women had 16% and very attractive (highest quartile) women 6% more children than their less attractive counterparts. In men, there was a threshold effect so that men in the lowest attractiveness quartile had 13% fewer children than others who did not differ from each other in the average number of children. These associations were partly but not completely accounted for by attractive participants’ increased marriage probability. A linear regression analysis indicated relatively weak directional selection gradient for attractiveness (β=0.06 in women, β=0.07 in men). These findings indicate that physical attractiveness may be associated with reproductive success in humans living in industrialized settings. PMID:21151758

  15. 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. PMID:26223357

  16. Nanoplastic affects growth of S. obliquus and reproduction of D. magna.

    PubMed

    Besseling, Ellen; Wang, Bo; Lürling, Miquel; Koelmans, Albert A

    2014-10-21

    The amount of nano- and microplastic in the aquatic environment rises due to the industrial production of plastic and the degradation of plastic into smaller particles. Concerns have been raised about their incorporation into food webs. Little is known about the fate and effects of nanoplastic, especially for the freshwater environment. In this study, effects of nano-polystyrene (nano-PS) on the growth and photosynthesis of the green alga Scenedesmus obliquus and the growth, mortality, neonate production, and malformations of the zooplankter Daphnia magna were assessed. Nano-PS reduced population growth and reduced chlorophyll concentrations in the algae. Exposed Daphnia showed a reduced body size and severe alterations in reproduction. Numbers and body size of neonates were lower, while the number of neonate malformations among neonates rose to 68% of the individuals. These effects of nano-PS were observed between 0.22 and 103 mg nano-PS/L. Malformations occurred from 30 mg of nano-PS/L onward. Such plastic concentrations are much higher than presently reported for marine waters as well as freshwater, but may eventually occur in sediment pore waters. As far as we know, these results are the first to show that direct life history shifts in algae and Daphnia populations may occur as a result of exposure to nanoplastic. PMID:25268330

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. NTP-CERHR monograph on the potential human reproductive and developmental effects of amphetamines.

    PubMed

    2005-07-01

    The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) conducted an evaluation of the potential for amphetamines to cause adverse effects on reproduction and development in humans. Amphetamines evaluated were D- and D,L-amphetamine and methamphetamine. Amphetamine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in persons over 3 years of age and narcolepsy; methamphetamine is approved for the treatment of ADHD in persons 6 years of age and older and for short-term treatment of obesity. Amphetamines were selected for evaluation because of 1) widespread usage in children, 2) availability of developmental studies in children and experimental animals, and 3) public concern about the effect of this stimulant on child development. The results of this evaluation on amphetamines are published in an NTP-CERHR monograph which includes: 1) the NTP Brief, 2) the Expert Panel Report on the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of Methylphenidate, 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 methylphenidate on human development and reproduction. First, there is some concern for developmental effects, specifically for potential neurobehavioral alterations, from prenatal amphetamine exposure in humans both in therapeutic and non-therapeutic settings. After prenatal exposure to therapeutic doses of amphetamine, rat pups demonstrated neurobehavioral alterations. Data from human and animal studies were judged insufficient for an evaluation of the effect of amphetamine exposure on growth and other related developmental effects. Second, there is concern for methamphetamine-induced adverse developmental effects, specifically on growth and neurobehavioral development, in therapeutic and non-therapeutic settings. This conclusion is based

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. The binary mixtures of megestrol acetate and 17α-ethynylestradiol adversely affect zebrafish reproduction.

    PubMed

    Hua, Jianghuan; Han, Jian; Wang, Xianfeng; Guo, Yongyong; Zhou, Bingsheng

    2016-06-01

    Synthetic progesterones and estrogens are broadly used bioactive pharmaceutical agents and have been detected in aquatic environments. In the present study, we investigated the combined reproductive effects of megestrol acetate (MTA) and 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) on zebrafish. Adult zebrafish were exposed to MTA (33, 100 or 333 ng/L), EE2 (10 ng/L) or a mixture of both (MTA + EE2: 33 + 10, 100 + 10 or 333 + 10 ng/L) for 21 days. Results demonstrated that egg production was significantly reduced by exposure to 10 ng/L EE2, but not MTA. However, a combined exposure to MTA and EE2 caused further reduction of fish fecundity compared to EE2 exposure alone, suggesting an additive effect on egg production when EE2 is supplemented with MTA. Plasma concentrations of 17β-estradiol and testosterone in the females and 11-ketotestosterone in the males were significantly decreased in the groups exposed to EE2 or MTA alone compared with the solvent control, and the plasma concentrations of the three hormones were further reduced in the co-exposure groups relative to the MTA exposure group, but not the EE2 exposure group. These data indicate that the inhibitory effects on plasma concentrations in the co-exposures were predominantly caused by EE2. Furthermore, exposure to MTA and EE2 (alone or in combination) led to histological alterations in the ovaries (decreased vitellogenic/mature oocytes), but not in the testes. This study has important implications for environmental risk assessment of synthetic hormones that are concurrently present in aquatic systems. PMID:27038209

  3. Developmental Methoxychlor Exposure Affects Multiple Reproductive Parameters and Ovarian: Folliculogenesis and Gene Expression in Adult Rats

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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 μg/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 β 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. PMID:18848953

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Sublethal effects of antibiosis resistance on the reproductive biology of two spittlebug (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) species affecting Brachiaria spp.

    PubMed

    Sotelo, Paola A; Miller, María F; Cardona, Cesar; Miles, John W; Sotelo, Guillermo; Montoya, James

    2008-04-01

    Several greenhouse experiments were used to measure how high levels of antibiosis resistance to nymphs in two interspecific Brachiaria (brachiariagrass) hybrids affect life history parameters of the spittlebugs Aeneolamia varia (F.) and Zulia carbonaria (Lallemand), two of the most important spittlebug (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) species affecting Brachiaria production in Colombia. The A. varia-resistant hybrid CIAT 36062, the Z. carbonaria-resistant hybrid SX01NO/0102, and the susceptible accession CIAT 0654 were used to compare the effect of all possible combinations of food sources for nymphs and adults. Calculation of growth indexes showed a significant impact of antibiosis resistance on the biology of immature stages of both species. Median survival times of adults feeding on resistant genotypes did not differ from those recorded on the susceptible genotype, suggesting that factors responsible for high mortality of nymphs in the resistant hybrids did not affect adult survival. Rearing nymphs of A. varia on CIAT 36062 and of Z. carbonaria on SX01NO/0102 had deleterious sublethal effects on the reproductive biology of resulting adult females. It is concluded that high nymphal mortality and subsequent sublethal effects of nymphal antibiosis on adults should have a major impact on the demography of the two spittlebug species studied. PMID:18459425

  9. Elementary Affective Education in Human Relations: Teachers Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Florida Univ., Gainesville. P. K. Yonge Lab. School.

    The activities and resources in this teacher's guide have been developed and field tested as part of the research and development mission of the P. K. Yonge Laboratory School of the College of Education of the University of Florida. The Elementary Affective Education for Human Relations Project utilized classroom teachers in a variety of settings…

  10. 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…

  11. The comparative psychopathology of affective disorders in animals and humans.

    PubMed

    Healy, D

    1987-01-01

    Reviews of animal models of affective disorders commonly concentrate on the behavioural features thereof, the supposed neurochemical substrates, the mode of production and the response to treatment of the state in question but ignore questions of psycho pathology. An attempt is made to deal critically with the psychopathology of human and animal affective disorders in the light of current operational criteria for the diagnosis of major depressive disorders. It is argued thatthe psychopathological tradition stemming from Jaspers may be more appropriate to a consideration of animal models of affective disorders than the psychopathological positions implicit in psychoanalysis, behaviourism or current cognitive psychologies and in addition more suited to meet these criteria. The adoption of such a perspective results in a shift of emphasis from abnormalities of psychological content to demonstrable neuropsychological deficits and a definition of affective disorders, whether in animals or humans, as psychosomatic illnesses, possibly involving a pathology of circadian rhythmicity. This perspective also suggests that animal models may be useful in the devel opment of more refined diagnostic criteria for affective disorders in humans. PMID:22158981

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

    PubMed

    Ezcurra, Diego; Humaidan, Peter

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25280580

  13. Novel Partners of SPAG11B Isoform D in the Human Male Reproductive Tract1

    PubMed Central

    Radhakrishnan, Yashwanth; Hamil, Katherine G.; Tan, Jiann-an; Grossman, Gail; Petrusz, Peter; Hall, Susan H.; French, Frank S.

    2009-01-01

    Human sperm-associated antigen 11 (SPAG11) is closely related to beta-defensins in structure, expression, and function. Like the beta-defensins, SPAG11 proteins are predominantly expressed in the male reproductive tract, where their best-known major roles are in innate host defense and reproduction. Although several hypotheses have emerged to describe the evolution of beta-defensin and SPAG11 multifunctionality, few describe these multiple functions in terms of defensin interactions with specific proteins. To gain insight into the protein interaction potentials of SPAG11 and the signaling pathways that SPAG11 may influence, we used a yeast two-hybrid screening of a human testis-epididymis library. The results reveal human SPAG11B isoform D (SPAG11B/D) interactions with tryptase alpha/beta 1 (TPSAB1), tetraspanin 7 (TSPAN7), and attractin (ATRN). These interactions were confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation and glutathione S-transferase affinity matrix binding. SPAG11B/D and the three interacting proteins are expressed in the proximal epididymis, and all function in immunity and fertility pathways. We analyzed the functional consequences of SPAG11B/D interaction with TPSAB1 and showed that SPAG11B/D is both a substrate and a potent inhibitor of TPSAB1 activity. Furthermore, we show that (like SPAG11B/D) TSPAN7 and ATRN are associated with spermatozoa. PMID:19535787

  14. Novel partners of SPAG11B isoform D in the human male reproductive tract.

    PubMed

    Radhakrishnan, Yashwanth; Hamil, Katherine G; Tan, Jiann-An; Grossman, Gail; Petrusz, Peter; Hall, Susan H; French, Frank S

    2009-10-01

    Human sperm-associated antigen 11 (SPAG11) is closely related to beta-defensins in structure, expression, and function. Like the beta-defensins, SPAG11 proteins are predominantly expressed in the male reproductive tract, where their best-known major roles are in innate host defense and reproduction. Although several hypotheses have emerged to describe the evolution of beta-defensin and SPAG11 multifunctionality, few describe these multiple functions in terms of defensin interactions with specific proteins. To gain insight into the protein interaction potentials of SPAG11 and the signaling pathways that SPAG11 may influence, we used a yeast two-hybrid screening of a human testis-epididymis library. The results reveal human SPAG11B isoform D (SPAG11B/D) interactions with tryptase alpha/beta 1 (TPSAB1), tetraspanin 7 (TSPAN7), and attractin (ATRN). These interactions were confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation and glutathione S-transferase affinity matrix binding. SPAG11B/D and the three interacting proteins are expressed in the proximal epididymis, and all function in immunity and fertility pathways. We analyzed the functional consequences of SPAG11B/D interaction with TPSAB1 and showed that SPAG11B/D is both a substrate and a potent inhibitor of TPSAB1 activity. Furthermore, we show that (like SPAG11B/D) TSPAN7 and ATRN are associated with spermatozoa. PMID:19535787

  15. 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. PMID:25666363

  16. Reproduction Does Not Adversely Affect Liver Mitochondrial Respiratory Function but Results in Lipid Peroxidation and Increased Antioxidants in House Mice

    PubMed Central

    Mowry, Annelise V.; Kavazis, Andreas N.; Sirman, Aubrey E.; Potts, Wayne K.; Hood, Wendy R.

    2016-01-01

    Reproduction is thought to come at a cost to longevity. Based on the assumption that increased energy expenditure during reproduction is associated with increased free-radical production by mitochondria, oxidative damage has been suggested to drive this trade-off. We examined the impact of reproduction on liver mitochondrial function by utilizing post-reproductive and non-reproductive house mice (Mus musculus) living under semi-natural conditions. The age-matched post-reproductive and non-reproductive groups were compared after the reproductive females returned to a non-reproductive state, so that both groups were in the same physiological state at the time the liver was collected. Despite increased oxidative damage (p = 0.05) and elevated CuZnSOD (p = 0.002) and catalase (p = 0.04) protein levels, reproduction had no negative impacts on the respiratory function of liver mitochondria. Specifically, in a post-reproductive, maintenance state the mitochondrial coupling (i.e., respiratory control ratio) of mouse livers show no negative impacts of reproduction. In fact, there was a trend (p = 0.059) to suggest increased maximal oxygen consumption by liver mitochondria during the ADP stimulated state (i.e., state 3) in post-reproduction. These findings suggest that oxidative damage may not impair mitochondrial respiratory function and question the role of mitochondria in the trade-off between reproduction and longevity. In addition, the findings highlight the importance of quantifying the respiratory function of mitochondria in addition to measuring oxidative damage. PMID:27537547

  17. 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.

  18. Phenotypic plasticity in growth and fecundity induced by strong population fluctuations affects reproductive traits of female fish.

    PubMed

    Karjalainen, Juha; Urpanen, Olli; Keskinen, Tapio; Huuskonen, Hannu; Sarvala, Jouko; Valkeajärvi, Pentti; Marjomäki, Timo J

    2016-02-01

    Fish are known for their high phenotypic plasticity in life-history traits in relation to environmental variability, and this is particularly pronounced among salmonids in the Northern Hemisphere. Resource limitation leads to trade-offs in phenotypic plasticity between life-history traits related to the reproduction, growth, and survival of individual fish, which have consequences for the age and size distributions of populations, as well as their dynamics and productivity. We studied the effect of plasticity in growth and fecundity of vendace females on their reproductive traits using a series of long-term incubation experiments. The wild parental fish originated from four separate populations with markedly different densities, and hence naturally induced differences in their growth and fecundity. The energy allocation to somatic tissues and eggs prior to spawning served as a proxy for total resource availability to individual females, and its effects on offspring survival and growth were analyzed. Vendace females allocated a rather constant proportion of available energy to eggs (per body mass) despite different growth patterns depending on the total resources in the different lakes; investment into eggs thus dictated the share remaining for growth. The energy allocation to eggs per mass was higher in young than in old spawners and the egg size and the relative fecundity differed between them: Young females produced more and smaller eggs and larvae than old spawners. In contrast to earlier observations of salmonids, a shortage of maternal food resources did not increase offspring size and survival. Vendace females in sparse populations with ample resources and high growth produced larger eggs and larvae. Vendace accommodate strong population fluctuations by their high plasticity in growth and fecundity, which affect their offspring size and consequently their recruitment and productivity, and account for their persistence and resilience in the face of high

  19. 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. PMID:26604029

  20. Mutations of the Drosophila Myosin Regulatory Light Chain Affect Courtship Song and Reduce Reproductive Success

    PubMed Central

    Chakravorty, Samya; Vu, Hien; Foelber, Veronica; Vigoreaux, Jim O.

    2014-01-01

    The Drosophila indirect flight muscles (IFM) rely on an enhanced stretch-activation response to generate high power output for flight. The IFM is neurally activated during the male courtship song, but its role, if any, in generating the small amplitude wing vibrations that produce the song is not known. Here, we examined the courtship song properties and mating behavior of three mutant strains of the myosin regulatory light chain (DMLC2) that are known to affect IFM contractile properties and impair flight: (i) Dmlc2Δ2–46 (Ext), an N-terminal extension truncation; (ii) Dmlc2S66A,S67A (Phos), a disruption of two MLC kinase phosphorylation sites; and (iii) Dmlc2Δ2–46;S66A,S67A (Dual), expressing both mutations. Our results show that the Dmlc2 gene is pleiotropic and that mutations that have a profound effect on flight mechanics (Phos and Dual) have minimal effects on courtship song. None of the mutations affect interpulse interval (IPI), a determinant of species-specific song, and intrapulse frequency (IPF) compared to Control (Dmlc2+ rescued null strain). However, abnormalities in the sine song (increased frequency) and the pulse song (increased cycles per pulse and pulse length) evident in Ext males are not apparent in Dual males suggesting that Ext and Phos interact differently in song and flight mechanics, given their known additive effect on the latter. All three mutant males produce a less vigorous pulse song and exhibit impaired mating behavior compared to Control males. As a result, females are less receptive to Ext, Phos, and Dual males when a Control male is present. These results open the possibility that DMLC2, and perhaps contractile protein genes in general, are partly under sexual selection. That mutations in DMLC2 manifest differently in song and flight suggest that this protein fulfills different roles in song and flight and that stretch activation plays a smaller role in song production than in flight. PMID:24587213

  1. Cyclic decidualization of the human endometrium in reproductive health and failure.

    PubMed

    Gellersen, Birgit; Brosens, Jan J

    2014-12-01

    Decidualization denotes the transformation of endometrial stromal fibroblasts into specialized secretory decidual cells that provide a nutritive and immunoprivileged matrix essential for embryo implantation and placental development. In contrast to most mammals, decidualization of the human endometrium does not require embryo implantation. Instead, this process is driven by the postovulatory rise in progesterone levels and increasing local cAMP production. In response to falling progesterone levels, spontaneous decidualization causes menstrual shedding and cyclic regeneration of the endometrium. A growing body of evidence indicates that the shift from embryonic to maternal control of the decidual process represents a pivotal evolutionary adaptation to the challenge posed by invasive and chromosomally diverse human embryos. This concept is predicated on the ability of decidualizing stromal cells to respond to individual embryos in a manner that either promotes implantation and further development or facilitates early rejection. Furthermore, menstruation and cyclic regeneration involves stem cell recruitment and renders the endometrium intrinsically capable of adapting its decidual response to maximize reproductive success. Here we review the endocrine, paracrine, and autocrine cues that tightly govern this differentiation process. In response to activation of various signaling pathways and genome-wide chromatin remodeling, evolutionarily conserved transcriptional factors gain access to the decidua-specific regulatory circuitry. Once initiated, the decidual process is poised to transit through distinct phenotypic phases that underpin endometrial receptivity, embryo selection, and, ultimately, resolution of pregnancy. We discuss how disorders that subvert the programming, initiation, or progression of decidualization compromise reproductive health and predispose for pregnancy failure. PMID:25141152

  2. 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. PMID:24927190

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Mortality and reproductive dynamics of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) fed human blood.

    PubMed

    Styer, Linda M; Minnick, Sharon L; Sun, Anna K; Scott, Thomas W

    2007-01-01

    Mortality is a critical factor in determining a mosquito's ability to transmit pathogens. We investigated the effect of human blood feeding and reproduction on mortality of the dengue virus vector, Aedes aegypti, by conducting a life-table study of male and female mosquitoes maintained on one of three diets: 10% sucrose, human blood or human blood plus 10% sucrose. We examined the effect of host availability by offering human blood to mosquitoes every day or every other day. Mortality of females was age-dependent and best fit by a logistic or logistic-Makeham model. The availability of blood increased survival; survival of females fed blood plus sugar was greater than those only fed sugar. There was a peak in mortality of females fed blood alone early in life that coincided with the initiation of oviposition. When females in the blood alone group were offered blood daily, their mortality was significantly lower than when they were offered blood every other day. Unlike some previous studies, females fed blood plus sugar had higher fitness than females fed blood alone. Increased fitness may have been due to differences in housing mosquitoes individually in separate cages versus as a group of many mosquitoes in each cage. It was not due to longer survival of males who had access to sugar as a food source. Our results demonstrate that reproductively active Ae. aegypti exhibit age-dependent mortality, which refutes the assumption of age-independent mosquito mortality and underscores the need to incorporate age-dependent factors into pathogen transmission models and research on mosquito biology in general. PMID:17417961

  7. The impact of natural odors on affective states in humans.

    PubMed

    Weber, Sandra T; Heuberger, Eva

    2008-06-01

    Laboratory studies have shown a significant influence of certain fragrances on affective as well as cognitive states in humans. The aim of the current study was to measure the relationship between complex, natural odors and affective states, that is, calmness, alertness, and mood, in the field. In 4 experiments, the emotional impact, intensity, and hedonics of complex, natural plant odors were assessed in 32 healthy human subjects and compared with control conditions involving a similar outdoor environment without the tested fragrant plants. In all experiments, the selected fragrances were evaluated as more intense than the odors in the control conditions but pleasantness ratings differed only in 2 of the 4 experiments. The fragrances improved subjective ratings of calmness, alertness, and mood depending on the sequence of the conditions but independent of visual features of the environment. In contrast, a fifth experiment which tested the influence of natural and artificial pleasant odors and an artificial unpleasant odor on calmness, alertness, and mood in 22 subjects showed that the unpleasant odor impaired these affective states in humans independent of the order of presentation. On the other hand, no effects of the pleasant odors on mood and calmness were observed in this experiment. PMID:18353767

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25740893

  9. Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing

    PubMed Central

    Fredrickson, Barbara L.; Losada, Marcial F.

    2011-01-01

    Extending B. L. Fredrickson’s (1998) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions and M. Losada’s (1999) nonlinear dynamics model of team performance, the authors predict that a ratio of positive to negative affect at or above 2.9 will characterize individuals in flourishing mental health. Participants (N = 188) completed an initial survey to identify flourishing mental health and then provided daily reports of experienced positive and negative emotions over 28 days. Results showed that the mean ratio of positive to negative affect was above 2.9 for individuals classified as flourishing and below that threshold for those not flourishing. Together with other evidence, these findings suggest that a set of general mathematical principles may describe the relations between positive affect and human flourishing. PMID:16221001

  10. Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing.

    PubMed

    Fredrickson, Barbara L; Losada, Marcial F

    2005-10-01

    Extending B. L. Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions and M. Losada's (1999) nonlinear dynamics model of team performance, the authors predict that a ratio of positive to negative affect at or above 2.9 will characterize individuals in flourishing mental health. Participants (N=188) completed an initial survey to identify flourishing mental health and then provided daily reports of experienced positive and negative emotions over 28 days. Results showed that the mean ratio of positive to negative affect was above 2.9 for individuals classified as flourishing and below that threshold for those not flourishing. Together with other evidence, these findings suggest that a set of general mathematical principles may describe the relations between positive affect and human flourishing. PMID:16221001

  11. 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

  12. 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)

  13. 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

  14. Early and delayed reproductive death in human cells exposed to high energy iron-ion beams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bettega, D.; Calzolari, P.; Doneda, L.; Durante, M.; Tallone, L.

    For radiation protection of the astronauts it is important to know both the acute and the late effects of charged particles. Iron is the most abundant high charge and energy (HZE) specie in galactic cosmic radiation. (HZE) ions are considered to be the major contributors to equivalent dose in space, but the Relative Biological Effectiveness of HZE particles has large uncertainties, expecially for late effects. We have determined early and delayed reproductive death in human fibroblast cells (AG1522) exposed to iron ion beams of energies between 0.2 and 1 GeV/n. The cells were irradiated at the HIMAC accelerator in Chiba (0.2 and 0.5 GeV/n) and at the AGS accelerator at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory in Brookhaven (1 GeV/n). For each beam the dose--effect curves were measured at least twice in the dose range between 0.5 and 2 Gy. 60 Co gamma rays were used as reference radiation. The following results were obtained: 1) the 1 GeV/n beam effectiveness for inactivation of the AG1522 cells is higher than that of any other beam. 2) the progeny of the irradiated cells show the presence of delayed damage in the form of reproductive death for all the beams with the 1 GeV/n being the most effective. 3) the relative biological effectiveness of the iron beams is higher for delayed compared to early reproductive death. A comparison with preliminary results obtained with 970 MeV/n Ti and 490 MeV/n Si ions will be also reported .

  15. 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. PMID:23464502

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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., (Edited By)

    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.

  20. Contemplating choice: attitudes towards intervening in human reproduction in Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Simpson, B; Dissanayake, V H W; Jayasekara, R W

    2005-04-01

    To date, relatively little is known about the ethical, legal and social responses to recent advances in reproductive and genetic technology outside Europe and North America. This article reports on a survey carried out among doctors (n=278) and medical students (n=1256) in Sri Lanka to find out more about their responses to novel interventions in human reproduction such as In-Vitro Fertilization, Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis and genetic engineering. In the first part of the paper comparisons are drawn between this survey and a survey carried out in 1985 which also considered issues surrounding amniocentesis and therapeutic termination. The second part of the paper deals with more recent developments. The analysis reveals high levels of support for the use of new technologies in treating infertility and identifying genetic disorders. However, differences are apparent among the major religious communities represented in the sample and these are particularly in evidence in relation to prenatal genetic diagnosis. An important theme throughout both surveys is the continuing tension surrounding State policy and termination of pregnancy and the implications this has for the development of screening and counseling services where genetic disorders are concerned. PMID:16552923

  1. Advancing or postponing the day of human chorionic gonadotropin does not matter for the outcome in assisted reproductive technology

    PubMed Central

    Pratap, Deepika; Kumar, Pratap; Adiga, Satish Kumar

    2014-01-01

    CONTEXT: The primary outcome is to remove the worry of getting immature oocytes with early administration of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). AIM: The aim was to find out the association between the day of hCG administration and follicular response in relation to the number and maturity of oocytes, and fertilization rate in assisted reproduction to avoid weekend oocyte recovery (OR). SETTINGS AND DESIGN: Retrospective study was carried out in the university infertility clinic. MATERIALS AND METHOD: Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) in 94 patients undergoing assisted reproductive technology (2010-2011) with recombinant follicle stimulating hormone and timely gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist were analyzed regarding day of hCG from day 8-11. Oocyte maturity and fertilization was analyzed and correlated with the day of hCG administration. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Kruskal–Wallis test. RESULTS: The average number of >18 mm follicles observed from day 8-11 of hCG administration was not statistically different. However, the OR rate (54.2%), number of mature oocytes (92.5%), and fertilization rate (78.5%) was maximum in the patients where hCG was administered on day 8 of COH. CONCLUSIONS: The day of hCG administration between 8 and 11 does not affect the OR rate significantly although the number of oocytes recovered on day 8 are marginally higher compared with day 9-11. Hence, it is possible to safely avoid weekend oocyte retrieval, by delaying or advancing hCG administration without compromising the outcome. PMID:25191023

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. IL-36γ Augments Host Defense and Immune Responses in Human Female Reproductive Tract Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Winkle, Sean M.; Throop, Andrea L.; Herbst-Kralovetz, Melissa M.

    2016-01-01

    IL-36γ is a proinflamatory cytokine which belongs to the IL-1 family of cytokines. It is expressed in the skin and by epithelial cells (ECs) lining lung and gut tissue. We used human 3-D organotypic cells, that recapitulate either in vivo human vaginal or cervical tissue, to explore the possible role of IL-36γ in host defense against pathogens in the human female reproductive tract (FRT). EC were exposed to compounds derived from virus or bacterial sources and induction and regulation of IL-36γ and its receptor was determined. Polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly I:C), flagellin, and synthetic lipoprotein (FSL-1) significantly induced expression of IL-36γ in a dose-dependent manner, and appeared to be TLR-dependent. Recombinant IL-36γ treatment resulted in self-amplification of IL-36γ and its receptor (IL-36R) via increased gene expression, and promoted other inflammatory signaling pathways. This is the first report to demonstrate that the IL-36 receptor and IL-36γ are present in the human FRT EC and that they are differentially induced by microbial products at this site. We conclude that IL-36γ is a driver for epithelial and immune activation following microbial insult and, as such, may play a critical role in host defense in the FRT. PMID:27379082

  5. 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. PMID:23163395

  6. Developmental and reproductive toxicity of inorganic arsenic: animal studies and human concerns.

    PubMed

    Golub, M S; Macintosh, M S; Baumrind, N

    1998-01-01

    Information on the reproductive and developmental toxicity of inorganic arsenic is available primarily from studies in animals using arsenite and arsenate salts and arsenic trioxide. Inorganic arsenic has been extensively studied as a teratogen in animals. Data from animal studies demonstrate that arsenic can produce developmental toxicity, including malformation, death, and growth retardation, in four species (hamsters, mice, rats, rabbits). A characteristic pattern of malformations is produced, and the developmental toxicity effects are dependent on dose, route, and the day of gestation when exposure occurs. Studies with gavage and diet administration indicate that death and growth retardation are produced by oral arsenic exposure. Arsenic is readily transferred to the fetus and produces developmental toxicity in embryo culture. Animal studies have not identified an effect of arsenic on fertility in males or females. When females were dosed chronically for periods that included pregnancy, the primary effect of arsenic on reproduction was a dose-dependent increase in conceptus mortality and in postnatal growth retardation. Human data are limited to a few studies of populations exposed to arsenic from drinking water or from working at or living near smelters. Associations with spontaneous abortion and stillbirth have been reported in more than one of these studies, but interpretation of these studies is complicated because study populations were exposed to multiple chemicals. Thus, animal studies suggest that environmental arsenic exposures are primarily a risk to the developing fetus. In order to understand the implications for humans, attention must be given to comparative pharmacokinetics and metabolism, likely exposure scenarios, possible mechanisms of action, and the potential role of arsenic as an essential nutrient. PMID:9644328

  7. 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

    2014-03-01

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:24657670

  10. 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.

  11. CRF-Like Diuretic Hormone Negatively Affects Both Feeding and Reproduction in the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria

    PubMed Central

    Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Dillen, Senne; Marchal, Elisabeth; Badisco, Liesbeth; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2012-01-01

    Diuretic hormones (DH) related to the vertebrate Corticotropin Releasing Factor (CRF) have been identified in diverse insect species. In the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, the CRF-like DH (CRF/DH) is localized in the same neurosecretory cells as the Ovary Maturating Parsin (OMP), a neurohormone that stimulates oocyte growth, vitellogenesis and hemolymph ecdysteroid levels in adult female locusts. In this study, we investigated whether CRF-like DH can influence feeding and reproduction in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. We identified two highly similar S. gregaria CRF-like DH precursor cDNAs, each of which also encodes an OMP isoform. Alignment with other insect CRF-like DH precursors shows relatively high conservation of the CRF/DH sequence while the precursor region corresponding to OMP is not well conserved. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR revealed that the precursor transcripts mainly occur in the central nervous system and their highest expression level was observed in the brain. Injection of locust CRF/DH caused a significantly reduced food intake, while RNAi knockdown stimulated food intake. Therefore, our data indicate that CRF-like DH induces satiety. Furthermore, injection of CRF/DH in adult females retarded oocyte growth and caused lower ecdysteroid titers in hemolymph and ovaries, while RNAi knockdown resulted in opposite effects. The observed effects of CRF/DH may be part of a wider repertoire of neurohormonal activities, constituting an integrating control system that affects food intake and excretion, as well as anabolic processes like oocyte growth and ecdysteroidogenesis, following a meal. Our discussion about the functional relationship between CRF/DH and OMP led to the hypothesis that OMP may possibly act as a monitoring peptide that can elicit negative feedback effects. PMID:22363645

  12. Trappin-2/Elafin: a novel innate anti-human immunodeficiency virus-1 molecule of the human female reproductive tract.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Mimi; Shen, Zheng; Fahey, John V; Cu-Uvin, Susan; Mayer, Kenneth; Wira, Charles R

    2010-02-01

    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

  13. Perinatal Oxidative Stress May Affect Fetal Ghrelin Levels in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Zhong-Cheng; Bilodeau, Jean-François; Monique Nuyt, Anne; Fraser, William D.; Julien, Pierre; Audibert, Francois; Xiao, Lin; Garofalo, Carole; Levy, Emile

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26643495

  14. An apparent excess of sex- and reproduction-related genes on the human X chromosome.

    PubMed Central

    Saifi, G M; Chandra, H S

    1999-01-01

    We describe here the results of a search of Mendelian inheritance in man, GENDIAG and other sources which suggest that, in comparison with autosomes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 11, the X chromosome may contain a significantly higher number of sex- and reproduction-related (SRR) genes. A similar comparison between X-linked entries and a subset of randomly chosen entries from the remaining autosomes also indicates an excess of genes on the X chromosome with one or more mutations affecting sex determination (e.g. DAX1), sexual differentiation (e.g. androgen receptor) or reproduction (e.g. POF1). A possible reason for disproportionate occurrence of such genes on the X chromosome could be that, during evolution, the 'choice' of a particular pair of homomorphic chromosomes for specialization as sex chromosomes may be related to the number of such genes initially present in it or, since sex determination and sexual dimorphism are often gene dose-dependent processes, the number of such genes necessary to be regulated in a dose-dependent manner. Further analysis of these data shows that XAR, the region which has been added on to the short arm of the X chromosome subsequent to eutherian-marsupial divergence, has nearly as high a proportion of SRR genes as XCR, the conserved region of the X chromosome. These observations are consistent with current hypotheses on the evolution of sexually antagonistic traits on sex chromosomes and suggest that both XCR and XAR may have accumulated SRR traits relatively rapidly because of X linkage. PMID:10097393

  15. Male Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

    ... Surveillance Modules » Anatomy & Physiology » Reproductive System » Male Reproductive System Cancer Registration & Surveillance Modules Anatomy & Physiology Intro to the Human Body Body Functions & Life Process Anatomical Terminology Review Quiz ...

  16. 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

  17. Normal and cancer stem cells of the human female reproductive system.

    PubMed

    López, Jacqueline; Valdez-Morales, Francisco J; Benítez-Bribiesca, Luis; Cerbón, Marco; Carrancá, Alejandro García

    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

  18. 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. PMID:24994815

  19. Catalog and map of human genes of interest in endocrinology and reproduction, Version 94.5

    SciTech Connect

    Amador, A.G.; Handy, T.L.; Ellis, L.M.

    1994-09-01

    During the past decade, there has been an explosion in the knowledge of human genetics. Almost 6000 loci are listed in the latest Mendelian Inheritance in Man (MIM) 10th edition; hundreds have been mapped to specific human chromosomes, and listed in the Chromosome Coordinating Meeting (CCM92) 1992. Every week, new reports mapping new genes, or refining the localization of previously mapped ones, are published. Today, this information can be confusing even for veteran geneticists, and the volume of it makes it unusable for clinicians and scientists outside the field of genetics. Thus, the development of a Catalog and Map of Human Genes, that would include only those loci of at least some interest in the field of endocrinology and reproduction, was undertaken. The starting point was to sift the genes reported in CCM92, and to generate a dedicated list of loci. Thereafter, a computer-based updatable gene map was developed. Finally, a permanent scanning of the literature permits detection of changes, and additions to the catalog and map of the desired category of genes. Also, this allows for the generation of timely updates of this database, independently from the publication of future editions of CCM, MIM or similar sources. However, crosschecking with future editions of these publications will also be part of the updating and quality control methodology. As of the end of May, 1994, 685 human genes have been included in the version 94.5 of this endocrine catalog. The chromosome with the most loci was No. 1, and that with the least was No. 13.

  20. Co-evolution of NK receptors and HLA ligands in humans is driven by reproduction.

    PubMed

    Moffett, Ashley; Colucci, Francesco

    2015-09-01

    Allogeneic individuals co-exist during pregnancy in eutherian mammals. Maternal and fetal cells intermingle at the site of placental attachment in the uterus, where the arteries are remodeled to supply the fetus with oxygen and nutrients. This access by placental cells to the maternal supply line determines the growth and birth weight of the baby and is subject to stabilizing selection. Invading placental trophoblast cells express human leukocyte antigen class I ligands (HLA-E, HLA-G, and HLA-C) for receptors on maternal uterine natural killer (NK) and myelomonocytic cells, CD94/NKG2, leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor (LILR), and killer immunoglobulin receptor (KIR). Of these, only the KIR/HLA-C system is highly polymorphic. Different combinations of maternal KIR and fetal HLA-C variants are correlated with low birth weight and pre-eclampsia or high birth weight and obstructed labor, the two extremes of the obstetric dilemma. This situation has arisen because of the evolution of bipedalism and subsequently, in the last million years, larger brains. At this point, the human system began to reach a balance between KIR A and KIR B haplotypes and C1 and C2 epitopes of HLA-C alleles that reflects a functional compromise between the competing demands of immunity and reproduction. PMID:26284484

  1. Do local adaptation and the reproductive tactic of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) affect offspring metabolic capacities?

    PubMed

    Rossignol, O; Dodson, J J; Marquilly, C; Guderley, H

    2010-01-01

    Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) is an iteroparous, anadromous species that exhibits some of the greatest within-population variability in size and age at maturity of all vertebrates. In the conditional reproductive strategy of salmonids, the male reproductive tactic expressed is believed to depend on an individual male's status relative to others in the population and therefore depends on his capacity to attain a physiological threshold, the exact nature of which is unknown. Although the threshold is influenced by local biotic and abiotic conditions, it is likely to be under genetic control. Our study examined whether the early growth, muscle metabolic capacities, routine metabolic rate, and spontaneous swimming of salmon alevins reared in laboratory conditions varied with the population of origin, maternal investment, and the paternal reproductive tactic. Our experimental design allowed us to establish that neither the population of origin nor the paternal reproductive tactic influenced the physiological capacities of alevins. The strong influence of the mother on alevin metabolic capacities suggests that the bioenergetic differences in metabolic capacities, realized metabolic rates, and activity levels that could eventually dictate the reproductive tactic of male offspring may originate in maternal effects. PMID:20350165

  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. PMID:23280489

  3. Does acute exposure to mobile phones affect human attention?

    PubMed

    Russo, Riccardo; Fox, Elaine; Cinel, Caterina; Boldini, Angela; Defeyter, Margaret A; Mirshekar-Syahkal, Dariush; Mehta, Amit

    2006-04-01

    Recent studies have indicated that acute exposure to low level radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields generated by mobile phones affects human cognition. However, the relatively small samples used, in addition to methodological problems, make the outcomes of these studies difficult to interpret. In our study we tested a large sample of volunteers (168) using a series of cognitive tasks apparently sensitive to RF exposure (a simple reaction task, a vigilance task, and a subtraction task). Participants performed those tasks twice, in two different sessions. In one session they were exposed to RFs, with half of subjects exposed to GSM signals and the other half exposed to CW signals, while in the other session they were exposed to sham signals. No significant effects of RF exposure on performance for either GSM or CW were found, independent of whether the phone was positioned on the left or on the right side. PMID:16304701

  4. Environmental layout complexity affects neural activity during navigation in humans.

    PubMed

    Slone, Edward; Burles, Ford; Iaria, Giuseppe

    2016-05-01

    Navigating large-scale surroundings is a fundamental ability. In humans, it is commonly assumed that navigational performance is affected by individual differences, such as age, sex, and cognitive strategies adopted for orientation. We recently showed that the layout of the environment itself also influences how well people are able to find their way within it, yet it remains unclear whether differences in environmental complexity are associated with changes in brain activity during navigation. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how the brain responds to a change in environmental complexity by asking participants to perform a navigation task in two large-scale virtual environments that differed solely in interconnection density, a measure of complexity defined as the average number of directional choices at decision points. The results showed that navigation in the simpler, less interconnected environment was faster and more accurate relative to the complex environment, and such performance was associated with increased activity in a number of brain areas (i.e. precuneus, retrosplenial cortex, and hippocampus) known to be involved in mental imagery, navigation, and memory. These findings provide novel evidence that environmental complexity not only affects navigational behaviour, but also modulates activity in brain regions that are important for successful orientation and navigation. PMID:26990572

  5. 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

  6. 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. PMID:25537120

  7. Down-Regulation of S100A11, a Calcium-Binding Protein, in Human Endometrium May Cause Reproductive Failure

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xin-Mei; Ding, Guo-Lian; Jiang, Ying; Pan, Hong-Jie; Zhang, Dan; Wang, Ting-Ting; Zhang, Run-Ju; Shu, Jing

    2012-01-01

    Background: Low expression levels of S100A11 proteins were demonstrated in the placental villous tissue of patients with early pregnancy loss, and S100A11 is a Ca2+-binding protein that interprets the calcium fluctuations and elicits various cellular responses. Objectives: The objective of the study was to determine S100A11 expression in human endometrium and its roles in endometrial receptivity and embryo implantation. Methods: S100A11 expression in human endometrium was analyzed using quantitative RT-PCR, Western blot, and immunohistochemical techniques. The effects of S100A11 on embryo implantation were examined using in vivo mouse model, and JAr (a human choriocarcinoma cell line) spheroid attachment assays. The effects of endometrial S100A11 on factors related to endometrial receptivity and immune responses were examined. Using a fluorescence method, we examined the changes in cytosolic Ca2+ and Ca2+ release from intracellular stores in epidermal growth factor (EGF)-treated endometrial cells transfected with or without S100A11 small interfering RNA. Results: S100A11 was expressed in human endometrium. S100A11 protein levels were significantly lower in endometrium of women with failed pregnancy than that in women with successful pregnancy outcomes. The knockdown of endometrial S100A11 not only reduced embryo implantation rate in mouse but also had adverse effects on the expression of factors related to endometrial receptivity and immune responses in human endometrial cells. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that S100A11 proteins were mainly localized in endoplasmic reticulum. The EGF up-regulated endometrial S100A11 expression and promoted the Ca2+ uptake and release from Ca2+ stores, which was inhibited by the knockdown of S100A11. Conclusions: Endometrial S100A11 is a crucial intermediator in EGF-stimulated embryo adhesion, endometrium receptivity, and immunotolerance via affecting Ca2+ uptake and release from intracellular Ca2+ stores. Down-regulation of S

  8. 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 ...

  9. Dehydration-stress affects vegetative reproduction and transcriptome profiles in underground adventitious buds of leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Leafy spurge is an invasive perennial weed that infests mainly range, recreational and right-of-way lands in the great plains of the US and Canada. Although spread occurs by both seeds and roots, the perennial nature of leafy spurge is attributed to vegetative reproduction from an abundance of under...

  10. 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

    ... in 1998 (63 FR 68782). CERHR is a publicly accessible resource for information about adverse... Reproduction (CERHR); Evaluation of the Health Effects of Low-Level Lead Exposure: Call for Information and... reproduction and/or development and provide opinion on whether these substances are hazardous for...

  11. 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. PMID:25099662

  12. 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

  13. The correlation between the frequency of sister-chromatid exchange and human reproductive hormones.

    PubMed

    Joseph-Lerner, N; Fejgin, M; Ben-Nun, I; Legum, C; Amiel, A

    1993-08-01

    Different frequencies of sister-chromatid exchanges (SCEs) during various stages of the menstrual cycle have previously been observed. We tested the hypothesis that sex hormones, particularly steroids, influence the frequency of SCEs in women undergoing ovulation induction for in vitro fertilization treatment. These women undergo extreme hormonal changes and therefore serve as a good model for testing the rate of genetic damage due to these changes. As controls, we tested fertile women with regular menstrual cycles who received no hormonal treatment. Peripheral lymphocytes were obtained during different stages of the normal and treated cycles. We examined SCE frequency as related to the different hormones of the reproductive cycle at each of the stages. In general, an increased SCE frequency was observed around ovulation time in the controls, and around the time of human chorionic gonadotropin administration in the group undergoing ovulation induction. However, in the latter group, SCE frequency was significantly higher. SCE frequency was positively correlated with the level of testosterone and FSH in the ovulation induction group, and positively correlated with the estradiol level in both groups. PMID:7687025

  14. 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

  15. REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Throughout history, humans have celebrated the beauty and fertility of flowering plants. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, flowers contain the reproductive organs of the plant and are therefore essential for sexual propagation of plant life. Our dependence on flowering is illustrated by the die...

  16. 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

  17. Evaluation of non-genetic factors affecting calf growth, reproductive performance and milk yield of traditionally managed Sheko cattle in southwest Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Bayou, E; Haile, A; Gizaw, S; Mekasha, Y

    2015-01-01

    The study was conducted to estimate calf growth, reproductive performance and milk yield of Ethiopia Sheko cattle and to assess non-genetic factors affecting their performance in their home tract as a step towards designing sustainable cattle conservation and improvement strategy. All the growth traits considered in the study were significantly affected by all non-genetic factors considered except for the fixed effects of Agro ecological zones (AEZs) and season of birth which were not significant for post weaning daily gain. Calving interval (CI) and days open (DO) were significantly influenced by AEZs, season and dam parity. Cows that calved in lowland had shorter CI and DO than cows which calved in midland. Cows that calved in short rainy season had Short CI and DO than those calved during dry season or long rainy season. Cows which calved for the first time had the longest CI and DO from the other parities whereas cows on their fifth parity had the shortest CI and DO. AEZ significantly affected lactation milk yield (LMY) and lactation length (LL), but not significant on daily milk yield (DMY) and 305 days yield (305DY). Season was significant on all milk traits considered except DMY. Parity effect was significant on LMY and 305DY, whereas DMY and LL were not affected. The non-genetic factors had significant effects for all of the reproductive; and many of the growth and milk performance traits considered and hence will need to be considered in cattle breed improvement program. PMID:26543703

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:25963040

  1. 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. PMID:22935002

  2. Moisture Source and Diet affect Development and Reproduction of Orius thripoborus and Orius naivashae, two Predatory Anthocorids from Southern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Bonte, Jochem; Vangansbeke, Dominiek; Maes, Sara; Bonte, Maarten; Conlong, Des; Clercq, Patrick De

    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. PMID:22935002

  3. EVALUATING THE HUMAN HEALTH EFFECTS OF HAZARDOUS WASTES: REPRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT, NEUROTOXICITY, GENETIC TOXICITY AND CANCER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Several approaches are available for characterizing potential toxicity of wastes. his paper describes biological tests which are appropriate for identifying waste as neurotoxic, genotoxic, or likely to produce developmental or reproductive effects. he tests recommended are, for n...

  4. The motile and invasive capacity of human endometrial stromal cells: implications for normal and impaired reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Weimar, Charlotte H E; Macklon, Nick S; Post Uiterweer, Emiel D; Brosens, Jan J; Gellersen, Birgit

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND Mechanisms underlying early reproductive loss in the human are beginning to be elucidated. The migratory and invasive capacity of human endometrial stromal cells (ESCs) is increasingly recognized to contribute to the intense tissue remodelling associated with embryo implantation, trophoblast invasion and endometrial regeneration. In this review, we examine the signals and mechanisms that control ESC migration and invasion and assess how deregulation of these cell functions contributes to common reproductive disorders. METHODS The PubMed database was searched for publications on motility and invasiveness of human ESCs in normal endometrial function and in reproductive disorders including implantation failure, recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), endometriosis and adenomyosis, covering the period 2000-2012. RESULTS Increasing evidence suggests that implantation failure and RPL involve abnormal migratory responses of decidualizing ESCs to embryo and trophoblast signals. Numerous reports indicate that endometriosis, as well as adenomyosis, is associated with increased basal and stimulated invasiveness of ESCs and their progenitor cells, suggesting a link between a heightened menstrual repair response and the formation of ectopic implants. Migration and invasiveness of ESCs are controlled by a complex array of hormones, growth factors, chemokines and inflammatory mediators, and involve signalling through Rho GTPases, phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. CONCLUSIONS Novel concepts are extending our understanding of the key functions of ESCs in effecting tissue repair imposed by cyclic menstruation and parturition. Migration of decidualizing ESCs also serves to support blastocyst implantation and embryo selection through discriminate motile responses directed by embryo quality. Targeting regulatory molecules holds promise for developing new strategies for the treatment of reproductive disorders such as endometriosis and

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Neonatal exposure to 17α-ethynyl estradiol affects ovarian gene expression and disrupts reproductive cycles in female rats.

    PubMed

    Nozawa, Kaori; Nagaoka, Kentaro; Zhang, Haolin; Usuda, Kento; Okazaki, Sachiko; Taya, Kazuyoshi; Yoshida, Midori; Watanabe, Gen

    2014-07-01

    Neonatal exposure to synthetic estrogen causes delayed reproductive dysfunction in female rats. Exposure to 17α-ethynyl estradiol (EE, low: 20 and high: 2000 μg/kg) induced an abnormal estrous cycle during PND171-190 in low-dose and PND126-145 in high-dose group. At PND90 within normal estrous cycle, high-dose animals showed lack of LH surge and low of ovarian hormones in serum level. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that level of mRNA encoding luteinizing hormone/chorionic gonadotropin receptor (LHCGR) was higher in EE-treated ovaries than in control ovaries, and LHCGR protein colocalized with apoptosis-related proteins in the interstitial area of the ovary. At PND1, ovarian LHCGR mRNA levels were higher in EE-treated rats than in control rats, and direct induction of LHCGR expression by EE was observed in vitro. Our results indicate that neonatal exposure to EE induces irregular LHCGR expression in the immature ovary, which may influence the occurrence of delayed reproductive dysfunction in adult animals. PMID:24632129

  10. 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. 

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. How does human error affect safety in anesthesia?

    PubMed

    Gravenstein, J S

    2000-01-01

    Anesthesia morbidity and mortality, while acceptable, are not zero. Most mishaps have a multifactorial cause in which human error plays a significant part. Good design of anesthesia machines, ventilators, and monitors can prevent some, but not all, human error. Attention to the system in which the errors occur is important. Modern training with simulators is designed to reduce the frequency of human errors and to teach anesthesiologists how to deal with the consequences of such errors. PMID:10601526

  14. Transposable element insertions have strongly affected human evolution

    PubMed Central

    Britten, Roy J.

    2010-01-01

    Comparison of a full collection of the transposable element (TE) sequences of vertebrates with genome sequences shows that the human genome makes 655 perfect full-length matches. The cause is that the human genome contains many active TEs that have caused TE inserts in relatively recent times. These TE inserts in the human genome are several types of young Alus (AluYa5, AluYb8, AluYc1, etc.). Work in many laboratories has shown that such inserts have many effects including changes in gene expression, increases in recombination, and unequal crossover. The time of these very effective changes in the human lineage genome extends back about 4 million years according to these data and very likely much earlier. Rapid human lineage-specific evolution, including brain size is known to have also occurred in the last few million years. Alu insertions likely underlie rapid human lineage evolution. They are known to have many effects. Examples are listed in which TE sequences have influenced human-specific genes. The proposed model is that the many TE insertions created many potentially effective changes and those selected were responsible for a part of the striking human lineage evolution. The combination of the results of these events that were selected during human lineage evolution was apparently effective in producing a successful and rapidly evolving species. PMID:21041622

  15. 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. PMID:25056118

  16. Food availability and reproduction affects lipid and fatty acid composition of the brown mussel, Perna perna, raised in suspension culture.

    PubMed

    Narváez, Mirle; Freites, L; Guevara, M; Mendoza, J; Guderley, H; Lodeiros, C J; Salazar, G

    2008-02-01

    We examined the influence of the reproductive cycle and environmental factors on variations of the condition index (CI), tissue dry mass, shell size, total lipid content, and relative percent of fatty acids in the mussel, Perna perna. Spat or juveniles were reared to commercial size (70 mm) in suspension culture in the Golfo de Cariaco, Venezuela between May and October 2004. The dry mass of soft tissues and shell, a visual assessment of gonadal status and the organism lipid profile were established every fortnight. In parallel, we measured the environmental conditions, following chlorophyll a, salinity, temperature and seston levels. After an initial decrease, the CI rose and remained high until August after which it decreased continuously until October. Total lipid values also decreased initially, after which they showed two periods of rapid recuperation and depletion, the first between May and August and the second between August and October. Similar tendencies were noted in the fatty acids, C18:3n-3, C18:4n-3 and C22:6n-3. Correlation analysis found no significant relationships between environmental parameters and the variations in total lipids. However, significant correlations were noted between fatty acids and specific environmental parameters. In particular, temperature was inversely correlated with C14:0, C16:1n-7, C18:0, C18:1n-9 and 20:5n-3. Chlorophyll a was positively correlated with C14:0, C16:1n-7, C18:1n-7, C18:4n-3 and 20:4n-6. On the other hand, gametogenesis had an effect on C14:0, C16:1n-7, C18:1n-9 and C18:1n-7, while spawned and gonadal regression states had an effect on fatty acid 20:4n-6. Temperature and chlorophyll a levels strongly influenced the proportion of mussels spawning, suggesting that their influence upon lipid composition may be secondary to their impact upon reproduction. Despite the thermal stability of this tropical system, the lipid composition of mussels changed markedly during the study, reflecting the central role of diet

  17. Targeted disruption of the mouse prosaposin gene affects the development of the prostate gland and other male reproductive organs.

    PubMed

    Morales, C R; Zhao, Q; El-Alfy, M; Suzuki, K

    2000-01-01

    The prosaposin gene encodes a 65-70 kilodalton (kd) protein, which is secreted or targeted to lysosomes. In lysosomes, prosaposin is the precursor of 4 activator proteins, designated saposins A, B, C, and D, which promote by acidic hydrolases, the degradation of glycosphingolipids with short oligosaccharide chains. Mutations of the prosaposin gene have been linked to several lysosomal storage disorders. An animal model was recently developed by creating a null allele in embryonic stem cells through gene targeting in order to investigate the phenotypic diversity of prosaposin mutations, the involvement of this protein in lysosomal storage diseases, and to develop potential therapeutic approaches. Mutant homozygous mice die at 35-40 days of age and neurological disorders contribute to their early death. Secreted prosaposin is present in milk and in cerebrospinal and seminal fluids. In the nervous system, prosaposin exhibits a trophic activity. Examination of reproduc-tive organs in homozygous mutant males shows several abnormalities such as a decrease in testis size with reduced spermiogenesis, and an involution of the prostate, seminal vesicle, and epididymis, although levels of testosterone in blood remain normal. In the prostate of homozygous mutants, only basal cells appear to be present, whereas secretory cells are absent. The epithelia in efferent ducts is formed by ciliated cells, whereas heterozygotes exhibit a majority of nonciliated cells. Our data indicate that prosaposin is involved in the development and maintenance of male reproductive organs. In prostatic epithelium, targeted disruption of the prosaposin gene appears to inactivate the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway and to interfere with differentiation of secretory cells. PMID:11105903

  18. 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. PMID:20035035

  19. The sleeping beauty: how reproductive diapause affects hormone signaling, metabolism, immune response and somatic maintenance in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    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

  20. 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

  1. NTP-CERHR monograph on the potential human reproductive and developmental effects of acrylamide.

    PubMed

    2005-02-01

    Acrylamide, used in the manufacture of polyacrylamide and grouting agents, is produced during the cooking of foods. Workplace exposure to acrylamide can occur through the dermal and inhalation routes. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the metabolism of acrylamide in humans following oral administration, to compare hemoglobin adduct formation on oral and dermal administration, to measure hormone levels, and to monitor the safety of acrylamide in people exposed under controlled conditions. Prior to conducting exposures in humans, a low-dose study was conducted in rats administered 3 mg/kg 1,2,3-¹³C₃acrylamide by gavage. The study protocol was reviewed and approved by Institute Review Boards both at RTI which performed the sample analysis, and the clinical research center conducting the study. 1,2,3-¹³C₃Acrylamide (AM) was administered in an aqueous solution orally (single dose of 0.5, 1.0,or 3.0 mg/kg) or dermally (3 daily doses of 3.0 mg/kg) to sterile male volunteers. Urine samples (3 mg/kg oral dose) were analyzed for AM metabolites using 13C NMR spectroscopy. Approximately 86 % of the urinary metabolites were derived from GSH conjugation, and excreted as N-acetyl-S-(3-amino-3-oxopropyl)cysteine and its S-oxide.Glycidamide, glycer amide, and low levels of N-acetyl-S-(3-amino-2-hydroxy-3-oxopropyl)cysteine were detected in urine. On oral administration, a linear dose response was observed for N-(2-carbamoylethyl)valine (AAVal) and N-(2-carbamoyl-2-hydroxyethyl)valine (GAVal) in hemoglobin. Dermal administration resulted in lower levels of AAVal and GAVal. This study indicated that humans metabolize acrylamide via glycidamide to a lesser extent than rodents, and dermal uptake was approximately 5%of that observed with oral uptake. Acrylamide is used in the manufacture of water- soluble polymers (European Union,2002). These polymers are then used for wastewater and sludge treatment, paper manufacture, soil stabilization, mining and many other uses

  2. Reproductive hacking

    PubMed Central

    Dustin Rubinstein, C; Wolfner, Mariana F

    2014-01-01

    Seminal proteins are critical for reproductive success in all animals that have been studied. Although seminal proteins have been identified in many taxa, and female reproductive responses to receipt of these proteins have been documented in several, little is understood about the mechanisms by which seminal proteins affect female reproductive physiology. To explore this topic, we investigated how a Drosophila seminal protein, ovulin, increases ovulation rate in mated females. Ovulation is a relatively simple physiological process, with known female regulators: previous studies have shown that ovulation rate is promoted by the neuromodulator octopamine (OA) in D. melanogaster and other insects. We found that ovulin stimulates ovulation by increasing OA signaling in the female. This finding supports a model in which a male seminal protein acts through “hacking” a well-conserved, regulatory system females use to adjust reproductive output, rather than acting downstream of female mechanisms of control or in parallel pathways altogether. We also discuss similarities between 2 forms of intersexual control of behavior through chemical communication: seminal proteins and pheromones. PMID:25483253

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. ASSESSMENT OF RISKS TO HUMAN REPRODUCTION AND TO DEVELOPMENT OF THE HUMAN CONCEPTUS FROM EXPOSURE TO ENVIRONMENTAL SUBSTANCES

    EPA Science Inventory

    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. Th...

  10. Reproductive tract microbiome in assisted reproductive technologies.

    PubMed

    Franasiak, Jason M; Scott, Richard T

    2015-12-01

    The human microbiome has gained much attention recently for its role in health and disease. This interest has come as we have begun to scratch the surface of the complexity of what has been deemed to be our "second genome" through initiatives such as the Human Microbiome Project. Microbes have been hypothesized to be involved in the physiology and pathophysiology of assisted reproduction since before the first success in IVF. Although the data supporting or refuting this hypothesis remain somewhat sparse, thanks to sequencing data from the 16S rRNA subunit, we have begun to characterize the microbiome in the male and female reproductive tracts and understand how this may play a role in reproductive competence. In this review, we discuss what is known about the microbiome of the reproductive tract as it pertains to assisted reproductive technologies. PMID:26597628

  11. Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fredrickson, Barbara L.; Losada, Marcial F.

    2005-01-01

    Extending B. L. Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions and M. Losada's (1999) nonlinear dynamics model of team performance, the authors predict that a ratio of positive to negative affect at or above 2.9 will characterize individuals in flourishing mental health. Participants (N=188) completed an initial survey to…

  12. Hemispheric Asymmetries in Children's Perception of Nonlinguistic Human Affective Sounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pollak, Seth D.; Holt, Lori L.; Fries, Alison B. Wismer

    2004-01-01

    In the present work, we developed a database of nonlinguistic sounds that mirror prosodic characteristics typical of language and thus carry affective information, but do not convey linguistic information. In a dichotic-listening task, we used these novel stimuli as a means of disambiguating the relative contributions of linguistic and affective…

  13. Factors affecting post-flight behavior in primary reproductives of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Park, Yong Ihl; Bland, John M; Raina, Ashok K

    2004-06-01

    After swarming, reproductive dealates of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus, run together in tandem. The tandem running is an age-related behavioral activity in C. formosanus. This behavior was not evoked in pre-flight alates less than 6-d-old that were artificially dealated. Female age was more important than male age for evoking tandem behavior. Females and males, older than 35 days, did not exhibit this behavior. Mating status was not important for female and male dealates to form the tandem pairs. The titers of the major tergal gland component, trilinolein, did not decline significantly and remained high, not only in virgin females, but also in mated females for a period of time after swarming. On the other hand, increasing amounts of the female-specific compound trilinolein were detected in male dealates 7, 14, and 42 days after pairing. This suggests that trilinolein in the females might be transferred to the males as a nuptial gift in C. formosanus. In addition, females have structurally different lateral setae that may constitute a morphological factor involved in the tandem behavior in this species. Covering the setae with dimethyl sulfoxide prevented the tandem behavior. PMID:15183283

  14. 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. PMID:27213896

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Mevalonate availability affects human and rat resistance vessel function.

    PubMed Central

    Roullet, J B; Xue, H; Roullet, C M; Fletcher, W S; Cipolla, M J; Harker, C T; McCarron, D A

    1995-01-01

    Previous data in rat conductance vessels indicated that cellular mevalonate contributes to vascular tone and systemic blood pressure control. Using exogenous mevalonate (M) or lovastatin, a 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor (L), we characterized the role of mevalonate availability in resistance artery function, both in experimental animals and humans. Rat mesenteric artery resistance vessels (MARV, n = 9) were incubated for 48 h with either L, M, L + M, or vehicle (V) and tested for reactivity to NE, serotonin, acetylcholine, atrial natriuretic peptide, and sodium nitroprusside (SNP). Lovastatin increased sensitivity to NE (P < 0.03) and serotonin (P < 0.003), and significantly impaired the response to all three vasodilators. These effects were reversed by co-incubation with mevalonate. Mevalonate alone had no effect. In separate experiments, intravascular free Ca2+ concentration (ivfCa2+) was determined in fura-2AM loaded MARV. Basal ivfCa2+ was increased after a 48-h exposure to L (52.7 +/- 4.6 nM, L, vs. 29.7 +/- 2.4 nM, V, n = 12, P < 0.003), as were ivfCa2+ levels following stimulation with low (100 nM) NE concentrations. Similar ivfCa2+ concentrations were achieved during maximum contraction with NE (10 mM) in both groups. Human resistance arteries of human adipose tissue were also studied. Lovastatin increased the sensitivity to NE (ED50 = 372 +/- 56 nM, V, and 99 +/- 33 nM, L, P < 0.001) and significantly decreased the relaxation to acetylcholine and SNP of human vessels. We conclude that mevalonate availability directly contribute to resistance vessel function and vascular signal transduction systems in both experimental animals and humans. The study calls for the identification of non-sterol, mevalonate-derived vasoactive metabolites, and suggests that disorders of the mevalonate pathway can alter vascular tone and cause hypertension. PMID:7615793

  19. Trends in human reproductive wastage in relation to long-term practice of inbreeding.

    PubMed

    Rao, P S; Inbaraj, S G

    1979-01-01

    The trends in reproductive performance and wastage are studied in relation to consanguinity of marriage and age of women on a population sample of 20,626 women, from the rural and urban areas of North Arcot District in South India. Data were collected by qualified women investigators using intensive interveiw techniques and specially developed questionnaires. Adequate quality control mechanisms were set up to ensure reliability of information gathered. For each marriage, a family pedigree was drawn extending upwards to two early generations on the side of each spouse in order to determine the existence and type of consanguinity married, 80% or more of such between an uncle and a niece or between first cousins. Altogher 70 161 total pregnancies were recorded for the 20,626 women. The differences between consanguineous and non-consanguineous marriages in terms of total foetal loss, perinatal, neonatal, postneonatl and infant mortality rates showed only marginal differences that attain statistical significance only because of the large sample size involved. No consistent relationships were observed between the degree of consanguinity and these reproductive losses. These actual differences were more marked in the older age-groups of women and declined to rather insignificant proportions as the age groups became younger. Taking into consideration the various socio-demographic factors, the narrowing differentials in the reproductive wastage between consanguineous and non-consanguineous marriages from the oldest to the youngest women confirm the tapering effects of continued inbreeding practices on the reproductive wastage. Further studies on these lines are still in progress. PMID:434781

  20. Early-life disease exposure and associations with adult survival, cause of death, and reproductive success in preindustrial humans.

    PubMed

    Hayward, Adam D; Rigby, Francesca L; Lummaa, Virpi

    2016-08-01

    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

  1. Women's height, reproductive success and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in modern humans.

    PubMed Central

    Nettle, Daniel

    2002-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that, in contemporary populations, tall men have greater reproductive success than shorter men. This appears to be due to their greater ability to attract mates. To our knowledge, no comparable results have yet been reported for women. This study used data from Britain's National Child Development Study to examine the life histories of a nationally representative group of women. Height was weakly but significantly related to reproductive success. The relationship was U-shaped, with deficits at the extremes of height. This pattern was largely due to poor health among extremely tall and extremely short women. However, the maximum reproductive success was found below the mean height for women. Thus, selection appears to be sexually disruptive in this population, favouring tall men and short women. Over evolutionary time, such a situation tends to maintain sexual dimorphism. Men do not use stature as a positive mate-choice criterion as women do. It is argued that there is good evolutionary reason for this, because men are orientated towards cues of fertility, and female height, being positively related to age of sexual maturity, is not such a cue. PMID:12350254

  2. Conditional deletion of the relaxin receptor gene in cells of smooth muscle lineage affects lower reproductive tract in pregnant mice.

    PubMed

    Kaftanovskaya, Elena M; Huang, Zaohua; Lopez, Carolina; Conrad, Kirk; Agoulnik, Alexander I

    2015-04-01

    Relaxin hormone secreted into the circulation during pregnancy was discovered through its effects on pubic symphysis relaxation and parturition. Genetic inactivation of the relaxin gene or its cognate relaxin family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1) in mice caused failure of parturition and mammary nipple enlargement, as well as increased collagen fiber density in the cervix and vagina. However, the relaxin effect on discrete cells and tissues has yet to be determined. Using transgenic mice with a knockin LacZ reporter in the Rxfp1 allele, we showed strong expression of this gene in vaginal and cervical stromal cells, as well as pubic ligament cells. We produced a floxed Rxfp1 allele that was used in combination with the Tagln-cre transgene to generate mice with a smooth muscle-specific gene knockout. In pregnant females, the ROSA26 reporter activated by Tagln-cre was detected in smooth muscle cells of the cervix, vagina, uterine artery, and in cells of the pubic symphysis. In late pregnant females with conditional gene ablation, the length of pubic symphysis was significantly reduced compared with wild-type or heterozygous Rxfp1(+/-) females. Denser collagen content was revealed by Masson trichrome staining in reproductive tract organs, uterine artery, and pubic symphysis. The cervical and vaginal epithelium was less developed than in heterozygous or wild-type females, although nipple size was normal and the dams were able to nurse their pups. In summary, our data indicate that relaxin/RXFP1 signaling in smooth muscle cells is important for normal collagen turnover and relaxation of the pubic symphysis during pregnancy. PMID:25715795

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. In utero exposure to persistent organochlorine pollutants and reproductive health in the human male

    PubMed Central

    Vested, Anne; Ramlau-Hansen, Cecilia H; Olsen, Sjurdur F; Bonde, Jens Peter; Støvring, Henrik; Kristensen, Susanne L; Halldorsson, Thorhallur I; Rantakokko, Panu; Kiviranta, Hannu; Ernst, Emil H; Toft, Gunnar

    2014-01-01

    Persistent organochlorine pollutants (POPs) are ubiquitous, bioaccumulative compounds with potential endocrine-disrupting effects. They cross the placental barrier thereby resulting in in utero exposure of the developing fetus. The objective of this study was to investigate whether maternal serum concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE) during pregnancy are associated with son's semen quality and reproductive hormone levels. During 2008–2009, we recruited 176 male offspring from a Danish cohort of pregnant women who participated in a study in 1988–1989. Each provided semen and blood samples that were analyzed for sperm concentration, total sperm count, motility, and morphology, and reproductive hormone levels, respectively. The maternal blood samples were collected in pregnancy week 30 and were analyzed for the concentrations of six PCBs (PCB-118, -138, -153, -156, -170, and -180) and p,p′-DDE. The potential associations between in utero exposure to ΣPCBs (pmol/ml), Σdioxin like-(DL) PCBs (PCB-118 and -156) (pmol/ml), and p,p′-DDE and semen quality and reproductive hormone levels were investigated using multiple regression. Maternal median (range) exposure levels of ΣPCB, ΣDL-PCB, and p,p′-DDE were 10.0 (2.1–35.0) pmol/ml, 0.8 (0.2–2.7) pmol/ml, and 8.0 (0.7–55.3) pmol/ml, respectively, reflecting typical background exposure levels in the late 1980s in Denmark. Results suggested that in utero exposure to ΣPCB, ΣDL-PCB, and p,p′-DDE was not statistically significantly associated with semen quality measures or reproductive hormone levels. Thus, results based on maternal PCB and p,p′-DDE concentrations alone are not indicative of long-term consequences for male reproductive health; however, we cannot exclude that these POPs in concert with other endocrine-modulating compounds may have adverse effects. PMID:25190505

  7. In utero exposure to persistent organochlorine pollutants and reproductive health in the human male.

    PubMed

    Vested, Anne; Ramlau-Hansen, Cecilia H; Olsen, Sjurdur F; Bonde, Jens Peter; Støvring, Henrik; Kristensen, Susanne L; Halldorsson, Thorhallur I; Rantakokko, Panu; Kiviranta, Hannu; Ernst, Emil H; Toft, Gunnar

    2014-12-01

    Persistent organochlorine pollutants (POPs) are ubiquitous, bioaccumulative compounds with potential endocrine-disrupting effects. They cross the placental barrier thereby resulting in in utero exposure of the developing fetus. The objective of this study was to investigate whether maternal serum concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) during pregnancy are associated with son's semen quality and reproductive hormone levels. During 2008-2009, we recruited 176 male offspring from a Danish cohort of pregnant women who participated in a study in 1988-1989. Each provided semen and blood samples that were analyzed for sperm concentration, total sperm count, motility, and morphology, and reproductive hormone levels, respectively. The maternal blood samples were collected in pregnancy week 30 and were analyzed for the concentrations of six PCBs (PCB-118, -138, -153, -156, -170, and -180) and p,p'-DDE. The potential associations between in utero exposure to ΣPCBs (pmol/ml), Σdioxin like-(DL) PCBs (PCB-118 and -156) (pmol/ml), and p,p'-DDE and semen quality and reproductive hormone levels were investigated using multiple regression. Maternal median (range) exposure levels of ΣPCB, ΣDL-PCB, and p,p'-DDE were 10.0 (2.1-35.0) pmol/ml, 0.8 (0.2-2.7) pmol/ml, and 8.0 (0.7-55.3) pmol/ml, respectively, reflecting typical background exposure levels in the late 1980s in Denmark. Results suggested that in utero exposure to ΣPCB, ΣDL-PCB, and p,p'-DDE was not statistically significantly associated with semen quality measures or reproductive hormone levels. Thus, results based on maternal PCB and p,p'-DDE concentrations alone are not indicative of long-term consequences for male reproductive health; however, we cannot exclude that these POPs in concert with other endocrine-modulating compounds may have adverse effects. PMID:25190505

  8. 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

  9. Selective Reproduction: Social and Temporal Imaginaries for Negotiating the Value of Life in Human and Animal Neonates.

    PubMed

    Svendsen, Mette N

    2015-06-01

    This article employs a multi-species perspective in investigating how life's worth is negotiated in the field of neonatology in Denmark. It does so by comparing decision-making processes about human infants in the Danish neonatal intensive care unit with those associated with piglets who serve as models for the premature infants in research experiments within neonatology. While the comparison is unusual, the article argues that there are parallels across the decision-making processes that shape the lives and deaths of infants and pigs alike. Collectivities or the lack thereof as well as expectations within linear or predictive time frames are key markers in both sites. Exploring selective reproductive processes across human infants and research piglets can help us uncover aspects of the cultural production of viability that we would not otherwise see or acknowledge. PMID:25359420

  10. 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.

  11. Functional TLR5 genetic variants affect human colorectal cancer survival.

    PubMed

    Klimosch, Sascha N; Försti, Asta; Eckert, Jana; Knezevic, Jelena; Bevier, Melanie; von Schönfels, Witigo; Heits, Nils; Walter, Jessica; Hinz, Sebastian; Lascorz, Jesus; Hampe, Jochen; Hartl, Dominik; Frick, Julia-Stefanie; Hemminki, Kari; Schafmayer, Clemens; Weber, Alexander N R

    2013-12-15

    Toll-like receptors (TLR) are overexpressed on many types of cancer cells, including colorectal cancer cells, but little is known about the functional relevance of these immune regulatory molecules in malignant settings. Here, we report frequent single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the flagellin receptor TLR5 and the TLR downstream effector molecules MyD88 and TIRAP that are associated with altered survival in a large cohort of Caucasian patients with colorectal cancer (n = 613). MYD88 rs4988453, a SNP that maps to a promoter region shared with the acetyl coenzyme-A acyl-transferase-1 (ACAA1), was associated with decreased survival of patients with colorectal cancer and altered transcriptional activity of the proximal genes. In the TLR5 gene, rs5744174/F616L was associated with increased survival, whereas rs2072493/N592S was associated with decreased survival. Both rs2072493/N592S and rs5744174/F616L modulated TLR5 signaling in response to flagellin or to different commensal and pathogenic intestinal bacteria. Notably, we observed a reduction in flagellin-induced p38 phosphorylation, CD62L shedding, and elevated expression of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1β mRNA in human primary immune cells from TLR5 616LL homozygote carriers, as compared with 616FF carriers. This finding suggested that the well-documented effect of cytokines like IL-6 on colorectal cancer progression might be mediated by TLR5 genotype-dependent flagellin sensing. Our results establish an important link between TLR signaling and human colorectal cancer with relevance for biomarker and therapy development. PMID:24154872

  12. DELAYED REPRODUCTIVE EFFECTS FOLLOWING EXPOSURE TO TOXIC CHEMICALS DURING CRITICAL DEVELOPMENTAL PERIODS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The studies presented in this review indicate that perinatal exposure of the fetal or neonatal rodent to a toxicant can adversely affect reproductive development, reduce fertility.and accelerate reproductive senescence. n rodents and humans exposure to DES, estrogens, androgens a...

  13. Pregnancy does not affect human olfactory detection thresholds.

    PubMed

    Cameron, E Leslie

    2014-02-01

    Hyperosmia is suspected in pregnancy; however, no empirical study using validated measures of olfactory function has clearly confirmed the anecdotal reports of this phenomenon. The goal of the current study is to compare the olfactory sensitivity of pregnant women to that of nonpregnant women and men. All participants rated their sense of smell and pregnant women listed the odors to which they were most sensitive. Detection thresholds were measured using a well-validated protocol. A group of pregnant and nonpregnant women was studied longitudinally using a signal detection procedure designed to detect small differences in sensitivity. Pregnant women, particularly in the 1st trimester, rated their sense of smell to be higher than nonpregnant women and men and indicated many (primarily unpleasant) odors to which they were more sensitive. Women rated their sense of smell higher than men. However, there was no sex difference in thresholds and neither thresholds nor signal detection measures of sensitivity were significantly affected by either sex or pregnancy status. The implications of the lack of relationship between self-report and measures of olfactory sensitivity, particularly in pregnancy, are discussed. PMID:24302690

  14. 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

  15. Noisy human neighbours affect where urban monkeys live.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Marina H L; Vecci, Marco A; Hirsch, André; Young, Robert J

    2011-12-23

    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

  16. 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

  17. Paying for particulars in people-to-be: commercialisation, commodification and commensurability in human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Fox, D

    2008-03-01

    The push of biomedical profits and pull of consumer desire for greater happiness and superior performance heralds a robust market in offspring enhancement. There are two reasons we might worry about the reach of commerce into the realm of selective reproduction. The first concern is that for-profit genetic enhancement, under conditions of economic necessity, would exploit the poor, by coercing them, in effect, to part with reproductive material they would prefer not to sell for money, if not for their desperate situation. The second concern is that the market valuation and exchange of sperm, eggs, and embryos would distort the meaning, and degrade the worth, of those procreative goods. I argue that the concern about exploitation does not give reason to resist a market in pre-natal enhancement, but that the concern about degradation does. This degradation concern gives rise to two specific worries: one about altruism and another about commensurability. I conclude by sketching several policy recommendations to regulate the transfer of money in exchange for sperm and eggs with specified characteristics. PMID:18316456

  18. Atrazine-Induced Aromatase Expression Is SF-1 Dependent: Implications for Endocrine Disruption in Wildlife and Reproductive Cancers in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Fan, WuQiang; Yanase, Toshihiko; Morinaga, Hidetaka; Gondo, Shigeki; Okabe, Taijiro; Nomura, Masatoshi; Komatsu, Tomoko; Morohashi, Ken-Ichirou; Hayes, Tyrone B.; Takayanagi, Ryoichi; Nawata, Hajime

    2007-01-01

    Background Atrazine is a potent endocrine disruptor that increases aromatase expression in some human cancer cell lines. The mechanism involves the inhibition of phosphodiesterase and subsequent elevation of cAMP. Methods We compared steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1) expression in atrazine responsive and non-responsive cell lines and transfected SF-1 into nonresponsive cell lines to assess SF-1’s role in atrazine-induced aromatase. We used a luciferase reporter driven by the SF-1–dependent aromatase promoter (ArPII) to examine activation of this promoter by atrazine and the related simazine. We mutated the SF-1 binding site to confirm the role of SF-1. We also examined effects of 55 other chemicals. Finally, we examined the ability of atrazine and simazine to bind to SF-1 and enhance SF-1 binding to ArPII. Results Atrazine-responsive adrenal carcinoma cells (H295R) expressed 54 times more SF-1 than nonresponsive ovarian granulosa KGN cells. Exogenous SF-1 conveyed atrazine-responsiveness to otherwise nonresponsive KGN and NIH/3T3 cells. Atrazine induced binding of SF-1 to chromatin and mutation of the SF-1 binding site in ArPII eliminated SF-1 binding and atrazine-responsiveness in H295R cells. Out of 55 chemicals examined, only atrazine, simazine, and benzopyrene induced luciferase via ArPII. Atrazine bound directly to SF-1, showing that atrazine is a ligand for this “orphan” receptor. Conclusion The current findings are consistent with atrazine’s endocrine-disrupting effects in fish, amphibians, and reptiles; the induction of mammary and prostate cancer in laboratory rodents; and correlations between atrazine and similar reproductive cancers in humans. This study highlights the importance of atrazine as a risk factor in endocrine disruption in wildlife and reproductive cancers in laboratory rodents and humans. PMID:17520059

  19. Aging affects the cardiovascular responses to cold stress in humans

    PubMed Central

    Hess, Kari L.; Wilson, Thad E.; Sauder, Charity L.; Gao, Zhaohui; Ray, Chester A.

    2009-01-01

    Cardiovascular-related mortality peaks during cold winter months, particularly in older adults. Acute physiological responses, such as increases in blood pressure, in response to cold exposure may contribute to these associations. To determine whether the blood pressure-raising effect (pressor response) of non-internal body temperature-reducing cold stress is greater with age, we measured physiological responses to 20 min of superficial skin cooling, via water-perfused suit, in 12 younger [25 ± 1 (SE) yr old] and 12 older (65 ± 2 yr old) adults. We found that superficial skin cooling elicited an increase in blood pressure from resting levels (pressor response; P < 0.05) in younger and older adults. However, the magnitude of this pressor response (systolic and mean blood pressure) was more than twofold higher in older adults (P < 0.05 vs. younger adults). The magnitude of the pressor response was similar at peripheral (brachial) and central (estimated in the aorta) measurement sites. Regression analysis revealed that aortic pulse wave velocity, a measure of central arterial stiffness obtained before cooling, was the best predictor of the increased pressor response to superficial skin cooling in older adults, explaining ∼63% of its variability. These results indicate that there is a greater pressor response to non-internal body temperature-reducing cold stress with age in humans that may be mediated by increased levels of central arterial stiffness. PMID:19679742

  20. Mimicry profiles are affected by human-induced habitat changes.

    PubMed Central

    Azmeh, S; Owen, J; Sørensen, K; Grewcock, D; Gilbert, F

    1998-01-01

    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. PMID:9881474

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:24349025

  3. The affective (re)production of refugee representations through educational policies and practices: Reconceptualising the role of emotion for peace education in a divided country

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zembylas, Michalinos

    2012-08-01

    Drawing into a discussion of the politicisation of emotion, this paper develops a framework to analyse some of the processes and strategies by which educational policies and pedagogical practices "emotionalise" the representation of refugees in conflict-ridden societies such as Cyprus and explores the implications for peace education. In particular, this paper aims to refine our understanding of how emotions affect the ways in which educational policies and practices reproduce self-other dichotomies through certain representations of the refugee experience. It is argued that these dichotomies are relevant to the emotional reactions against peace education initiatives. Second, this paper examines alternative possibilities of promoting peaceful coexistence, while taking into consideration the affective (re)production of refugee representations yet without undermining the refugee experience. Better understanding of how emotion is involved will help educational policymakers and teachers in divided societies to take into account the hitherto poorly developed aspects of the ways in which emotions, the refugee experience and peace education are inextricably intertwined.

  4. Peri-pubertal administration of 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO) affects reproductive organ development in male but not female Sprague Dawley rats.

    PubMed

    Lent, Emily May; Crouse, Lee C B; Wallace, Shannon M; Carroll, Erica E

    2015-11-01

    Nitrotriazolone (3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one; NTO) is an insensitive munition that has demonstrated effects on reproductive organs in adult male rats. NTO was administered to male (0, 250, and 500milligrams per kilogram per day (mg/kg-day)) and female (0, 500, and 1000mg/kg-day) Sprague-Dawley rats (15/sex/group) via oral gavage from weaning through post-natal day 53/54 and 42/43, respectively. Age and body mass at vaginal opening (VO) and preputial separation (PPS), as well as all measures of estrous cyclicity were not affected by treatment with NTO. Males treated with NTO exhibited reductions in testis mass associated with tubular degeneration/atrophy. Less pronounced reductions in accessory sex organ masses were also observed in the 500mg/kg-day group. Treatment with NTO did not affect thyroid hormone or testosterone levels. These findings suggest that NTO is not acting as an estrogen or thyroid active compound, but may indicate effects on steroidogenesis and/or direct testicular toxicity. PMID:25962730

  5. Glycolytic pathway affects differentiation of human monocytes to regulatory macrophages.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Hiroaki; Hisamatsu, Tadakazu; Chiba, Sayako; Mori, Kiyoto; Kitazume, Mina T; Shimamura, Katsuyoshi; Nakamoto, Nobuhiro; Matsuoka, Katsuyoshi; Ebinuma, Hirotoshi; Naganuma, Makoto; Kanai, Takanori

    2016-08-01

    Cellular metabolic state and individual metabolites have been reported to regulate the functional phenotype of immune cells. Cytokine production by regulatory and inflammatory macrophages is thought to mainly involve fatty acid oxidation and glycolysis, respectively, which fuel mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. However, the association between metabolic pathways and the acquisition of specific macrophage phenotypes remains unclear. This study assessed the relationship between glycolysis and the differentiation of regulatory macrophages. Human monocytes derived from peripheral blood were cultured in vitro in the presence of macrophage colony-stimulating factor to yield regulatory macrophages (M-Mϕs). M-Mϕs had a regulatory macrophage phenotype and produced substantial IL-10 following stimulation with lipopolysaccharide. To analyze the role of glycolysis, glycolysis inhibitors (2-deoxy-d-glucose or dichloroacetate) were added during M-Mϕ differentiation. These cells cultured with glycolysis inhibitors produced significantly lower amounts of IL-10, but produced significantly higher amounts of IL-6 compared to M-Mϕs differentiated without glycolysis inhibitors. Such phenotypic change of M-Mϕs differentiated with glycolysis inhibitors was associated with the alteration of the gene expression pattern related to macrophage differentiation, such as CSF1, MMP9 and VEGFA. M-Mϕs differentiated with glycolysis inhibitors seemed to retain plasticity to become IL-10 producing cells. Furthermore, increased level of pyruvate in culture medium was found to partially reverse the effects of glycolysis inhibitors on cytokine production of M-Mϕs. These results indicate the importance of glycolytic pathway in macrophage differentiation to a regulatory phenotype, and pyruvate may be one of the key metabolites in this process. PMID:27208804

  6. Reduced costs of reproduction in females mediate a shift from a male-biased to a female-biased lifespan in humans.

    PubMed

    Bolund, Elisabeth; Lummaa, Virpi; Smith, Ken R; Hanson, Heidi A; Maklakov, Alexei A

    2016-01-01

    The causes underlying sex differences in lifespan are strongly debated. While females commonly outlive males in humans, this is generally less pronounced in societies before the demographic transition to low mortality and fertility rates. Life-history theory suggests that reduced reproduction should benefit female lifespan when females pay higher costs of reproduction than males. Using unique longitudinal demographic records on 140,600 reproducing individuals from the Utah Population Database, we demonstrate a shift from male-biased to female-biased adult lifespans in individuals born before versus during the demographic transition. Only women paid a cost of reproduction in terms of shortened post-reproductive lifespan at high parities. Therefore, as fertility decreased over time, female lifespan increased, while male lifespan remained largely stable, supporting the theory that differential costs of reproduction in the two sexes result in the shifting patterns of sex differences in lifespan across human populations. Further, our results have important implications for demographic forecasts in human populations and advance our understanding of lifespan evolution. PMID:27087670

  7. Reduced costs of reproduction in females mediate a shift from a male-biased to a female-biased lifespan in humans

    PubMed Central

    Bolund, Elisabeth; Lummaa, Virpi; Smith, Ken R.; Hanson, Heidi A.; Maklakov, Alexei A.

    2016-01-01

    The causes underlying sex differences in lifespan are strongly debated. While females commonly outlive males in humans, this is generally less pronounced in societies before the demographic transition to low mortality and fertility rates. Life-history theory suggests that reduced reproduction should benefit female lifespan when females pay higher costs of reproduction than males. Using unique longitudinal demographic records on 140,600 reproducing individuals from the Utah Population Database, we demonstrate a shift from male-biased to female-biased adult lifespans in individuals born before versus during the demographic transition. Only women paid a cost of reproduction in terms of shortened post-reproductive lifespan at high parities. Therefore, as fertility decreased over time, female lifespan increased, while male lifespan remained largely stable, supporting the theory that differential costs of reproduction in the two sexes result in the shifting patterns of sex differences in lifespan across human populations. Further, our results have important implications for demographic forecasts in human populations and advance our understanding of lifespan evolution. PMID:27087670

  8. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a possible bioindicator of epigenetic factors present in drinking water that may affect reproductive function: is chorion an issue?

    PubMed

    Martinez-Sales, M; García-Ximénez, F; Espinós, F J

    2015-06-01

    Emerging organic contaminants have been monitored in stream waters, raw and finished waters and wastewater effluents. Most of these contaminants, such as epigenetic substances, have been detected at very low levels. Unfortunately, their complete monitoring and/or removal are very difficult, given the increasing presence of new contaminants and due to analytical and economic considerations. For this reason, bioindicators are used as an alternative to monitor their presence. To this end, zebrafish is being used to assess certain contaminants in water quality studies. As our long-term aim is to determine if zebrafish (Danio rerio) can be used to detect environmental epigenetic factors in drinking waters with effects on human reproduction, an initial question is whether the chorion could interfere with the possible action of epigenetic factors in two reproductive events: genital ridge formation and migration of the primordial germ cells (PGCs) to these genital ridges. In the first experiment, we attempted to partially degrade the chorion of mid blastula transition (MBT) embryos with pronase, with acceptable survival rates at 5 days post fertilisation (dpf), with the group exposed for 15 min giving the best survival results. As denuded early embryos require a specific culture medium, in the next experiment embryo survival was evaluated when they were cultured up to 5 dpf in drinking waters from six different sources. Results showed a negative effect on embryo survival at 5 dpf from several waters but not in others, thus distorting the survival outcomes. These results suggest using embryos with the chorion intact from the outset when drinking waters from different sources are to be tested. PMID:24598355

  9. NTP CENTER FOR THE EVALUATION OF RISKS TO HUMAN REPRODUCTION: PHTHALATES EXPERT PANEL REPORT ON THE REPRODUCTIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY OF DI(2-ETHYLHEXYL) PHTHALATE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Kavlock et al.; "NTP Center for the Evaluation....

    Abstract

    The phthalates are a family of environmentally important compounds with diverse uses. Reproductive toxicity has been demonstrated for some members of this family. The NTP Center for the Evaluation of Risk...

  10. NTP CENTER FOR THE EVALUATION OF RISKS TO HUMAN REPRODUCTION: PHTHALATES EXPERT PANEL REPORT ON THE REPRODUCTIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY OF DI-ISONONYL PHTHALATE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Kavlock et al.; "NTP Center for the Evaluation....

    Abstract

    The phthalates are a family of environmentally important compounds with diverse uses. Reproductive toxicity has been demonstrated for some members of this family. The NTP Center for the Evaluation of Risk...

  11. NTP CENTER FOR THE EVALUATION OF RISKS TO HUMAN REPRODUCTION: PHTHALATES EXPERT PANEL REPORT ON THE REPRODUCTIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY OF DI-ISODECYL PHTHALATE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Kavlock et al.; "NTP Center for the Evaluation....

    Abstract

    The phthalates are a family of environmentally important compounds with diverse uses. Reproductive toxicity has been demonstrated for some members of this family. The NTP Center for the Evaluation of Risk...

  12. NTP CENTER FOR THE EVALUATION OF RISKS TO HUMAN REPRODUCTION: PHTHALATES EXPERT PANEL REPORT ON THE REPRODUCTIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY OF DI-N-OCTYL PHTHALATE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Kavlock et al.; "NTP Center for the Evaluation....

    Abstract

    The phthalates are a family of environmentally important compounds with diverse uses. Reproductive toxicity has been demonstrated for some members of this family. The NTP Center for the Evaluation of Risk...

  13. Metals and female reproductive toxicity.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, P; Banerjee, R; Nath, S; Das, S; Banerjee, S

    2015-07-01

    Research into occupational exposure of metals and consequences of reproductive systems has made imperative scientific offerings in the preceding few decades. Early research works focused on possible effects on the reproductive functions rather than the complete reproductive health of the woman. Later, it was realized that metals, as reproductive toxins, may also induce hormonal changes affecting other facets of reproductive health such as the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and fertility. Concern is now shifting from considerations for the pregnant woman to the entire spectrum of occupational health threats and thus reproductive health among women. PMID:25425549

  14. WHO guidance grounded in a comprehensive approach to sexual and reproductive health and human rights: topical pre-exposure prophylaxis

    PubMed Central

    Lusti-Narasimhan, Manjula; Khosla, Rajat; Baggaley, Rachel; Temmerman, Marleen; McGrory, Elizabeth; Farley, Tim

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Two new microbicide products based on topical (vaginal) application of antiretroviral drugs – 1% tenofovir gel and the dapivirine ring – are currently in late-stage clinical testing, and results on their safety and effectiveness are expected to become available in early 2015. WHO guidelines on the use of topical pre-exposure prophylaxis (topical PrEP) are important in order to ensure that these new prevention products are optimally used. Discussion Given that these new topical PrEP products are designed to be woman initiated and will likely be delivered in reproductive health settings, it is important to ensure that the guidance be framed in the context of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and human rights. In addition to the safety and effectiveness data resulting from clinical trials, and the regulatory approval required for new products, the WHO normative guidelines on the use of topical PrEP will be essential for rapid roll-out in countries. Conclusions Human rights standards and principles provide a framework for the provision of woman-initiated HIV prevention products. These include addressing issues related to the gender inequities which are linked to the provision of HIV-prevention, treatment and care for young girls and women. Effective programming for women and girls must therefore be based on understanding the local, social and community contexts of the AIDS epidemic in the country, and adapting HIV strategies and programmes accordingly. Such a framework therefore is needed not only to ensure optimal uptake of these new products by women and girls but also to address sociocultural barriers to women's and girls’ access to these products. PMID:25224620

  15. Out of sight but not out of harm's way: Human disturbance reduces reproductive success of a cavity-nesting seabird.

    PubMed

    Watson, Hannah; Bolton, Mark; Monaghan, Pat

    2014-06-01

    While negative effects of human disturbance on animals living above the ground have been widely reported, few studies have considered effects on animals occupying cavities or burrows underground. It is generally assumed that, in the absence of direct visual contact, such species are less vulnerable to disturbance. Seabird colonies can support large populations of burrow- and cavity-nesting species and attract increasing numbers of tourists. We investigated the potential effects of recreational disturbance on the reproductive behaviour of the European storm petrel Hydrobates pelagicus, a nocturnally-active cavity-nesting seabird. Reproductive phenology and outcome of nests subject to high and low levels of visitor pressure were recorded in two consecutive years. Hatching success did not differ between disturbance levels, but overall nestling mortality was significantly higher in areas exposed to high visitor pressure. Although visitor numbers were consistent throughout the season, the magnitude and rate of a seasonal decline in productivity were significantly greater in nests subject to high disturbance. This study presents good evidence that, even when humans do not pose a direct mortality risk, animals may perceive them as a predation risk. This has implications for the conservation and management of a diverse range of burrow- and cavity-dwelling animals. Despite this reduction in individual fitness, overall colony productivity was reduced by ⩽1.6% compared with that expected in the absence of visitors. While the colony-level consequences at the site in question may be considered minor, conservation managers must evaluate the trade-off between potential costs and benefits of public access on a site- and species-specific basis. PMID:24899731

  16. The Child in the Process: Affecting His Human Potential through LIFE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheridan, Vivian A.; Spidal, David A.

    Language materials of the Language Improvement to Facilitate Education (LIFE) Project are described as carefully sequenced curriculum materials which use visuals to educate deaf children in the affective domain. The affective domain is defined as the area of human experiences related to interest, appreciation, attitudes, adjustments and values;…

  17. Investigating the Effectiveness of an Inquiry-Based Intervention on Human Reproduction in Relation to Students' Gender, Prior Knowledge and Motivation for Learning in Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hadjichambis, Andreas Ch.; Georgiou, Yiannis; Paraskeva-Hadjichambi, Demetra; Kyza, Eleni A.; Mappouras, Demetrios

    2016-01-01

    Despite the importance of understanding how the human reproductive system works, adolescents worldwide exhibit weak conceptual understanding, which leads to serious risks, such as unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Studies focusing on the development and evaluation of inquiry-based learning interventions, promoting the…

  18. Progesterone administration for luteal phase deficiency in human reproduction: an old or new issue?

    PubMed

    Palomba, Stefano; Santagni, Susanna; La Sala, Giovanni Battista

    2015-01-01

    Luteal phase deficiency (LPD) is described as a condition of insufficient progesterone exposure to maintain a regular secretory endometrium and allow for normal embryo implantation and growth. Recently, scientific focus is turning to understand the physiology of implantation, in particular the several molecular markers of endometrial competence, through the recent transcriptomic approaches and microarray technology. In spite of the wide availability of clinical and instrumental methods for assessing endometrial competence, reproducible and reliable diagnostic tests for LPD are currently lacking, so no type-IA evidence has been proposed by the main scientific societies for assessing endometrial competence in infertile couples. Nevertheless, LPD is a very common condition that may occur during a series of clinical conditions, and during controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) and hyperstimulation (COH) programs. In many cases, the correct approach to treat LPD is the identification and correction of any underlying condition while, in case of no underlying dysfunction, the treatment becomes empiric. To date, no direct data is available regarding the efficacy of luteal phase support for improving fertility in spontaneous cycles or in non-gonadotropin induced ovulatory cycles. On the contrary, in gonadotropin in vitro fertilization (IVF) and non-IVF cycles, LPD is always present and progesterone exerts a significant positive effect on reproductive outcomes. The scientific debate still remains open regarding progesterone administration protocols, specially on routes of administration, dose and timing and the potential association with other drugs, and further research is still needed. PMID:26585269

  19. A Mixture Reflecting Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) Profiles Detected in Human Follicular Fluid Significantly Affects Steroidogenesis and Induces Oxidative Stress in a Female Human Granulosa Cell Line.

    PubMed

    Lefevre, Pavine L C; Wade, Mike; Goodyer, Cindy; Hales, Barbara F; Robaire, Bernard

    2016-07-01

    Brominated flame retardants are incorporated into consumer products to prevent flame propagation. These compounds leach into the domestic environment, resulting in chronic exposure. Pregnancy failure is associated with high levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a major class of brominated flame retardants, in human follicular fluid, raising serious questions regarding their impact on female fertility. Our goal was to elucidate the effects of a mixture of PBDEs, similar to the profile found in human follicular fluid, on an immortalized human granulosa cell line, the KGN cell line. We showed that cell viability was altered and oxidative stress was induced as reflected by increased reactive oxygen species formation at 100 μM of the PBDE mixture. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that PBDE treatments of 1, 5, and 20 μM altered the expression of several genes involved in the reactive oxygen species signaling pathway. Significant dose-dependent reductions in progesterone and estradiol levels in the culture medium were measured after PBDE treatment; in parallel, the expression of genes involved in estradiol metabolism, namely CYP1A1, was up-regulated by 5 and 20 μM of the PBDE mixture. Treatment with 20 μM PBDE also increased the expression and secretion of the proinflammatory factor, IL-6, into the KGN cell culture medium. Our results demonstrate that PBDEs can alter human granulosa cell functions by inducing oxidative stress and disrupting steroidogenesis. These results indicate that PBDEs may be detrimental to ovarian functions and thus may adversely affect female reproductive health after chronic exposure. PMID:27219277

  20. Higher-order Multivariable Polynomial Regression to Estimate Human Affective States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Jie; Chen, Tong; Liu, Guangyuan; Yang, Jiemin

    2016-03-01

    From direct observations, facial, vocal, gestural, physiological, and central nervous signals, estimating human affective states through computational models such as multivariate linear-regression analysis, support vector regression, and artificial neural network, have been proposed in the past decade. In these models, linear models are generally lack of precision because of ignoring intrinsic nonlinearities of complex psychophysiological processes; and nonlinear models commonly adopt complicated algorithms. To improve accuracy and simplify model, we introduce a new computational modeling method named as higher-order multivariable polynomial regression to estimate human affective states. The study employs standardized pictures in the International Affective Picture System to induce thirty subjects’ affective states, and obtains pure affective patterns of skin conductance as input variables to the higher-order multivariable polynomial model for predicting affective valence and arousal. Experimental results show that our method is able to obtain efficient correlation coefficients of 0.98 and 0.96 for estimation of affective valence and arousal, respectively. Moreover, the method may provide certain indirect evidences that valence and arousal have their brain’s motivational circuit origins. Thus, the proposed method can serve as a novel one for efficiently estimating human affective states.

  1. Higher-order Multivariable Polynomial Regression to Estimate Human Affective States.

    PubMed

    Wei, Jie; Chen, Tong; Liu, Guangyuan; Yang, Jiemin

    2016-01-01

    From direct observations, facial, vocal, gestural, physiological, and central nervous signals, estimating human affective states through computational models such as multivariate linear-regression analysis, support vector regression, and artificial neural network, have been proposed in the past decade. In these models, linear models are generally lack of precision because of ignoring intrinsic nonlinearities of complex psychophysiological processes; and nonlinear models commonly adopt complicated algorithms. To improve accuracy and simplify model, we introduce a new computational modeling method named as higher-order multivariable polynomial regression to estimate human affective states. The study employs standardized pictures in the International Affective Picture System to induce thirty subjects' affective states, and obtains pure affective patterns of skin conductance as input variables to the higher-order multivariable polynomial model for predicting affective valence and arousal. Experimental results show that our method is able to obtain efficient correlation coefficients of 0.98 and 0.96 for estimation of affective valence and arousal, respectively. Moreover, the method may provide certain indirect evidences that valence and arousal have their brain's motivational circuit origins. Thus, the proposed method can serve as a novel one for efficiently estimating human affective states. PMID:26996254

  2. Higher-order Multivariable Polynomial Regression to Estimate Human Affective States

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Jie; Chen, Tong; Liu, Guangyuan; Yang, Jiemin

    2016-01-01

    From direct observations, facial, vocal, gestural, physiological, and central nervous signals, estimating human affective states through computational models such as multivariate linear-regression analysis, support vector regression, and artificial neural network, have been proposed in the past decade. In these models, linear models are generally lack of precision because of ignoring intrinsic nonlinearities of complex psychophysiological processes; and nonlinear models commonly adopt complicated algorithms. To improve accuracy and simplify model, we introduce a new computational modeling method named as higher-order multivariable polynomial regression to estimate human affective states. The study employs standardized pictures in the International Affective Picture System to induce thirty subjects’ affective states, and obtains pure affective patterns of skin conductance as input variables to the higher-order multivariable polynomial model for predicting affective valence and arousal. Experimental results show that our method is able to obtain efficient correlation coefficients of 0.98 and 0.96 for estimation of affective valence and arousal, respectively. Moreover, the method may provide certain indirect evidences that valence and arousal have their brain’s motivational circuit origins. Thus, the proposed method can serve as a novel one for efficiently estimating human affective states. PMID:26996254

  3. Developing Predictive Approaches to Characterize Adaptive Responses of the Reproductive Endocrine Axis to Aromatase Inhibition II: Computational Modeling

    EPA Science Inventory

    ABSTRACT Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals can affect reproduction and development in both humans and wildlife. We developed a mechanistic mathematical model of the hypothalamic­ pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in female fathead minnows to predic...

  4. Is it the real deal? Perception of virtual characters versus humans: an affective cognitive neuroscience perspective

    PubMed Central

    de Borst, Aline W.; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2015-01-01

    Recent developments in neuroimaging research support the increased use of naturalistic stimulus material such as film, avatars, or androids. These stimuli allow for a better understanding of how the brain processes information in complex situations while maintaining experimental control. While avatars and androids are well suited to study human cognition, they should not be equated to human stimuli. For example, the uncanny valley hypothesis theorizes that artificial agents with high human-likeness may evoke feelings of eeriness in the human observer. Here we review if, when, and how the perception of human-like avatars and androids differs from the perception of humans and consider how this influences their utilization as stimulus material in social and affective neuroimaging studies. First, we discuss how the appearance of virtual characters affects perception. When stimuli are morphed across categories from non-human to human, the most ambiguous stimuli, rather than the most human-like stimuli, show prolonged classification times and increased eeriness. Human-like to human stimuli show a positive linear relationship with familiarity. Secondly, we show that expressions of emotions in human-like avatars can be perceived similarly to human emotions, with corresponding behavioral, physiological and neuronal activations, with exception of physical dissimilarities. Subsequently, we consider if and when one perceives differences in action representation by artificial agents versus humans. Motor resonance and predictive coding models may account for empirical findings, such as an interference effect on action for observed human-like, natural moving characters. However, the expansion of these models to explain more complex behavior, such as empathy, still needs to be investigated in more detail. Finally, we broaden our outlook to social interaction, where virtual reality stimuli can be utilized to imitate complex social situations. PMID:26029133

  5. The video fluorescent device for diagnostics of cancer of human reproductive system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brysin, Nickolay N.; Linkov, Kirill G.; Stratonnikov, Alexander A.; Savelieva, Tatiana A.; Loschenov, Victor B.

    2008-06-01

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is one of the advanced methods of treatment of skin cancer and surfaces of internal organs. The basic advantages of PDT are high efficiency and low cost of treatment. PDT technique is needed for providing fluorescent diagnostics. Laser-based systems are widely applied to the fluorescence excitations for diagnostic because of a narrow spectrum of fluorescence excitation and high density of radiation. Application of laser systems for carrying out fluorescent diagnostics gives the image of a tumor distorted by speckles that does not give an opportunity to obtain full information about the form of a tumor quickly. Besides, these laser excitation systems have complicated structure and high cost. As a base for the development and creation of a video fluorescent device one of commercially produced colposcopes was chosen. It allows to decrease cost of the device, and also has enabled to make modernization for already used colposcopes. A LED-based light source was offered to be used for fluorescence excitation in this work. The maximum in a spectrum of radiation of LEDs corresponds to the general spectral maximum of protoporphyrin IX (PPIX) absorption. Irradiance in the center of a light spot is 31 mW/cm2. The receiving optical system of the fluorescent channel is adjusted at 635 nm where a general spectral maximum of fluorescence PPIX is located. Also the device contains a RGB video channel, a white light source and a USB spectrometer LESA-01-BIOSPEC, for measurement of spectra of fluorescence and diffusion reflections in treatment area. The software is developed for maintenance of the device. Some studies on laboratory animals were made. As a result, areas with the increased concentration of a PPIX were correctly detected. At present, the device is used for diagnostics of cancer of female reproductive system in Research Centre for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (Moscow, Russia).

  6. Biofluid mechanics of the human reproductive process: modelling of the complex interaction and pathway to the oocytes.

    PubMed

    Foo, Jong Yong Abdiel; Lim, Chu Sing

    2008-11-01

    Recent revelations in the human reproductive process have fuelled much interest in this field of study. In particular, the once prevailing view of large numbers of ejaculated sperms racing towards the egg has been refuted recently. This is opposed to the current views derived from numerous clinical findings that state that only a very small number of sperms will ever enter the oviduct. It is believed that these few sperms must have been guided to make the long, tedious and obstructed journey to the egg. For a mature spermatozoon, its hyperactivated swimming motility upon capacitation plays an important role in the fertilization of a mature egg. Likewise, the female genital tract also provides guiding mechanisms to complement the survival of normal hydrodynamic profile sperms and thus promotes an eventual sperm-egg interaction. Understanding these mechanisms can be essential for the derivation of assisted conception techniques especially those in vitro. With the aid of computational models and simulation, suitability and effectiveness of novel assisted conception methodology can be assessed, particularly for those yet to be ready for clinical trials. This review discusses the possible bioengineering models and the mechanisms by which human spermatozoa are guided to the egg. PMID:18652708

  7. Effects of human disturbance on waterbird nesting and reproductive success at restoration pond SF2, south San Francisco Bay, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Hartman, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

    To determine the effects that human disturbance may have on waterbirds nesting on these newly constructed islands in Pond SF2, we assessed the potential effects of human disturbance features (specifically, access trails, viewing platforms, internal pond berms, exterior levees, and highways) on breeding waterbirds in 2011 and 2012. We found no clear pattern of potential disturbance features on a group of reproductive factors, including nest survival, nest initiation date, and clutch size. Because all the islands were constructed greater than 90 meters from the nearest disturbance feature, Pond SF2 alone did not provide adequate variation in the distance of disturbance features to detect potential detrimental effects for islands closer to disturbance features in other areas of the SBSP Restoration Project. If there is a need for SBSP Restoration Project Management Team to understand how close islands can be built to disturbance features in the future, we suggest a more comprehensive study that includes multiple ponds, other than SF2, with islands at varying distances to disturbance features.

  8. Flowering Phenology: An Activity to Introduce Human & Environmental Effects on Plant Reproduction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neil, Kaesha

    2009-01-01

    Global and local climate change has become an important topic in the last few years. Concerns regarding the impact of climate changes on ecosystems in general, resources used by humans (e.g., water, energy, crops), and the intensity and frequency of natural disasters are driving the interest. Phenology is one way researchers are studying historic…

  9. Reproduction and application of human bouncing and jumping forces from visual marker data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Racic, V.; Brownjohn, J. M. W.; Pavic, A.

    2010-08-01

    State-of-the-art facilities for measuring bouncing and jumping ground reaction forces (GRFs) comprise typically equipment for direct force measurement, i.e. single or multiple floor-mounted force plates. Artificial laboratory conditions and constraints imposed by the direct measurement systems, such as the small measuring area of a force plate, can have a strong influence on human ability to bounce and jump, naturally yielding unrepresentative force data. However, when dealing with issues like vibration serviceability assessment of real full-scale structures, such as floors, footbridges, staircases and grandstands, there is a growing need to estimate realistic GRFs under a wide range of natural conditions. This paper presents a novel method in the civil engineering context utilising 'free-field' measurement of human bouncing and jumping forces recorded continuously in time using motion capture technology transferred and adapted from biomechanical research. Results show that this kind of data can be used successfully in studies of human-structure dynamic interaction, specifically negative cue effect of a perceptibly vibrating structure on GRFs, energy flow and power in the human-structure system, and also synchronisation between individuals when bouncing/jumping in groups on more or less perceptibly moving structures.

  10. Human and nature-caused hazards: the affect heuristic causes biased decisions.

    PubMed

    Siegrist, Michael; Sütterlin, Bernadette

    2014-08-01

    People are more concerned about the negative consequences of human hazards compared with natural hazards. Results of four experiments show that the same negative outcome (e.g., number of birds killed by an oil spill) was more negatively evaluated when caused by humans than when caused by nature. Results further show that when identical risk information was provided, participants evaluated nuclear power more negatively compared with solar power. The affect associated with the hazard per se influenced the interpretation of the new information. Furthermore, the affect experienced in the situation fully mediated the evaluation of the negative outcomes of a hazard. People's reliance on the affect heuristic is a challenge for acceptance of cost-benefit analyses because equally negative outcomes are differently evaluated depending on the cause. Symbolically significant information and the affect evoked by this information may result in biased and riskier decisions. PMID:24576178

  11. Zika virus: A new human teratogen? Implications for women of reproductive age.

    PubMed

    Schuler-Faccini, L; Sanseverino, Mtv; Vianna, Fsl; da Silva, A A; Larrandaburu, M; Marcolongo-Pereira, C; Abeche, A M

    2016-07-01

    In 2015 an unprecedented increase of reports of newborns with microcephaly in Brazil made news headlines around the world. A possible etiological association with prenatal maternal infection by Zika virus (ZIKV) was suggested based on temporal and geographic distribution of ZIKV infection and the subsequent increase in the reports of microcephaly cases. Here we discuss ZIKV as a new human teratogen, with comments on potential treatment options. PMID:27090438

  12. Removing financial barriers to access reproductive, maternal and newborn health services: the challenges and policy implications for human resources for health

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The last decade has seen widespread retreat from user fees with the intention to reduce financial constraints to users in accessing health care and in particular improving access to reproductive, maternal and newborn health services. This has had important benefits in reducing financial barriers to access in a number of settings. If the policies work as intended, service utilization rates increase. However this increases workloads for health staff and at the same time, the loss of user fee revenues can imply that health workers lose bonuses or allowances, or that it becomes more difficult to ensure uninterrupted supplies of health care inputs. This research aimed to assess how policies reducing demand-side barriers to access to health care have affected service delivery with a particular focus on human resources for health. Methods We undertook case studies in five countries (Ghana, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Zimbabwe). In each we reviewed financing and HRH policies, considered the impact financing policy change had made on health service utilization rates, analysed the distribution of health staff and their actual and potential workloads, and compared remuneration terms in the public sectors. Results We question a number of common assumptions about the financing and human resource inter-relationships. The impact of fee removal on utilization levels is mostly not sustained or supported by all the evidence. Shortages of human resources for health at the national level are not universal; maldistribution within countries is the greater problem. Low salaries are not universal; most of the countries pay health workers well by national benchmarks. Conclusions The interconnectedness between user fee policy and HRH situations proves difficult to assess. Many policies have been changing over the relevant period, some clearly and others possibly in response to problems identified associated with financing policy change. Other relevant variables have also

  13. Southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV) directly affects the feeding and reproduction behavior of its vector, Sogatella furcifera (Horváth) (Hemiptera: Delphacidae)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV) is a recently discovered member of the genus Fijivirus and it is transmitted by the rice whitebacked planthopper (WBPH), Sogatella furcifera (Horváth). It was found that SRBSDV infected vectors might contribute negatively to the WBPH population, although the longer nymphal period might benefit viral acquisition, transmission and increase infection rate. The interaction between SRBSDV and its vector need to be further explored to gain better understanding of the dispersal of WBPH and the spread of virus disease, in particular the feeding and reproduction behavior of viruliferous WBPH. Methods Newly hatched nymphs of WBPH were fed on healthy rice plant after feeding on SRBSDV-infected rice plants for 2 h, and newly emerged adults were numbered and tested. Feeding behaviors of WBPH adults were monitored electronically within a Faraday cage using a Giga-4 DC EPG amplifier. The newly emerged adults were paired, and the fecundity and egg hatchability were investigated. WBPH was molecularly identified for SRBSDV when they dead. According to the identification results, data on viruliferous and non-viruliferous WBPH were collected and analyzed. Results Feeding behavior of viruliferous WBPH was different from those of non-viruliferous WBPH. Frequency of phloem sap ingestion of viruliferous WBPH increased significantly, however the total feeding duration did not increase markedly. When both WBPH parents were infected with SRBSDV, their fecundity and hatchability of the eggs produced were significant lower than those of normal WBPH parents. However, if only one of the parents was viruliferous, fecundity and egg hatchability were only slightly affected. Conclusions Viruliferous WBPH fed on the phloem more frequently than non-viruliferous WBPH and can thus contribute to virus transmission. When both vector parents are viruliferous fecundity and hatchability of the eggs were significantly reduced. However when only

  14. Growth performance and reproductive traits at first parity of New Zealand white female rabbits as affected by heat stress and its alleviation under Egyptian conditions.

    PubMed

    Marai, I F; Ayyat, M S; Abd el-Monem, U M

    2001-12-01

    Exposing growing and adult New Zealand White (NZW) female rabbits to severe heat stress (temperature-humidity index = 28.9) during summer adversely affected their growth and reproductive traits. The traits that declined significantly (p < 0.01) were the live body weight, daily weight gain and feed intake of growing rabbits, and the litter size and litter weight at weaning (p < 0.05) and the pre-weaning weight gain of pups (p < 0.01) for adult females. The conception rate declined considerably with heat stress. The declines in the values of the digestibility coefficients due to heat stress were 7.9% (p < 0.05) for dry matter (DM), 8.1% (p < 0.05) for crude protein (CP) and 1.0% for crude fibre (CF). The traits that increased significantly (p < 0.01) due to heat stress were water intake, water/feed ratio and rectal temperature in growing rabbits and pre-weaning mortality for adult females. Alleviation of heat stress in the growing and adult female NZW rabbits was more efficient with drinking cool water (10-15 degrees C; between 10:00 and 17:00) than with supplementation with palm oil (as a source of energy) or natural clay (as a natural enhancer to growth and milk production). Supplying the animals with cool drinking water gave the highest body weight and weight gain, conception rate, litter size and weight and digestibility coefficients for DM and CP and the lowest rectal temperature, respiration rate and pre-weaning mortality. The loss in rabbit production pertaining to heat stress estimated from the percentages of decline in conception rate x pre-weaning mortality x litter weight at weaning was 73.0%. The provision of cool water restored 11/12 of heat loss. PMID:11770200

  15. Examining dog-human play: the characteristics, affect, and vocalizations of a unique interspecific interaction.

    PubMed

    Horowitz, Alexandra; Hecht, Julie

    2016-07-01

    Despite the growing interest in research on the interaction between humans and dogs, only a very few research projects focus on the routines between dogs and their owners. In this study, we investigated one such routine: dog-human play. Dyadic interspecific play is known to be a common interaction between owner and charge, but the details of what counts as play have not been thoroughly researched. Similarly, though people represent that "play" is pleasurable, no study has yet undertaken to determine whether different forms of play are associated with different affective states. Thus, we aimed to generate an inventory of the forms of dyadic play, the vocalizations within play, and to investigate the relationship of affect to elements of play. Via a global citizen science project, we solicited videotapes of dog-human play sessions from dog owners. We coded 187 play bouts via frame-by-frame video playback. We then assessed the relationship between various intra-bout variables and owner affect (positive or neutral) during play (dog affect was overwhelmingly positive). Amount of physical contact ("touch"), level of activity of owner ("movement"), and physical closeness of dog-owner dyad ("proximity") were highly correlated with positive affect. Owner vocalizations were found to contain different elements in positive- and neutral-affect play. One novel category of play, "tease", was found. We conclude that not all play is created equal: the experience of play to the owner participant is strongly related to a few identifiable characteristics of the interaction. PMID:27003698

  16. Incubation Patterns in a Central-Place Forager Affect Lifetime Reproductive Success: Scaling of Patterns from a Foraging Bout to a Lifetime

    PubMed Central

    Shoji, Akiko; Elliott, Kyle H.; Aris-Brosou, Stéphane; Crump, Doug; Gaston, Anthony J.

    2011-01-01

    Background Long-lived seabirds face a conflict between current and lifelong reproductive success. During incubation shifts, egg neglect is sometimes necessary to avoid starvation, but may compromise the current reproductive attempt. However, factors underlying this decision process are poorly understood. We focus on the ancient murrelet, Synthliboramphus antiquus, an alcid with exceptionally long incubation shift lengths, and test the impact of environmental factors on incubation shift length in relation to reproductive success. Methodology/Principal Findings Using an information theoretic approach, we show that incubation shift length was a strong predictor of reproductive success for ancient murrelets at Reef Island, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada during the 2007 and 2008 breeding seasons. The most important factors explaining an individual's shift length were egg size, wind speed and the length of the mate's previous shift. Wind speed and tide height were the two most important factors for determining foraging behavior, as measured by dive frequency and depth. Conclusions/Significance Our study demonstrates that (i) species-specific reproductive strategies interact with environmental conditions such as wind speed to form multiple incubation patterns and (ii) maintaining regular incubation shifts is an essential component of reproductive success. PMID:21423631

  17. Eating disorders and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Morgan, J F

    1999-05-01

    Eating disorders are common and characteristically affect young women at what would otherwise be their peak of reproductive functioning. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa impinge on reproduction both behaviourally and physiologically, with effects on menstruation, ovarian function, fertility, sexuality and pregnancy. This review presents a summary of current knowledge and makes suggestions for future research, along with some clinical recommendations for the management of eating disorders in pregnancy. PMID:10755771

  18. The politics of reproduction.

    PubMed

    Ginsburg, F; Rapp, R

    1991-01-01

    The topic of human reproduction encompasses events throughout the human and especially female life-cycle as well as ideas and practices surrounding fertility, birth, and child care. Most of the scholarship on the subject, up through the 1960s, was based on cross-cultural surveys focused on the beliefs, norms, and values surrounding reproductive behaviors. Multiple methodologies and subspecialties, and fields like social history, human biology, and demography were utilized for the analysis. The concept of the politics of reproduction synthesizes local and global perspectives. The themes investigated include: the concept of reproduction, population control, and the internationalization of state and market interests (new reproductive technologies); social movements and contested domains; medicalization and its discontents; fertility and its control; adolescence and teen pregnancy; birth; birth attendants; the construction of infancy and the politics of child survival; rethinking the demographic transition; networks of nurturance; and meanings of menopause. The medicalization of reproduction is a central issue of studies of birth, midwifery, infertility, and reproductive technologies. Scholars have also analyzed different parts of the female life-cycle as medical problems. Other issues worth analysis include the internationalization of adoption and child care workers; the crisis of infertility of low-income and minority women who are not candidates for expensive reproductive technologies; the concerns of women at high risk for HIV whose cultural status depends on their fertility; questions of reproduction concerning, lesbians and gay men (artificial insemination and discrimination in child rearing); the study of menopause; and fatherhood. New discourse analysis is used to analyze state eugenic policies; conflicts over Western neocolonial influences in which women's status as childbearers represent nationalist interests; fundamentalist attacks on abortion rights; and

  19. Advancing the sexual and reproductive health and human rights of women living with HIV: a review of UN, regional and national human rights norms and standards

    PubMed Central

    Khosla, Rajat; Van Belle, Nuna; Temmerman, Marleen

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The right to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is an essential part of the right to health and is dependent upon substantive equality, including freedom from multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that result in exclusion in both law and practice. Nonetheless, general and specific SRH needs of women living with HIV are often not adequately addressed. For example, services that women living with HIV need may not be available or may have multiple barriers, in particular stigma and discrimination. This study was conducted to review United Nations Human Rights Council, Treaty Monitoring Bodies and Special Rapporteur reports and regional and national mechanisms regarding SRH issues of women living with HIV. The objective is to assess areas of progress, as well as gaps, in relation to health and human rights considerations in the work of these normative bodies on health and human rights. Methods The review was done using keywords of international, regional and national jurisprudence on findings covering the 2000 to 2014 period for documents in English; searches for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and national judgments were also conducted in Spanish. Jurisprudence of UN Treaty Monitoring Bodies, regional mechanisms and national bodies was considered in this regard. Results and discussion In total, 236 findings were identified using the search strategy, and of these 129 were selected for review based on the inclusion criteria. The results highlight that while jurisprudence from international, regional and national bodies reflects consideration of some health and human rights issues related to women living with HIV and SRH, the approach of these bodies has been largely ad hoc and lacks a systematic integration of human rights concerns of women living with HIV in relation to SRH. Most findings relate to non-discrimination, accessibility, informed decision-making and accountability. There are critical gaps on normative standards

  20. Molecular biology and reproduction.

    PubMed

    McDonough, P G

    1999-03-01

    Modern molecular biology has provided unique insights into the fundamental understanding of reproductive disorders and the detection of microorganisms. The remarkable advances in DNA diagnostics have been expedited by the development of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the ability to isolate DNA and RNA from many different sources such as blood, saliva, hair roots, microscopic slides, paraffin-embedded tissue sections, clinical swabs, and even cancellous bone. These technical advances have been bolstered by the development of an increasing number of effective screening techniques to scan genomic DNA for unknown point mutations. The continued development of technology will ultimately result in automated DNA (desoxyribonucleic acid) diagnosis for the practicing clinician. The continuing expansion of information concerning the human genome will place an increasing emphasis on bioinformatics and the use of computer software for analyzing DNA sequences. With the automation of DNA diagnosis and the use of small samples (500 nanograms), the direct examination of the DNA of a patient, fetus, or microorganism will emerge as a definitive means of establishing the presence of the specific genetic change that causes disease. A knowledge of the precise pathology at the molecular level has and will provide important insights into the biochemical basis for many human diseases. A firm knowledge of the DNA alterations in disease and expression patterns of specific genes will provide for more directed therapeutic strategies. The refinement of vector technology and nuclear transplantion techniques will provide the opportunity for directed gene therapy to the early human embryo. This presentation is designed to acquaint the reader with current techniques of testing at the DNA level, prototype mutations in the reproductive sciences, new concepts in the molecular mechanisms of disease that affect reproduction, and therapeutic opportunities for the future. It is hoped that future

  1. [The reproductive characteristics of human adenovirus type 2 in cultures of lymphoblastoid cells with B and T phenotypes].

    PubMed

    Povnitsa, O Iu; Diachenko, N S; Chernomaz, A A; Nosach, L N; Rybalko, S L; Gritsak, T F; Beregovenko, V N; Diadiun, S T

    1997-01-01

    A comparative characteristic of the reproduction process of type 2 human adenovirus in several lines of lymphoblastoid cells of B- and T-phenotype is presented. Formation of hexone and infectious virus in the cells of Jurkat, MT4, Raji lines was rather intensive and approached to that in the culture of the permissive epithelium cells Hep-2. These indices were much lower in the cultures of cells B 95-8 and MT4/BIII LBK which were chronically infected by VEB and HIV, accordingly and produced them that can evidence for the interference of Ad and VEB or Ad and HIV under superinfection of cells. Cells of SEM line possessing T-phenotype, were apparently semi-permissive for Ad h2, though the low almost unchanged content of hexone and infectious virus remains in them for a rather long time: about 15 days. Thus, obtained data within analyzed series of experiments expand the present ideas about lymphotropicity of Ad as their important property realized at the level of cell and infected macroorganism. PMID:9511371

  2. Sense and Nonsense in Metabolic Control of Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Jill E.; Klingerman, Candice M.; Abdulhay, Amir

    2012-01-01

    An exciting synergistic interaction occurs among researchers working at the interface of reproductive biology and energy homeostasis. Reproductive biologists benefit from the theories, experimental designs, and methodologies used by experts on energy homeostasis while they bring context and meaning to the study of energy homeostasis. There is a growing recognition that identification of candidate genes for obesity is little more than meaningless reductionism unless those genes and their expression are placed in a developmental, environmental, and evolutionary context. Reproductive biology provides this context because metabolic energy is the most important factor that controls reproductive success and gonadal hormones affect energy intake, storage, and expenditure. Reproductive hormone secretion changes during development, and reproductive success is key to evolutionary adaptation, the process that most likely molded the mechanisms that control energy balance. It is likely that by viewing energy intake, storage, and expenditure in the context of reproductive success, we will gain insight into human obesity, eating disorders, diabetes, and other pathologies related to fuel homeostasis. This review emphasizes the metabolic hypothesis: a sensory system monitors the availability of oxidizable metabolic fuels and orchestrates behavioral motivation to optimize reproductive success in environments where energy availability fluctuates or is unpredictable. PMID:22649413

  3. Aging and reproductive potential in women.

    PubMed Central

    Fitzgerald, C.; Zimon, A. E.; Jones, E. E.

    1998-01-01

    Reproductive potential in women declines with age. Age-related changes in the ovary account for most of this loss of reproductive function. Oocytes, all of which are present at birth, decline in number and quality with age. The endocrine function of the ovary also declines with age, and the ovary becomes unable to sustain its normal function in the neuroendocrine axis. The neuroendocrine axis may be further affected by primary changes occurring in the hypothalamus and pituitary during aging, although this has not been established in humans. Aging also affects the function of the uterus as the endometrium loses its ability to support implantation and growth of an embryo. Diminished uterine function during aging may be due to changes in the uterine vasculature or to changes in the hormone-dependent development of the endometrium. Finally, aging increases a woman's risk of developing medical, gynecologic or obstetric conditions that may impair her fertility. Knowledge of these affects of aging on a woman's reproductive function is essential to advise and treat the growing number of women seeking pregnancy at advanced reproductive age. PMID:10527364

  4. The Effect of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Prevention and Reproductive Health Text Messages on Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing Among Young Women in Rural Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Njuguna, Njambi; Ngure, Kenneth; Mugo, Nelly; Sambu, Carrole; Sianyo, Christopher; Gakuo, Stephen; Irungu, Elizabeth; Baeten, Jared; Heffron, Renee

    2016-01-01

    Background More than half of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected individuals in Kenya are unaware of their status, and young women carry a disproportionate burden of incident HIV infections. We sought to determine the effect of an SMS intervention on uptake of HIV testing among female Kenyan college students. Methods We conducted a quasi-experimental study to increase HIV testing among women 18 to 24 years old. Four midlevel training colleges in Central Kenya were allocated to have their study participants receive either weekly SMS on HIV and reproductive health topics or no SMS. Monthly 9-question SMS surveys were sent to all participants for 6 months to collect data on HIV testing, sexual behavior, and HIV risk perception. We used multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression to detect differences in the time to the first HIV test reported by women during the study period. Results We enrolled 600 women between September 2013 and March 2014 of whom 300 received weekly SMS and monthly surveys and 300 received only monthly surveys. On average, women were 21 years of age (interquartile range, 20–22), 71.50% had ever had sex and 72.62% had never tested for HIV. A total of 356 women reported testing for HIV within the 6 months of follow-up: 67% from the intervention arm and 51% from the control arm (hazard ratio, 1.57; 95% confidence interval, 1.28–1.92). Conclusions Use of weekly text messages about HIV prevention and reproductive health significantly increased rates of HIV testing among young Kenyan women and would be feasible to implement widely among school populations. PMID:27200519

  5. Affective Education: A Teacher's Manual to Promote Student Self-Actualization and Human Relations Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snyder, Thomas R.

    This teacher's manual presents affective education as a program to promote student self-actualization and human relations skills. Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Erik Erikson's life stages of psychosocial development form the conceptual base for this program. The goals and objectives of this manual are concerned with problem-solving…

  6. Definition and Measurement in the Affective Domain: Appreciation of Human Accomplishments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Paul B.; Beers, Joan S.

    The first three levels of the taxonomy in the affective domain guided the development of two inventories--the Pennsylvania Inventory of Cultural Appreciations (PICA) for 11th graders and Things People Do (TPD) for 5th graders--to measure appreciation of human accomplishments in seven areas: politics, sciences, sports, literature, visual arts,…

  7. Human-Computer Interaction: A Review of the Research on Its Affective and Social Aspects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deaudelin, Colette; Dussault, Marc; Brodeur, Monique

    2003-01-01

    Discusses a review of 34 qualitative and non-qualitative studies related to affective and social aspects of student-computer interactions. Highlights include the nature of the human-computer interaction (HCI); the interface, comparing graphic and text types; and the relation between variables linked to HCI, mainly trust, locus of control,…

  8. 76 FR 65734 - Guidance for Industry on Evaluating the Safety of Flood-Affected Food Crops for Human Consumption...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-24

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Guidance for Industry on Evaluating the Safety of Flood-Affected Food Crops for Human Consumption; Availability AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS. ACTION... entitled ``Guidance for Industry: Evaluating the Safety of Flood-Affected Food Crops for Human...

  9. [Mechanisms of reproductive behavior in humans: olfactory markers of males' attractiveness].

    PubMed

    Butovskaia, M L; Veselkovskaia, E V; Rostovtseva, V V; Sel'verova, N B; Ermakova, I V

    2012-01-01

    The present work represents a pilot study in the area of olfactory communication in humans. On the basis of experiments, it is demonstrated that women are able to detect, by means of smell, a number of morphological and psychological characteristics of men. The samples of sweat from 29 young men were collected, as well as anthropometry measurements (interpupillary distance, height and width of the lower jaw, and so forth) and behavioral characteristics (personality questionnaire NEO, risk-taking questionnaire, Sandra Bem masculinity and femininity indices, a self-rating on aggression Buss-Perry questionnaire). Data on hormonal status of all males were collected (testosterone and cortisol). It is demonstrated that women are able to detect both morphological (masculinity, physical health) and psychological characteristics (aggression, risk taking, neuroticism, extraversion, cooperation, etc.). The smell of men rating high on cortisol is estimated as the least attractive. On the contrary, the sweat of men with combination of high level of testosterone and low level of cortisol is considered the most attractive. Females rating of male's smell differed depending on a phase of a monthly cycle. The data obtained are discussed in the light of evolutionary basis of permanent partner choice. PMID:23101403

  10. Cost and safety of assisted reproductive technologies for human immunodeficiency virus-1 discordant couples.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ming-Yih; Ho, Hong-Nerng

    2015-05-12

    Due to significant advances in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1), HIV-1 infection gradually has become a treatable chronic disease. Successfully treated HIV-positive individuals can have a normal life expectancy. Hence, more and more HIV-1 discordant couples in Taiwan and the rest of the world are seeking fertility assistance. Pre-treatment of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) combined with sperm washing and RT-polymerase chain reaction examination for HIV-1 viral load has become the standard procedure to assist them to conceive. However, in order to reduce the transmission risk to the lowest level for the couple and to diminish the cost of health care for the insurance institutes or government, in vitro fertilization (IVF)-intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) therapy provides the ideal solution for HIV-1 discordant couples with infected men. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) theoretically introduces more than 10(7) times of sperm counts or semen volume to uninfected women vs IVF-ICSI. However, since some regimens of HAART may significantly decrease the sperm motility, compared to IVF-ICSI, IUI only produces 1/5 to 1/2 pregnancy rates per cycle. Given the risk of seroconversion of HIV infection which actually happens after successful treatment, IVF-ICSI for these HIV-1 seropositive men is more cost-effective and should be the first line treatment for these cases. PMID:25964879

  11. Cigarette smoke affects posttranslational modifications and inhibits capacitation-induced changes in human sperm proteins.

    PubMed

    Shrivastava, Vibha; Marmor, Hannah; Chernyak, Sholom; Goldstein, Marc; Feliciano, Miriam; Vigodner, Margarita

    2014-01-01

    Sperm are highly dependent on posttranslational modifications of proteins. Massive phosphorylation on tyrosine residue is required for sperm capacitation. Sumoylation has also been recently implicated in spermatogenesis and sperm functions. Cigarette smoke is known to cause oxidative stress in different tissues, and several studies suggest that it causes oxidative stress in sperm. Whether tobacco affects posttranslational modifications in human sperm is currently unknown. In this study, we show that a short exposure of human sperm to physiological concentrations of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) causes the partial de-sumoylation of many sperm proteins. Furthermore, the presence of a low concentration of CSE in the human tubal fluid during an induction of in vitro capacitation inhibits the capacitation-associated increase in protein phosphorylation. Collectively, changes in posttranslational modifications may be one of the mechanisms through which exposure to tobacco can negatively affect sperm functions and cause fertility problems. PMID:24345728

  12. Evaluating the human-health effects of hazardous wastes: Reproduction and development, neurotoxicity, genetic toxicity, and cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Dyer, R.S.; Houk, V.S.; Reiter, L.W.

    1991-01-01

    Several approaches are available for characterizing potential toxicity of wastes. The paper describes biological tests which are appropriate for identifying waste as neurotoxic, genotoxic, or likely to produce developmental or reproductive effects. The tests recommended are, for neurotoxicity a functional observational battery, coupled with a measure of motor (bodily movement) activity; for genetic toxicity, the 'Ames' test of mutagenicity in Salmonella and a test of clastogenicity (DNA damage); and for developmental and reproductive toxicity, the Chernoff-Kavlock assay and a multigenerational reproductive assay. In addition, the paper identifies several generic factors which must be considered in performing any evaluations of hazardous wastes.

  13. Low concentrations of Bisphenol A and para-Nonylphenol affect extravillous pathway of human trophoblast cells.

    PubMed

    Spagnoletti, Antonella; Paulesu, Luana; Mannelli, Chiara; Ermini, Leonardo; Romagnoli, Roberta; Cintorino, Marcella; Ietta, Francesca

    2015-09-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) and para-Nonylphenol (p-NP) are chemicals of industrial origin which may influence human reproductive health. The effects of these substances in the prenatal life is an important topic that is receiving greater attention in the developed countries. In this study, human trophoblast cells HTR-8/SVneo were exposed to BPA and p-NP (1 × 10(-15), 1 × 10(-13), 1 × 10(-11), 1 × 10(-9) and 1 × 10(-7) M) and incubated for 24, 48 and/or 72 h then, examined for the main physiological processes which characterize the extravillous trophoblast. Cell proliferation showed no changes while the processes of cell migration and invasion were both reduced by BPA and p-NP. For each chemical, the activity was higher at lower concentrations with a maximum activity between 1 × 10(-13) and 1 × 10(-11) M (p < 0.05 for 1 × 10(-9) and p < 0.001 for 1 × 10(-11) M). Co-culture studies with human umbilical cord endothelial cells (HUVEC) revealed that trophoblast/endothelial interaction was significantly reduced by p-NP at 1 × 10(-11) M. Moreover, both chemicals were inducing differentiation of HTR-8/SVneo toward polyploidy by the process of endoreduplication. The estrogen-receptor antagonist ICI significantly reduced p-NP action, while it had no effect on BPA treated cells. In conclusion, p-NP and BPA act on trophoblast cells altering key physiological processes in placenta development. The exact mechanism of action of the chemicals in human trophoblast still needs to be clarified. PMID:26027920

  14. Sex differences in the brain response to affective scenes with or without humans.

    PubMed

    Proverbio, Alice Mado; Adorni, Roberta; Zani, Alberto; Trestianu, Laura

    2009-10-01

    Recent findings have demonstrated that women might be more reactive than men to viewing painful stimuli (vicarious response to pain), and therefore more empathic [Han, S., Fan, Y., & Mao, L. (2008). Gender difference in empathy for pain: An electrophysiological investigation. Brain Research, 1196, 85-93]. We investigated whether the two sexes differed in their cerebral responses to affective pictures portraying humans in different positive or negative contexts compared to natural or urban scenarios. 440 IAPS slides were presented to 24 Italian students (12 women and 12 men). Half the pictures displayed humans while the remaining scenes lacked visible persons. ERPs were recorded from 128 electrodes and swLORETA (standardized weighted Low-Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography) source reconstruction was performed. Occipital P115 was greater in response to persons than to scenes and was affected by the emotional valence of the human pictures. This suggests that processing of biologically relevant stimuli is prioritized. Orbitofrontal N2 was greater in response to positive than negative human pictures in women but not in men, and not to scenes. A late positivity (LP) to suffering humans far exceeded the response to negative scenes in women but not in men. In both sexes, the contrast suffering-minus-happy humans revealed a difference in the activation of the occipito/temporal, right occipital (BA19), bilateral parahippocampal, left dorsal prefrontal cortex (DPFC) and left amygdala. However, increased right amygdala and right frontal area activities were observed only in women. The humans-minus-scenes contrast revealed a difference in the activation of the middle occipital gyrus (MOG) in men, and of the left inferior parietal (BA40), left superior temporal gyrus (STG, BA38) and right cingulate (BA31) in women (270-290 ms). These data indicate a sex-related difference in the brain response to humans, possibly supporting human empathy. PMID:19061906

  15. Stochasticity in Natural Forage Production Affects Use of Urban Areas by Black Bears: Implications to Management of Human-Bear Conflicts

    PubMed Central

    Baruch-Mordo, Sharon; Wilson, Kenneth R.; Lewis, David L.; Broderick, John; Mao, Julie S.; Breck, Stewart W.

    2014-01-01

    The rapid expansion of global urban development is increasing opportunities for wildlife to forage and become dependent on anthropogenic resources. Wildlife using urban areas are often perceived dichotomously as urban or not, with some individuals removed in the belief that dependency on anthropogenic resources is irreversible and can lead to increased human-wildlife conflict. For American black bears (Ursus americanus), little is known about the degree of bear urbanization and its ecological mechanisms to guide the management of human-bear conflicts. Using 6 years of GPS location and activity data from bears in Aspen, Colorado, USA, we evaluated the degree of bear urbanization and the factors that best explained its variations. We estimated space use, activity patterns, survival, and reproduction and modeled their relationship with ecological covariates related to bear characteristics and natural food availability. Space use and activity patterns were dependent on natural food availability (good or poor food years), where bears used higher human density areas and became more nocturnal in poor food years. Patterns were reversible, i.e., individuals using urban areas in poor food years used wildland areas in subsequent good food years. While reproductive output was similar across years, survival was lower in poor food years when bears used urban areas to a greater extent. Our findings suggest that bear use of urban areas is reversible and fluctuates with the availability of natural food resources, and that removal of urban individuals in times of food failures has the potential to negatively affect bear populations. Given that under current predictions urbanization is expected to increase by 11% across American black bear range, and that natural food failure years are expected to increase in frequency with global climate change, alternative methods of reducing urban human-bear conflict are required if the goal is to prevent urban areas from becoming population sinks

  16. Stochasticity in natural forage production affects use of urban areas by black bears: implications to management of human-bear conflicts.

    PubMed

    Baruch-Mordo, Sharon; Wilson, Kenneth R; Lewis, David L; Broderick, John; Mao, Julie S; Breck, Stewart W

    2014-01-01

    The rapid expansion of global urban development is increasing opportunities for wildlife to forage and become dependent on anthropogenic resources. Wildlife using urban areas are often perceived dichotomously as urban or not, with some individuals removed in the belief that dependency on anthropogenic resources is irreversible and can lead to increased human-wildlife conflict. For American black bears (Ursus americanus), little is known about the degree of bear urbanization and its ecological mechanisms to guide the management of human-bear conflicts. Using 6 years of GPS location and activity data from bears in Aspen, Colorado, USA, we evaluated the degree of bear urbanization and the factors that best explained its variations. We estimated space use, activity patterns, survival, and reproduction and modeled their relationship with ecological covariates related to bear characteristics and natural food availability. Space use and activity patterns were dependent on natural food availability (good or poor food years), where bears used higher human density areas and became more nocturnal in poor food years. Patterns were reversible, i.e., individuals using urban areas in poor food years used wildland areas in subsequent good food years. While reproductive output was similar across years, survival was lower in poor food years when bears used urban areas to a greater extent. Our findings suggest that bear use of urban areas is reversible and fluctuates with the availability of natural food resources, and that removal of urban individuals in times of food failures has the potential to negatively affect bear populations. Given that under current predictions urbanization is expected to increase by 11% across American black bear range, and that natural food failure years are expected to increase in frequency with global climate change, alternative methods of reducing urban human-bear conflict are required if the goal is to prevent urban areas from becoming population sinks

  17. ASSESSMENT OF LITHIUM USING THE IEHR EVALUATIVE PROCESS FOR ASSESSING HUMAN DEVELOPMENTAL AND REPRODUCTIVE TOXICITY OF AGENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document presents an evaluation of the reproductive and developmental effects of lithium and reviews toxicologic information on several specific lithium salts: ithium carbonate, lithium chloride, lithium citrate, and lithium hypochlorite. ithium (Li), an alkali metal, is a n...

  18. The Effects of Chronic Lifelong Activation of the AHR Pathway by Industrial Chemical Pollutants on Female Human Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Vacca, Margherita; Nardelli, Claudia; Castegna, Alessandra; Arnesano, Fabio; Carella, Nicola; Depalo, Raffaella

    2016-01-01

    Environmental chemicals, such as heavy metals, affect female reproductive function. A biological sensor of the signals of many toxic chemical compounds seems to be the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). Previous studies demonstrated the environmental of heavy metals in Taranto city (Italy), an area that has been influenced by anthropogenic factors such as industrial activities and waste treatments since 1986. However, the impact of these elements on female fertility in this geographic area has never been analyzed. Thus, in the present study, we evaluated the AHR pathway, sex steroid receptor pattern and apoptotic process in granulosa cells (GCs) retrieved from 30 women, born and living in Taranto, and 30 women who are living in non-contaminated areas (control group), who were undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) protocol. In follicular fluids (FFs) of both groups the toxic and essential heavy metals, such as chromiun (Cr), Manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb), were also analyzed. Higher levels of Cr, Fe, Zn and Pb were found in the FFs of the women from Taranto as compared to the control group, as were the levels of AHR and AHR-dependent cytochrome P450 1A1 and 1B1; while CYP19A1 expression was decreased. The anti-apoptotic process found in the GCs of women fromTaranto was associated with the highest levels of progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1), a novel progesterone receptor, the expression of which is subjected to AHR activated by its highest affinity ligands (e.g., dioxins) or indirectly by other environmental pollutants, such as heavy metals. In conclusion, decreased production of estradiol and decreased number of retrieved mature oocytes found in women from Taranto could be due to chronic exposure to heavy metals, in particular to Cr and Pb. PMID:27008165

  19. Reproductive Rights or Reproductive Justice? Lessons from Argentina.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Lynn

    2015-01-01

    Argentine sexual and reproductive rights activists insist on using the language and framework of "human rights," even when many reproductive rights activists in the US and elsewhere now prefer the framework of "reproductive justice." Reflecting on conversations with Argentine feminist anthropologists, social scientists, and reproductive rights activists, this paper analyzes why the Argentine movement to legalize abortion relies on the contested concept of human rights. Its conclusion that "women's rights are human rights" is a powerful claim in post-dictatorship politics where abortion is not yet legal and the full scope of women's rights has yet to be included in the government's human rights agenda. Argentine feminist human rights activists have long been attentive to the ways that social class, gender, migration, and racism intersect with reproduction. Because their government respects and responds to a human rights framework, however, they have not felt it necessary--as U.S. feminists have--to invent a new notion of reproductive justice in order to be heard. Given the increasing popularity of reproductive justice in health and human rights, the Argentine case shows that rights-based claims can still be politically useful when a State values the concept of human rights. PMID:26204578

  20. Proteome Analysis of Human Sebaceous Follicle Infundibula Extracted from Healthy and Acne-Affected Skin

    PubMed Central

    Bek-Thomsen, Malene; Lomholt, Hans B.; Scavenius, Carsten; Enghild, Jan J.; Brüggemann, Holger

    2014-01-01

    Acne vulgaris is a very common disease of the pilosebaceous unit of the human skin. The pathological processes of acne are not fully understood. To gain further insight sebaceous follicular casts were extracted from 18 healthy and 20 acne-affected individuals by cyanoacrylate-gel biopsies and further processed for mass spectrometry analysis, aiming at a proteomic analysis of the sebaceous follicular casts. Human as well as bacterial proteins were identified. Human proteins enriched in acne and normal samples were detected, respectively. Normal follicular casts are enriched in proteins such as prohibitins and peroxiredoxins which are involved in the protection from various stresses, including reactive oxygen species. By contrast, follicular casts extracted from acne-affected skin contained proteins involved in inflammation, wound healing and tissue remodeling. Among the most distinguishing proteins were myeloperoxidase, lactotransferrin, neutrophil elastase inhibitor and surprisingly, vimentin. The most significant biological process among all acne-enriched proteins was ‘response to a bacterium’. Identified bacterial proteins were exclusively from Propionibacterium acnes. The most abundant P. acnes proteins were surface-exposed dermatan sulphate adhesins, CAMP factors, and a so far uncharacterized lipase in follicular casts extracted from normal as well as acne-affected skin. This is a first proteomic study that identified human proteins together with proteins of the skin microbiota in sebaceous follicular casts. PMID:25238151

  1. Human infant faces provoke implicit positive affective responses in parents and non-parents alike.

    PubMed

    Senese, Vincenzo Paolo; De Falco, Simona; Bornstein, Marc H; Caria, Andrea; Buffolino, Simona; Venuti, Paola

    2013-01-01

    Human infants' complete dependence on adult caregiving suggests that mechanisms associated with adult responsiveness to infant cues might be deeply embedded in the brain. Behavioural and neuroimaging research has produced converging evidence for adults' positive disposition to infant cues, but these studies have not investigated directly the valence of adults' reactions, how they are moderated by biological and social factors, and if they relate to child caregiving. This study examines implicit affective responses of 90 adults toward faces of human and non-human (cats and dogs) infants and adults. Implicit reactions were assessed with Single Category Implicit Association Tests, and reports of childrearing behaviours were assessed by the Parental Style Questionnaire. The results showed that human infant faces represent highly biologically relevant stimuli that capture attention and are implicitly associated with positive emotions. This reaction holds independent of gender and parenthood status and is associated with ideal parenting behaviors. PMID:24282537

  2. Human Infant Faces Provoke Implicit Positive Affective Responses in Parents and Non-Parents Alike

    PubMed Central

    Senese, Vincenzo Paolo; De Falco, Simona; Bornstein, Marc H.; Caria, Andrea; Buffolino, Simona; Venuti, Paola

    2013-01-01

    Human infants' complete dependence on adult caregiving suggests that mechanisms associated with adult responsiveness to infant cues might be deeply embedded in the brain. Behavioural and neuroimaging research has produced converging evidence for adults' positive disposition to infant cues, but these studies have not investigated directly the valence of adults' reactions, how they are moderated by biological and social factors, and if they relate to child caregiving. This study examines implicit affective responses of 90 adults toward faces of human and non-human (cats and dogs) infants and adults. Implicit reactions were assessed with Single Category Implicit Association Tests, and reports of childrearing behaviours were assessed by the Parental Style Questionnaire. The results showed that human infant faces represent highly biologically relevant stimuli that capture attention and are implicitly associated with positive emotions. This reaction holds independent of gender and parenthood status and is associated with ideal parenting behaviors. PMID:24282537

  3. 21 CFR 884.6150 - Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and microinjectors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and... HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES OBSTETRICAL AND GYNECOLOGICAL DEVICES Assisted Reproduction Devices § 884.6150 Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and microinjectors. (a)...

  4. 21 CFR 884.6140 - Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication instruments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication... HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES OBSTETRICAL AND GYNECOLOGICAL DEVICES Assisted Reproduction Devices § 884.6140 Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication instruments. (a)...

  5. 21 CFR 884.6140 - Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication instruments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication... HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES OBSTETRICAL AND GYNECOLOGICAL DEVICES Assisted Reproduction Devices § 884.6140 Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication instruments. (a)...

  6. 21 CFR 884.6150 - Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and microinjectors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and... HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES OBSTETRICAL AND GYNECOLOGICAL DEVICES Assisted Reproduction Devices § 884.6150 Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and microinjectors. (a)...

  7. 21 CFR 884.6140 - Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication instruments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication... HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES OBSTETRICAL AND GYNECOLOGICAL DEVICES Assisted Reproduction Devices § 884.6140 Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication instruments. (a)...

  8. 21 CFR 884.6150 - Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and microinjectors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and... HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES OBSTETRICAL AND GYNECOLOGICAL DEVICES Assisted Reproduction Devices § 884.6150 Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and microinjectors. (a)...

  9. 21 CFR 884.6150 - Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and microinjectors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and... HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES OBSTETRICAL AND GYNECOLOGICAL DEVICES Assisted Reproduction Devices § 884.6150 Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and microinjectors. (a)...

  10. 21 CFR 884.6140 - Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication instruments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication... HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES OBSTETRICAL AND GYNECOLOGICAL DEVICES Assisted Reproduction Devices § 884.6140 Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication instruments. (a)...

  11. 21 CFR 884.6140 - Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication instruments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication... HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES OBSTETRICAL AND GYNECOLOGICAL DEVICES Assisted Reproduction Devices § 884.6140 Assisted reproduction micropipette fabrication instruments. (a)...

  12. 21 CFR 884.6150 - Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and microinjectors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and... HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES OBSTETRICAL AND GYNECOLOGICAL DEVICES Assisted Reproduction Devices § 884.6150 Assisted reproduction micromanipulators and microinjectors. (a)...

  13. [On the Decision of the European Court of Human Rights. The S.H. and others against Austria. TEDH 2010/56 of April 1, on human assisted reproduction and its incidence on the European legislative arena].

    PubMed

    Vidal Martínez, Jaime

    2011-01-01

    The judgment of ECHR 2010/56 responds positively the appeal on the part of four Austrian citizens (two married couples) against the Austrian state. The applicants complained that the prohibition of sperm and ova donation for in vitro fertilisation as established in the Austrian Law of 1992 amounts to discrimination, against article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights in conjunction with article 8, which establishes that everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life. After a detailed exposition of the circumstances surrounding this case, the author examines the origin of the practices of artificial insemination and IVF. The author highlights the transcendence of questions linked to extracorporeal fertilisation and human embryology and looks at the European regulation and the doctrine of reproductive rights, paying attention to the widespread use of the abovementioned techniques in the globalised world and the transborder practices in the European territories. The author points out that the current implementation of assisted reproduction techniques and the lack of uniform regulation in the European context might have influenced the above judgment of the ECHR 2010/56, which pronounced that the 1992 Austrian Law of Artificial Reproduction was not in accordance with article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, contrary to the judgment passed by the Austrian Constitutional Court eleven years earlier. It was not questioned, and so it was established by the ECHR, that the applicants right to use assisted reproduction techniques is protected by article 8 of the Convention. However, this does not make the estate liable to allow or regulate the abovementioned practices as long as this does not result in discrimination. According to the author, the right to resort to artificial reproduction techniques is contingent and therefore different from the freedom to procreate that is inherent to the human person, and covered under the right of

  14. Dehydroepiandrosterone and 7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone in male reproductive health: Implications of differential regulation of human Sertoli cells metabolic profile.

    PubMed

    Dias, Tânia R; Alves, Marco G; Almeida, Susana P; Silva, Joaquina; Barros, Alberto; Sousa, Mário; Silva, Branca M; Silvestre, Samuel M; Oliveira, Pedro F

    2015-11-01

    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a precursor of androgen synthesis whose action is partially exerted through its metabolites. 7-Oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone (7-oxo-DHEA) is a common DHEA metabolite, non-convertible to androgens, which constitutes a promising therapeutic strategy for multiple conditions. Sertoli cells (SCs) are responsible for the support of spermatogenesis, having unique metabolic characteristics strongly modulated by androgens. Consequently, disruptions in androgen synthesis compromise SCs function and hence male fertility. We aimed to evaluate the effects of DHEA and 7-oxo-DHEA in human SCs (hSCs) metabolism and oxidative profile. To do so, hSCs were exposed to increasing concentrations of DHEA and 7-oxo-DHEA (0.025, 1 and 50 μM) that revealed to be non-cytotoxic in these experimental conditions. We measured hSCs metabolites consumption/production by (1)H NMR, the protein expression levels of key players of the glycolytic pathway by Western blot as well as the levels of carbonyl groups, nitration and lipid peroxidation by Slot blot. The obtained data demonstrated that 7-oxo-DHEA is a more potent metabolic modulator than DHEA since it increased hSCs glycolytic flux. DHEA seem to redirect hSCs metabolism to the Krebs cycle, while 7-oxo-DHEA has some inhibitory effect in this path. The highest 7-oxo-DHEA concentrations (1 and 50 μM) also increased lactate production, which is of extreme relevance for the successful progression of spermatogenesis in vivo. None of these steroids altered the intracellular oxidative profile of hSCs, illustrating that, at the concentrations used they do not have pro- nor antioxidant actions in hSCs. Our study represents a further step in the establishment of safe doses of DHEA and 7-oxo-DHEA to hSCs, supporting its possible use in hormonal and non-hormonal therapies against male reproductive problems. PMID:26134425

  15. How Malaria Has Affected the Human Genome and What Human Genetics Can Teach Us about Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.

    2005-01-01

    Malaria is a major killer of children worldwide and the strongest known force for evolutionary selection in the recent history of the human genome. The past decade has seen growing evidence of ethnic differences in susceptibility to malaria and of the diverse genetic adaptations to malaria that have arisen in different populations: epidemiological confirmation of the hypotheses that G6PD deficiency, α+ thalassemia, and hemoglobin C protect against malaria mortality; the application of novel haplotype-based techniques demonstrating that malaria-protective genes have been subject to recent positive selection; the first genetic linkage maps of resistance to malaria in experimental murine models; and a growing number of reported associations with resistance and susceptibility to human malaria, particularly in genes involved in immunity, inflammation, and cell adhesion. The challenge for the next decade is to build the global epidemiological infrastructure required for statistically robust genomewide association analysis, as a way of discovering novel mechanisms of protective immunity that can be used in the development of an effective malaria vaccine. PMID:16001361

  16. Breeding and Housing Laboratory Rats and Mice in the Same Room Does Not Affect the Growth or Reproduction of Either Species

    PubMed Central

    Pritchett-Corning, Kathleen R; Chang, Fon T; Festing, Michael F W

    2009-01-01

    Few data exist regarding the effects of long-term housing of rats and mice in the same secondary enclosure. Historical reproductive and growth data were compared for colonies of mice and rats maintained in open-topped cages in either single-species or dual-species barrier rooms. This analysis included reproductive parameters (litter size at birth, litter size at weaning, and pups missing at weaning) collected from 33 colonies of mice comprising 500 to 38,500 breeding females and 28 colonies of rats totaling 350 to 4,600 breeding females, and representative samples from 28 colonies of each species were analyzed for weight gain from weaning to adulthood. The presence or absence of the other species was not associated with statistically significant differences in weight gain or any of the reproductive parameters. These results suggest that breeding colonies of rats and mice of the same health status can be housed in the same room without a negative effect on the growth and reproduction of either species. PMID:19807969

  17. Marijuana, the Endocannabinoid System and the Female Reproductive System

    PubMed Central

    Brents, Lisa K.

    2016-01-01

    Marijuana use among women is highly prevalent, but the societal conversation on marijuana rarely focuses on how marijuana affects female reproduction and endocrinology. This article reviews the current scientific literature regarding marijuana use and hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis regulation, ovarian hormone production, the menstrual cycle, and fertility. Evidence suggests that marijuana can reduce female fertility by disrupting hypothalamic release of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), leading to reduced estrogen and progesterone production and anovulatory menstrual cycles. Tolerance to these effects has been shown in rhesus monkeys, but the effects of chronic marijuana use on human female reproduction are largely unknown. Marijuana-induced analgesia, drug reinforcement properties, tolerance, and dependence are influenced by ovarian hormones, with estrogen generally increasing and progesterone decreasing sensitivity to marijuana. Carefully controlled regulation of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is required for successful reproduction, and the exogenous cannabinoids in marijuana may disrupt the delicate balance of the ECS in the female reproductive system. PMID:27354844

  18. Marijuana, the Endocannabinoid System and the Female Reproductive System.

    PubMed

    Brents, Lisa K

    2016-06-01

    Marijuana use among women is highly prevalent, but the societal conversation on marijuana rarely focuses on how marijuana affects female reproduction and endocrinology. This article reviews the current scientific literature regarding marijuana use and hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis regulation, ovarian hormone production, the menstrual cycle, and fertility. Evidence suggests that marijuana can reduce female fertility by disrupting hypothalamic release of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), leading to reduced estrogen and progesterone production and anovulatory menstrual cycles. Tolerance to these effects has been shown in rhesus monkeys, but the effects of chronic marijuana use on human female reproduction are largely unknown. Marijuana-induced analgesia, drug reinforcement properties, tolerance, and dependence are influenced by ovarian hormones, with estrogen generally increasing and progesterone decreasing sensitivity to marijuana. Carefully controlled regulation of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is required for successful reproduction, and the exogenous cannabinoids in marijuana may disrupt the delicate balance of the ECS in the female reproductive system. PMID:27354844

  19. A humanized version of Foxp2 does not affect ultrasonic vocalization in adult mice.

    PubMed

    Hammerschmidt, K; Schreiweis, C; Minge, C; Pääbo, S; Fischer, J; Enard, W

    2015-11-01

    The transcription factor FOXP2 has been linked to severe speech and language impairments in humans. An analysis of the evolution of the FOXP2 gene has identified two amino acid substitutions that became fixed after the split of the human and chimpanzee lineages. Studying the functional consequences of these two substitutions in the endogenous Foxp2 gene of mice showed alterations in dopamine levels, striatal synaptic plasticity, neuronal morphology and cortico-striatal-dependent learning. In addition, ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) of pups had a significantly lower average pitch than control littermates. To which degree adult USVs would be affected in mice carrying the 'humanized' Foxp2 variant remained unclear. In this study, we analyzed USVs of 68 adult male mice uttered during repeated courtship encounters with different females. Mice carrying the Foxp2(hum/hum) allele did not differ significantly in the number of call elements, their element structure or in their element composition from control littermates. We conclude that neither the structure nor the usage of USVs in adult mice is affected by the two amino acid substitutions that occurred in FOXP2 during human evolution. The reported effect for pup vocalization thus appears to be transient. These results are in line with accumulating evidence that mouse USVs are hardly influenced by vocal learning. Hence, the function and evolution of genes that are necessary, but not sufficient for vocal learning in humans, must be either studied at a different phenotypic level in mice or in other organisms. PMID:26250064

  20. “I Always Worry about What Might Happen Ahead”: Implementing Safer Conception Services in the Current Environment of Reproductive Counseling for HIV-Affected Men and Women in Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Bajunirwe, Francis; Kastner, Jasmine; Sanyu, Naomi; Akatukwasa, Cecilia; Ng, Courtney; Rifkin, Rachel; Milford, Cecilia; Moore, Lizzie; Wilson, Ira B.; Bangsberg, David R.; Smit, Jennifer A.; Kaida, Angela

    2016-01-01

    Background. We explored healthcare provider perspectives and practices regarding safer conception counseling for HIV-affected clients. Methods. We conducted semistructured interviews with 38 providers (medical and clinical officers, nurses, peer counselors, and village health workers) delivering care to HIV-infected clients across 5 healthcare centres in Mbarara District, Uganda. Interview transcripts were analyzed using content analysis. Results. Of 38 providers, 76% were women with median age 34 years (range 24–57). First, we discuss providers' reproductive counseling practices. Emergent themes include that providers (1) assess reproductive goals of HIV-infected female clients frequently, but infrequently for male clients; (2) offer counseling focused on “family planning” and maternal and child health; (3) empathize with the importance of having children for HIV-affected clients; and (4) describe opportunities to counsel HIV-serodiscordant couples. Second, we discuss provider-level challenges that impede safer conception counseling. Emergent themes included the following: (1) providers struggle to translate reproductive rights language into individualized risk reduction given concerns about maternal health and HIV transmission and (2) providers lack safer conception training and support needed to provide counseling. Discussion. Tailored guidelines and training are required for providers to implement safer conception counseling. Such support must respond to provider experiences with adverse HIV-related maternal and child outcomes and a national emphasis on pregnancy prevention. PMID:27051664

  1. The theoretical underpinnings of affective temperaments: implications for evolutionary foundations of bipolar disorder and human nature.

    PubMed

    Akiskal, Kareen K; Akiskal, Hagop S

    2005-03-01

    We sketch out putative evolutionary roles for affective temperaments within the theoretical framework of mood disorders conceptualized as extremes in an oligogenic model of inheritance, whereby the constituent traits in their dilute phenotypes confer adaptive advantages to individuals and/or their social group. Depressive traits, among other functions, would subserve sensitivity to the suffering of other members of the species, overlapping with those of the generalized anxious temperament, thereby enhancing the survival of not only kin but also other conspecifics. The pursuit of romantic opportunities in cyclothymia suggests that it may have evolved as a mechanism in reproductive success; cyclothymics' creative bent in poetry, music, painting, cooking or fashion design (among men, in particular) also appears useful for sexual seduction. Hyperthymic traits would lend distinct advantages in leadership, exploration, territoriality and mating. These are just some of the possibilities of the rich and complex temperamental traits subserving bipolarity within an evolutionary framework. We test selected aspects of these hypotheses with the use of correlations between the constituent traits of the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (TEMPS) and correlations between the TEMPS and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Such data support the counterbalancing protective influence of harm avoidance on the risk-taking behavior of cyclothymic individuals, in both men and women. Finally, we outline a hypothesis on the evolutionary function of anxious-depressive traits for women. PMID:15780693

  2. Effects of Virtual Human Appearance Fidelity on Emotion Contagion in Affective Inter-Personal Simulations.

    PubMed

    Volante, Matias; Babu, Sabarish V; Chaturvedi, Himanshu; Newsome, Nathan; Ebrahimi, Elham; Roy, Tania; Daily, Shaundra B; Fasolino, Tracy

    2016-04-01

    Realistic versus stylized depictions of virtual humans in simulated inter-personal situations and their ability to elicit emotional responses in users has been an open question for artists and researchers alike. We empirically evaluated the effects of near visually realistic vs. non-realistic stylized appearance of virtual humans on the emotional response of participants in a medical virtual reality system that was designed to educate users in recognizing the signs and symptoms of patient deterioration. In a between-subjects experiment protocol, participants interacted with one of three different appearances of a virtual patient, namely visually realistic, cartoon-shaded and charcoal-sketch like conditions in a mixed reality simulation. Emotional impact were measured via a combination of quantitative objective measures were gathered using skin Electrodermal Activity (EDA) sensors, and quantitative subjective measures such as the Differential Emotion Survey (DES IV), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), and Social Presence questionnaire. The emotional states of the participants were analyzed across four distinct time steps during which the medical condition of the virtual patient deteriorated (an emotionally stressful interaction), and were contrasted to a baseline affective state. Objective EDA results showed that in all three conditions, male participants exhibited greater levels of arousal as compared to female participants. We found that negative affect levels were significantly lower in the visually realistic condition, as compared to the stylized appearance conditions. Furthermore, in emotional dimensions of interest-excitement, surprise, anger, fear and guilt participants in all conditions responded similarly. However, in social emotional constructs of shyness, presence, perceived personality, and enjoyment-joy, we found that participants responded differently in the visually realistic condition as compared to the cartoon and sketch conditions. Our

  3. [Reproductive toxicity of lindane].

    PubMed

    Pagès, Nicole; Sauviat, Martin-Pierre; Bouvet, Suzanne; Goudey-Perrière, Françoise

    2002-01-01

    The present paper bears on the main effects of lindane (gamma isomer of hexachlorocyclohexane) on endocrine and reproductive functions in mammals. This pesticide, once widely used to kill lice and a variety of pests that attack agricultural products, livestock and trees, has been progressively eliminated from many applications since the mid-1970s in Europe or USA, but is still used in the rest of the world. Lindane is absorbed through respiratory, digestive or cutaneous routes and accumulates in fat tissues. It damages human liver, kidney, neural and immune systems and induces birth defects, cancer and death. Chronic administration results in endocrine disruption in birds as well as in mammals. Treatment with 1-40 mg of lindane/kg b.w. disrupts testicular morphology, decreases spermatogenesis, inhibits testicular steroidogenesis, reduces plasma androgen concentrations and may adversely affect reproductive performances in males. In females, lindane disrupts the estrous cycle, reduces serum estrogen and progesterone levels, decreases sexual receptivity whereas in pregnant dams it decreases whelping rate and litter size. These effects were also observed in some rats exposed to residual environmental doses. In addition, there is concern that irreversible effects may be induced when animals are exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals during critically susceptible phases of sexual differentiation or development. These effects would results from (i) alterations of gonade or gamete cell membranes (ii) cell metabolism changes including alterations of ionic exchanges (mainly calcium or potassium), direct or free radical-mediated inhibition of steroidogenesis (iii) or neuroendocrine changes leading to a decrease in sexual performance of either parents or their offsprings exposed in utero or through lactation. PMID:12645304

  4. Physical characteristics of indigestible solids affect emptying from the fasting human stomach.

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, B; Beglinger, C; Neumayer, M; Stalder, G A

    1989-01-01

    Gastric emptying of indigestible solids depends on their size. It is not clear whether physical characteristics other than particle size affect emptying of indigestible solids from the fasting human stomach. We studied gastric emptying of three differently shaped particles, (cubes, spheres, rods) of either hard or soft consistency during the fasting state in human volunteers. The shape of indigestible particles did not affect their emptying. The area under the gastric emptying curve (AUC: particles x hour) was for hard cubes 24.7 (2.2), for hard spheres 27.9 (1.6), for hard rods 26.9 (2.7). All soft particles emptied faster than their identically shaped hard counterparts, but there was no difference among the three shapes (AUC for soft cubes: 29.2 (3.0), for soft spheres 32.0 (1.8), for soft rods 34.1 (1.2). If gastric emptying of hard and soft particles was compared independently of their shape, soft particles emptied significantly faster than hard ones: AUC 31.8 (1.2) v 26.5 (1.3) (p less than 0.01). In conclusion, the consistency but not the shape significantly affects gastric emptying. Specific physical characteristics other than size and shape may affect gastric emptying of indigestible particles which may be of importance in the design of drugs. PMID:2599438

  5. Low-frequency sound affects active micromechanics in the human inner ear.

    PubMed

    Kugler, Kathrin; Wiegrebe, Lutz; Grothe, Benedikt; Kössl, Manfred; Gürkov, Robert; Krause, Eike; Drexl, Markus

    2014-10-01

    Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common auditory pathologies, resulting from overstimulation of the human cochlea, an exquisitely sensitive micromechanical device. At very low frequencies (less than 250 Hz), however, the sensitivity of human hearing, and therefore the perceived loudness is poor. The perceived loudness is mediated by the inner hair cells of the cochlea which are driven very inadequately at low frequencies. To assess the impact of low-frequency (LF) sound, we exploited a by-product of the active amplification of sound outer hair cells (OHCs) perform, so-called spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. These are faint sounds produced by the inner ear that can be used to detect changes of cochlear physiology. We show that a short exposure to perceptually unobtrusive, LF sounds significantly affects OHCs: a 90 s, 80 dB(A) LF sound induced slow, concordant and positively correlated frequency and level oscillations of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions that lasted for about 2 min after LF sound offset. LF sounds, contrary to their unobtrusive perception, strongly stimulate the human cochlea and affect amplification processes in the most sensitive and important frequency range of human hearing. PMID:26064536

  6. Low-frequency sound affects active micromechanics in the human inner ear

    PubMed Central

    Kugler, Kathrin; Wiegrebe, Lutz; Grothe, Benedikt; Kössl, Manfred; Gürkov, Robert; Krause, Eike; Drexl, Markus

    2014-01-01

    Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common auditory pathologies, resulting from overstimulation of the human cochlea, an exquisitely sensitive micromechanical device. At very low frequencies (less than 250 Hz), however, the sensitivity of human hearing, and therefore the perceived loudness is poor. The perceived loudness is mediated by the inner hair cells of the cochlea which are driven very inadequately at low frequencies. To assess the impact of low-frequency (LF) sound, we exploited a by-product of the active amplification of sound outer hair cells (OHCs) perform, so-called spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. These are faint sounds produced by the inner ear that can be used to detect changes of cochlear physiology. We show that a short exposure to perceptually unobtrusive, LF sounds significantly affects OHCs: a 90 s, 80 dB(A) LF sound induced slow, concordant and positively correlated frequency and level oscillations of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions that lasted for about 2 min after LF sound offset. LF sounds, contrary to their unobtrusive perception, strongly stimulate the human cochlea and affect amplification processes in the most sensitive and important frequency range of human hearing. PMID:26064536

  7. Does Human Migration Affect International Trade? A Complex-Network Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Fagiolo, Giorgio; Mastrorillo, Marina

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the relationships between international human migration and merchandise trade using a complex-network approach. We firstly compare the topological structure of worldwide networks of human migration and bilateral trade over the period 1960–2000. Next, we ask whether pairs of countries that are more central in the migration network trade more. We show that: (i) the networks of international migration and trade are strongly correlated, and such correlation can be mostly explained by country economic/demographic size and geographical distance; (ii) centrality in the international-migration network boosts bilateral trade; (iii) intensive forms of country centrality are more trade enhancing than their extensive counterparts. Our findings suggest that bilateral trade between any two countries is not only affected by the presence of migrants from either countries, but also by their relative embeddedness in the complex web of corridors making up the network of international human migration. PMID:24828376

  8. Human embryonic stem cell-derived pancreatic endoderm alleviates diabetic pathology and improves reproductive outcome in C57BL/KsJ-Lep(db/+) gestational diabetes mellitus mice.

    PubMed

    Xing, Baoheng; Wang, Lili; Li, Qin; Cao, Yalei; Dong, Xiujuan; Liang, Jun; Wu, Xiaohua

    2015-07-01

    Gestational diabetes mellitus is a condition commonly encountered during mid to late pregnancy with pathologic manifestations including hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and fetal maldevelopment. The cause of gestational diabetes mellitus can be attributed to both genetic and environmental factors, hence complicating its diagnosis and treatment. Pancreatic progenitors derived from human embryonic stem cells were shown to be able to effectively treat diabetes in mice. In this study, we have developed a system of treating diabetes using human embryonic stem cell-derived pancreatic endoderm in a mouse model of gestational diabetes mellitus. Human embryonic stem cells were differentiated in vitro into pancreatic endoderm, which were then transplanted into db/+ mice suffering from gestational diabetes mellitus. The transplant greatly improved glucose metabolism and reproductive outcome of the females compared with the control groups. Our findings support the feasibility of using differentiated human embryonic stem cells for treating gestational diabetes mellitus patients. PMID:26066567

  9. Reproductive and Locomotory Capacities of Caenorhabditis elegans Were Not Affected by Simulated Variable Gravities and Spaceflight During the Shenzhou-8 Mission

    PubMed Central

    Qiao, Liang; Luo, Sang; Liu, Yongding; Li, Xiaoyan

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Reproduction and locomotion are essential features of animals that help to facilitate their interaction with the surrounding environment. Previous studies have produced inconsistent results on behavioral response to spaceflight by the model animal Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) in liquid culture. Using standard agar-based nematode growth medium (NGM), we show here that both reproductive and locomotory capacities of C. elegans were not significantly changed by centrifuge-produced hypergravity or clinostat-simulated microgravity. To investigate the effect of actual spaceflight on C. elegans, a nematode test unit was specifically designed to maintain its normal growth on solid NGM slides and to allow automatic RNA fixation on board the Shenzhou-8 spaceflight. We did not detect alteration in either brood size of immediate progenies from postflight nematodes or locomotory behavior, including speed of locomotion, frequency of reversals, and rate of body bends of space-flown nematodes collected directly from nematode test units. Our results provide clear evidence that the nematode test unit is an appropriate apparatus for nematode growth on standard NGM and can be used for on-orbit analysis of C. elegans, including onboard RNA fixation for molecular analysis and real-time video acquisition for behavioral analysis, which are critical for further studies in unmanned spaceflight and outer space exploration. Key Words: Spaceflight—Hypergravity—Microgravity—Caenorhabditis elegans—Behavior—Reproduction. Astrobiology 13, 617–625. PMID:23837604

  10. Imagination in human social cognition, autism, and psychotic-affective conditions.

    PubMed

    Crespi, Bernard; Leach, Emma; Dinsdale, Natalie; Mokkonen, Mikael; Hurd, Peter

    2016-05-01

    Complex human social cognition has evolved in concert with risks for psychiatric disorders. Recently, autism and psychotic-affective conditions (mainly schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression) have been posited as psychological 'opposites' with regard to social-cognitive phenotypes. Imagination, considered as 'forming new ideas, mental images, or concepts', represents a central facet of human social evolution and cognition. Previous studies have documented reduced imagination in autism, and increased imagination in association with psychotic-affective conditions, yet these sets of findings have yet to be considered together, or evaluated in the context of the diametric model. We first review studies of the components, manifestations, and neural correlates of imagination in autism and psychotic-affective conditions. Next, we use data on dimensional autism in healthy populations to test the hypotheses that: (1) imagination represents the facet of autism that best accounts for its strongly male-biased sex ratio, and (2) higher genetic risk of schizophrenia is associated with higher imagination, in accordance with the predictions of the diametric model. The first hypothesis was supported by a systematic review and meta-analysis showing that Imagination exhibits the strongest male bias of all Autism Quotient (AQ) subscales, in non-clinical populations. The second hypothesis was supported, for males, by associations between schizophrenia genetic risk scores, derived from a set of single-nucleotide polymorphisms, and the AQ Imagination subscale. Considered together, these findings indicate that imagination, especially social imagination as embodied in the default mode human brain network, mediates risk and diametric dimensional phenotypes of autism and psychotic-affective conditions. PMID:26896903

  11. Efficient Inhibition of HIV Replication in the Gastrointestinal and Female Reproductive Tracts of Humanized BLT Mice by EFdA

    PubMed Central

    Shanmugasundaram, Uma; Kovarova, Martina; Ho, Phong T.; Schramm, Nathaniel; Wahl, Angela; Parniak, Michael A.; Garcia, J. Victor

    2016-01-01

    Background The nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) 4'-ethynyl-2-fluoro-2'-deoxyadenosine (EFdA) in preclinical development exhibits improved safety and antiviral activity profiles with minimal drug resistance compared to approved NRTIs. However, the systemic antiviral efficacy of EFdA has not been fully evaluated. In this study, we utilized bone marrow/liver/thymus (BLT) humanized mice to investigate the systemic effect of EFdA treatment on HIV replication and CD4+ T cell depletion in the peripheral blood (PB) and tissues. In particular, we performed a comprehensive analysis of the female reproductive tract (FRT) and gastrointestinal (GI) tract, major sites of transmission, viral replication, and CD4+ T cell depletion and where some current antiretroviral drugs have a sub-optimal effect. Results EFdA treatment resulted in reduction of HIV-RNA in PB to undetectable levels in the majority of treated mice by 3 weeks post-treatment. HIV-RNA levels in cervicovaginal lavage of EFdA-treated BLT mice also declined to undetectable levels demonstrating strong penetration of EFdA into the FRT. Our results also demonstrate a strong systemic suppression of HIV replication in all tissues analyzed. In particular, we observed more than a 2-log difference in HIV-RNA levels in the GI tract and FRT of EFdA-treated BLT mice compared to untreated HIV-infected control mice. In addition, HIV-RNA was also significantly lower in the lymph nodes, liver, lung, spleen of EFdA-treated BLT mice compared to untreated HIV-infected control mice. Furthermore, EFdA treatment prevented the depletion of CD4+ T cells in the PB, mucosal tissues and lymphoid tissues. Conclusion Our findings indicate that EFdA is highly effective in controlling viral replication and preserving CD4+ T cells in particular with high efficiency in the GI and FRT tract. Thus, EFdA represents a strong potential candidate for further development as a part of antiretroviral therapy regimens. PMID:27438728

  12. VARIATIONS IN REPRODUCTIVE TOXICANT IDENTIFICATION

    SciTech Connect

    Simmons, F

    2008-05-13

    Reproductive toxicants are a very important class of compounds. They present unique hazards to those of child bearing ages, perform their 'dirty work' using a wide variety of mechanisms on a number of different organs, and are regulatorily important. Because of all of this, properly identifying reproductive toxicants is important, but fraught with difficulty. In this paper we will describe types or reproductive toxicants, their importance, and both mistakes and good practices that people who are not experts in reproductive toxicology may use in their attempts to identify them. Additionally, this paper will focus on chemical reproductive toxicants and will not address biological agents that could affect reproductive toxicity although many principles outlined here could be applied to that endeavor.

  13. Ecology of conflict: marine food supply affects human-wildlife interactions on land.

    PubMed

    Artelle, Kyle A; Anderson, Sean C; Reynolds, John D; Cooper, Andrew B; Paquet, Paul C; Darimont, Chris T

    2016-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflicts impose considerable costs to people and wildlife worldwide. Most research focuses on proximate causes, offering limited generalizable understanding of ultimate drivers. We tested three competing hypotheses (problem individuals, regional population saturation, limited food supply) that relate to underlying processes of human-grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) conflict, using data from British Columbia, Canada, between 1960-2014. We found most support for the limited food supply hypothesis: in bear populations that feed on spawning salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), the annual number of bears/km(2) killed due to conflicts with humans increased by an average of 20% (6-32% [95% CI]) for each 50% decrease in annual salmon biomass. Furthermore, we found that across all bear populations (with or without access to salmon), 81% of attacks on humans and 82% of conflict kills occurred after the approximate onset of hyperphagia (July 1(st)), a period of intense caloric demand. Contrary to practices by many management agencies, conflict frequency was not reduced by hunting or removal of problem individuals. Our finding that a marine resource affects terrestrial conflict suggests that evidence-based policy for reducing harm to wildlife and humans requires not only insight into ultimate drivers of conflict, but also management that spans ecosystem and jurisdictional boundaries. PMID:27185189

  14. Ecology of conflict: marine food supply affects human-wildlife interactions on land

    PubMed Central

    Artelle, Kyle A.; Anderson, Sean C.; Reynolds, John D.; Cooper, Andrew B.; Paquet, Paul C.; Darimont, Chris T.

    2016-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflicts impose considerable costs to people and wildlife worldwide. Most research focuses on proximate causes, offering limited generalizable understanding of ultimate drivers. We tested three competing hypotheses (problem individuals, regional population saturation, limited food supply) that relate to underlying processes of human-grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) conflict, using data from British Columbia, Canada, between 1960–2014. We found most support for the limited food supply hypothesis: in bear populations that feed on spawning salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), the annual number of bears/km2 killed due to conflicts with humans increased by an average of 20% (6–32% [95% CI]) for each 50% decrease in annual salmon biomass. Furthermore, we found that across all bear populations (with or without access to salmon), 81% of attacks on humans and 82% of conflict kills occurred after the approximate onset of hyperphagia (July 1st), a period of intense caloric demand. Contrary to practices by many management agencies, conflict frequency was not reduced by hunting or removal of problem individuals. Our finding that a marine resource affects terrestrial conflict suggests that evidence-based policy for reducing harm to wildlife and humans requires not only insight into ultimate drivers of conflict, but also management that spans ecosystem and jurisdictional boundaries. PMID:27185189

  15. Do recent US Supreme Court rulings on patenting of genes and genetic diagnostics affect the practice of genetic screening and diagnosis in prenatal and reproductive care?

    PubMed Central

    Chandrasekharan, Subhashini; McGuire, Amy L.; Van den Veyver, Ignatia B.

    2015-01-01

    Thousands of patents have been awarded that claim human gene sequences and their uses, and some have been challenged in court. In a recent high-profile case, Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. vs. Myriad Genetics, Inc., et al., the United States Supreme Court ruled that genes are natural occurring substances and therefore not patentable through “composition of matter” claims. The consequences of this ruling will extend well beyond ending Myriad's monopoly over BRCA testing, and may affect similar monopolies of other commercial laboratories for tests involving other genes. It could also simplify intellectual property issues surrounding genome-wide clinical sequencing, which can generate results for genes covered by intellectual property. Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for common aneuploidies using cell-free fetal (cff) DNA in maternal blood is currently offered through commercial laboratories and is also the subject of ongoing patent litigation. The recent Supreme Court decision in the Myriad case has already been invoked by a lower district court in NIPT litigation and resulted in invalidation of primary claims in a patent on currently marketed cffDNA-based testing for chromosomal aneuploidies. PMID:24989832

  16. Do recent US Supreme Court rulings on patenting of genes and genetic diagnostics affect the practice of genetic screening and diagnosis in prenatal and reproductive care?

    PubMed

    Chandrasekharan, Subhashini; McGuire, Amy L; Van den Veyver, Ignatia B

    2014-10-01

    Thousands of patents have been awarded that claim human gene sequences and their uses, and some have been challenged in court. In a recent high-profile case, Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., et al., the US Supreme Court ruled that genes are natural occurring substances and therefore not patentable through 'composition of matter' claims. The consequences of this ruling will extend well beyond ending Myriad's monopoly over BRCA testing and may affect similar monopolies of other commercial laboratories for tests involving other genes. It could also simplify intellectual property issues surrounding genome-wide clinical sequencing, which can generate results for genes covered by intellectual property. Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for common aneuploidies using cell-free fetal (cff) DNA in maternal blood is currently offered through commercial laboratories and is also the subject of ongoing patent litigation. The recent Supreme Court decision in the Myriad case has already been invoked by a lower district court in NIPT litigation and resulted in invalidation of primary claims in a patent on currently marketed cffDNA-based testing for chromosomal aneuploidies. PMID:24989832

  17. The Voice of Emotion across Species: How Do Human Listeners Recognize Animals' Affective States?

    PubMed Central

    Scheumann, Marina; Hasting, Anna S.; Kotz, Sonja A.; Zimmermann, Elke

    2014-01-01

    Voice-induced cross-taxa emotional recognition is the ability to understand the emotional state of another species based on its voice. In the past, induced affective states, experience-dependent higher cognitive processes or cross-taxa universal acoustic coding and processing mechanisms have been discussed to underlie this ability in humans. The present study sets out to distinguish the influence of familiarity and phylogeny on voice-induced cross-taxa emotional perception in humans. For the first time, two perspectives are taken into account: the self- (i.e. emotional valence induced in the listener) versus the others-perspective (i.e. correct recognition of the emotional valence of the recording context). Twenty-eight male participants listened to 192 vocalizations of four different species (human infant, dog, chimpanzee and tree shrew). Stimuli were recorded either in an agonistic (negative emotional valence) or affiliative (positive emotional valence) context. Participants rated the emotional valence of the stimuli adopting self- and others-perspective by using a 5-point version of the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM). Familiarity was assessed based on subjective rating, objective labelling of the respective stimuli and interaction time with the respective species. Participants reliably recognized the emotional valence of human voices, whereas the results for animal voices were mixed. The correct classification of animal voices depended on the listener's familiarity with the species and the call type/recording context, whereas there was less influence of induced emotional states and phylogeny. Our results provide first evidence that explicit voice-induced cross-taxa emotional recognition in humans is shaped more by experience-dependent cognitive mechanisms than by induced affective states or cross-taxa universal acoustic coding and processing mechanisms. PMID:24621604

  18. ASSESSMENT OF BORIC ACID AND BORAX USING THE IEHR EVALUATIVE PROCESS FOR ASSESSING HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND REPRODUCTIVE TOXICITY OF AGENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document presents an evaluation of the reproductive and developmental effects of boric acid, H3803 (CAS Registry No. 10043-35-3) and disodium tetraborate decehydrate or borax, Na2B4O2O(CAS Registry No. 1303-96-4). he element, boron, does not exist naturally. oron always exis...

  19. Changes in cell proliferation, but not in vascularisation are characteristic for human endometrium in different reproductive failures - a pilot study

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Reproductive failure, determined as recurrent spontaneous abortions (RSA) or recurrent implantation failure (RIF) in women is not well understood. Several factors, including embryo quality, and cellular and molecular changes in endometrium may contribute to the insufficient feto-maternal interaction resulting in reproductive failure. Prior clinical studies suggest an inadequate endometrial growth and development of the endometrium, leading to a lesser endometrial thickness. Methods We therefore aimed to determine the cellular proliferation using Ki67, and the expression of markers of vascularisation, such as factor VIII (a marker of endothelial cells) and smooth muscle cell actin (SMCA; a marker of pericytes and smooth muscle cells) in endometrium of healthy women and women with RSA or RIF. LH-dated mid-secretory endometrial biopsies of seven healthy women and twenty women with reproductive failure were examined via immunohistochemistry followed by image analysis. Results Cellular proliferation but not expression of factor VIII or SMCA was decreased (P < 0.0004) in endometrium of women with RSA and RIF compared to healthy controls. Conclusion: Our data indicate that reproductive failure is due to insufficient cell proliferation/tissue growth rather than inadequate vascularisation in the endometrium. PMID:20565916

  20. Do different degrees of human activity affect the diet of Brazilian silverside Atherinella brasiliensis?

    PubMed

    Alves, V E N; Patrício, J; Dolbeth, M; Pessanha, A; Palma, A R T; Dantas, E W; Vendel, A L

    2016-08-01

    The aim of the present study was to test whether different degrees of human activity affect the diet of the Brazilian silverside Atherinella brasiliensis in two tropical estuaries. Fish were collected along the salinity gradient of two Brazilian estuaries, the heavily impacted Paraiba Estuary and the less impacted Mamanguape Estuary, in the dry and wet seasons. The findings confirm that A. brasiliensis has generalist feeding habits and is able to change its diet under different environmental conditions. The results indicate clear spatial (i.e. along the estuarine gradient) changes in diet composition in both estuaries, but diet was also influenced by the degree of anthropogenic disturbance. During the wet season in the nutrient enriched Paraiba Estuary, when human activity was higher, the diet of A. brasiliensis was poorer and dominated by few dietary items, reflecting the potential impoverishment of prey items in this heavily disturbed system. The specimens collected in the most affected estuary also had a greater frequency of micro-plastics and parasites in their stomachs, reflecting the greater degree of human disturbance in the estuary. The present findings suggest that the diet of A. brasiliensis could be a useful indicator of changes in the ecological quality of these and other tropical estuaries of the western Atlantic Ocean. PMID:27328827

  1. Inference of human affective states from psychophysiological measurements extracted under ecologically valid conditions

    PubMed Central

    Betella, Alberto; Zucca, Riccardo; Cetnarski, Ryszard; Greco, Alberto; Lanatà, Antonio; Mazzei, Daniele; Tognetti, Alessandro; Arsiwalla, Xerxes D.; Omedas, Pedro; De Rossi, Danilo; Verschure, Paul F. M. J.

    2014-01-01

    Compared to standard laboratory protocols, the measurement of psychophysiological signals in real world experiments poses technical and methodological challenges due to external factors that cannot be directly controlled. To address this problem, we propose a hybrid approach based on an immersive and human accessible space called the eXperience Induction Machine (XIM), that incorporates the advantages of a laboratory within a life-like setting. The XIM integrates unobtrusive wearable sensors for the acquisition of psychophysiological signals suitable for ambulatory emotion research. In this paper, we present results from two different studies conducted to validate the XIM as a general-purpose sensing infrastructure for the study of human affective states under ecologically valid conditions. In the first investigation, we recorded and classified signals from subjects exposed to pictorial stimuli corresponding to a range of arousal levels, while they were free to walk and gesticulate. In the second study, we designed an experiment that follows the classical conditioning paradigm, a well-known procedure in the behavioral sciences, with the additional feature that participants were free to move in the physical space, as opposed to similar studies measuring physiological signals in constrained laboratory settings. Our results indicate that, by using our sensing infrastructure, it is indeed possible to infer human event-elicited affective states through measurements of psychophysiological signals under ecological conditions. PMID:25309310

  2. Nonsense mutations in the human. beta. -globin gene affect mRNA metabolism

    SciTech Connect

    Baserga, S.J.; Benz, E.J. Jr. )

    1988-04-01

    A number of premature translation termination mutations (nonsense mutations) have been described in the human {alpha}- and {beta}-globin genes. Studies on mRNA isolated from patients with {beta}{sup 0}-thalassemia have shown that for both the {beta}-17 and the {beta}-39 mutations less than normal levels of {beta}-globin mRNA accumulate in peripheral blood cells. (The codon at which the mutation occurs designates the name of the mutation; there are 146 codons in human {beta}-globin mRNA). In vitro studies using the cloned {beta}-39 gene have reproduced this effect in a heterologous transfection system and have suggested that the defect resides in intranuclear metabolism. The authors have asked if this phenomenon of decreased mRNA accumulation is a general property of nonsense mutations and if the effect depends on the location or the type of mutation. Toward this end, they have studied the effect of five nonsense mutations and two missense mutations on the expression of human {beta}-globin mRNA in a heterologous transfection system. In all cases studied, the presence of a translation termination codon correlates with a decrease in the steady-state level of mRNA. The data suggest that the metabolism of a mammalian mRNA is affected by the presence of a mutation that affects translation.

  3. Female Reproductive System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hodge, N. J.

    This autoinstructional lesson can be used with health education and/or biology classes in a high school curriculum. It deals with the study of human development with emphasis on the female reproductive organs and cycles. The behavioral objectives are given, and the materials and equipment needed to gain these objectives are itemized. Fifteen…

  4. Male Reproductive System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turkington, B. A.

    This autoinstructional lesson deals with the study of the human body with emphasis on the life process of reproduction. It is a learning activity included in high school biology or health education classes. The behavioral objectives are listed and the equipment and materials needed to help the student gain these objectives are also included in the…

  5. Impact of stress on oocyte quality and reproductive outcome.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Shilpa; Tiwari, Meenakshi; Pandey, Ashutosh N; Shrivastav, Tulsidas G; Chaube, Shail K

    2016-01-01

    Stress is an important factor that affects physical and mental status of a healthy person disturbing homeostasis of the body. Changes in the lifestyle are one of the major causes that lead to psychological stress. Psychological stress could impact the biology of female reproduction by targeting at the level of ovary, follicle and oocyte. The increased level of stress hormone such as cortisol reduces estradiol production possibly by affecting the granulosa cell functions within the follicle, which results deterioration in oocyte quality. Adaptation of lifestyle behaviours may generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the ovary, which further affects female reproduction. Balance between level of ROS and antioxidants within the ovary are important for maintenance of female reproductive health. Physiological level of ROS modulates oocyte functions, while its accumulation leads to oxidative stress (OS). OS triggers apoptosis in majority of germ cells within the ovary and even in ovulated oocytes. Although both mitochondria- as well as death-receptor pathways are involved in oocyte apoptosis, OS-induced mitochondria-mediated pathway plays a major role in the elimination of majority of germ cells from ovary. OS in the follicular fluid deteriorates oocyte quality and reduces reproductive outcome. On the other hand, antioxidants reduce ROS levels and protect against OS-mediated germ cell apoptosis and thereby depletion of germ cells from the ovary. Indeed, OS is one of the major factors that has a direct negative impact on oocyte quality and limits female reproductive outcome in several mammalian species including human. PMID:27026099

  6. Affective Bicultural and Global-Human Identity Scales for Mexican-American adolescents.

    PubMed

    Der-Karabetian, A; Ruiz, Y

    1997-06-01

    Scales were developed to measure affective aspects of Latino, American, and global-human identities among first- and second-generation Mexican-American adolescents. Participants were 84 boys and 93 girls from the Los Angeles high schools. 60 were born in Mexico, and 117 were born in the United States and had at least one parent born in Mexico. The affective Latino and American measures were independent and predictably related to a behaviorally oriented measure of acculturation. They were also used to identify Berry's four modes of acculturation: Separated, Assimilated, Marginalized, and Bicultural. The four acculturation groups rated similarly on self-esteem and academic aspiration. The first and second generations each scored higher on Latino identity than on American identity. PMID:9198403

  7. Effects of lactoferrin, a protein present in the female reproductive tract, on parameters of human sperm capacitation and gamete interaction.

    PubMed

    Zumoffen, C M; Massa, E; Caille, A M; Munuce, M J; Ghersevich, S A

    2015-11-01

    In a recent study, lactoferrin (LF) was detected in human oviductal secretion. The protein was able to bind to oocytes and sperm, and modulated gamete interaction. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of LF on parameters related to human sperm capacitation and sperm-zona pellucida interaction. Semen samples were obtained from healthy normozoospermic donors (n = 7). Human follicular fluids and oocytes were collected from patients undergoing in vitro fertilization. Motile sperm obtained by swim-up were incubated for 6 or 22 h under capacitating conditions with LF (0-100 μg/mL). After incubations, viability, motility, presence of α-d-mannose receptors (using a fluorescent probe on mannose coupled to bovine serum albumin), spontaneous and induced acrosome reaction (assessed with Pisum sativum agglutinin conjugated to fluorescein isothiocyanate), and tyrosine phosphorylation of sperm proteins were evaluated. Sperm-zona pellucida interaction in the presence of LF was investigated using the hemizone assay. The presence of LF did not affect sperm viability or motility, but caused a dose-dependent significant decrease in sperm α-d-mannose-binding sites, and the effect was already significant with the lowest concentration of the protein used after 22 h incubation. Dose-dependent significant increases in both induced acrosome reaction and tyrosine phosphorylation of sperm proteins were observed in the presence of LF. The present data indicate that LF modulates parameters of sperm function. The inhibition of gamete interaction by LF could be partially explained by the decrease in sperm d-mannose-binding sites. The presence of the LF promoted sperm capacitation in vitro. PMID:26445132

  8. Why so many sperm cells? Not only a possible means of mitigating the hazards inherent to human reproduction but also an indicator of an exaptation

    PubMed Central

    Barlow, Peter W.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Redundancy—the excess of supply over necessity—has recently been proposed for human sperm cells. However, the apparent superfluity of cell numbers may be necessary in order to circumvent the hazards, many of which can be quantified, that can occur during the transition from gametogenesis within the testes to zygosis within the female reproductive tract. Sperm cell numbers are directly related to testicular volume, and it is owing to a redundancy, and the possible exaptation, of this latter parameter that a putative excess of sperm cells is perceived. PMID:27574542

  9. The issue of constitutional law legitimacy on "human assisted reproduction" between reasonableness of the choices and effectiveness of the protection of all involved subjects.

    PubMed

    Penasa, Simone

    2006-01-01

    This artiche analyzes the constitutionality petition to the constitutional Court against Law 40 of 2004 on "human assisted reproduction", where it prohibits the "preimplantatory genetical diagnosis", because it could be against the mother's right to health (art. 32 Italian Constitution) and the egalitarian protection clause (art. 3 Italian Constitution). In the constitutionally petition the ordinary judge proposes an interpretation in accordance with Constitution of the contested disposition (art. 13 of Law 40 of 2004) and this could be the possibility to teste the "living law" theory and its relation with the "adequate interpretation" of the law and the Constitution. PMID:17393800

  10. Health in the hot zone - How could global warming affect humans?

    SciTech Connect

    Monastersky, R.

    1996-04-06

    A soon-to-be-released report from the World Health Organization examines the health effects of global warming, calling climate change one of the largest public health challenges for the upcoming century. The issue extends beyond tropical illness: deaths caused directly by heat, dwindling agricultural yields etc. could all affect human health. This article looks at the following health related effects and gives an overview of the scientific information available on each: temperature and mortality; tropical trouble, including vecorborne diseases and increase in susceptable populations; and waterborne problems such as cholera, harmful algal bloomes, food shortages.

  11. Does correlated color temperature affect the ability of humans to identify veins?

    PubMed

    Argyraki, Aikaterini; Clemmensen, Line Katrine Harder; Petersen, Paul Michael

    2016-01-01

    In the present study we provide empirical evidence and demonstrate statistically that white illumination settings can affect the human ability to identify veins in the inner hand vasculature. A special light-emitting diode lamp with high color rendering index (CRI 84-95) was developed and the effect of correlated color temperature was evaluated, in the range between 2600 and 5700 K at an illuminance of 40±9  lx on the ability of adult humans to identify veins. It is shown that the ability to identify veins can, on average, be increased up to 24% when white illumination settings that do not resemble incandescent light are applied. The illuminance reported together with the effect of white illumination settings on direct visual perception of biosamples are relevant for clinical investigations during the night. PMID:26831595

  12. [Ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Case of Artavia Murillo et al (in vitro fertilization) v. Costa Rica; new hopes for the reproductive freedom in Latin America].

    PubMed

    Brena, Ingrid

    2013-01-01

    Modern reproductive technology has not been completely accepted and, especially in-vitro fertilization, IVF has generated serious social, political and legal controversies in Latin America. We may distinguish two trends that show us the oppositions; on one hand, the primacy of the embryo's live and its protection during artificial reproductive process and on the other, the primacy of liberal access to assisted reproduction techniques. The debate came to the fore, after a ruling by the Costa Rica's Constitutional Chamber who banned de IVF in 2000. The damaged couples after fulfilling the process toward the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, present a petition to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The Court's sentence and its arguments will be the subject of these comments as well that will allow to considered that both of them should be considered as a very important step towards the construction of a secular liberal vision over the assisted reproduction in Latin America. PMID:24340830

  13. Dominant factors affecting temperature rise in simulations of human thermoregulation during RF exposure.

    PubMed

    Laakso, Ilkka; Hirata, Akimasa

    2011-12-01

    Numerical models of the human thermoregulatory system can be used together with realistic voxel models of the human anatomy to simulate the body temperature increases caused by the power absorption from radio-frequency electromagnetic fields. In this paper, the Pennes bioheat equation with a thermoregulatory model is used for calculating local peak temperatures as well as the body-core-temperature elevation in a realistic human body model for grounded plane-wave exposures at frequencies 39, 800 and 2400 MHz. The electromagnetic power loss is solved by the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method, and the discretized bioheat equation is solved by the geometric multigrid method. Human thermoregulatory models contain numerous thermophysiological and computational parameters--some of which may be subject to considerable uncertainty--that affect the simulated core and local temperature elevations. The goal of this paper is to find how greatly the computed temperature is influenced by changes in various modelling parameters, such as the skin blood flow rate, models for vasodilation and sweating, and clothing and air movement. The results show that the peak temperature rises are most strongly affected by the modelling of tissue blood flow and its temperature dependence, and mostly unaffected by the central control mechanism for vasodilation and sweating. Almost the opposite is true for the body-core-temperature rise, which is however typically greatly lower than the peak temperature rise. It also seems that ignoring the thermoregulation and the blood temperature increase is a good approximation when the local 10 g averaged specific absorption rate is smaller than 10 W kg(-1). PMID:22080753

  14. Dominant factors affecting temperature rise in simulations of human thermoregulation during RF exposure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laakso, Ilkka; Hirata, Akimasa

    2011-12-01

    Numerical models of the human thermoregulatory system can be used together with realistic voxel models of the human anatomy to simulate the body temperature increases caused by the power absorption from radio-frequency electromagnetic fields. In this paper, the Pennes bioheat equation with a thermoregulatory model is used for calculating local peak temperatures as well as the body-core-temperature elevation in a realistic human body model for grounded plane-wave exposures at frequencies 39, 800 and 2400 MHz. The electromagnetic power loss is solved by the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method, and the discretized bioheat equation is solved by the geometric multigrid method. Human thermoregulatory models contain numerous thermophysiological and computational parameters—some of which may be subject to considerable uncertainty—that affect the simulated core and local temperature elevations. The goal of this paper is to find how greatly the computed temperature is influenced by changes in various modelling parameters, such as the skin blood flow rate, models for vasodilation and sweating, and clothing and air movement. The results show that the peak temperature rises are most strongly affected by the modelling of tissue blood flow and its temperature dependence, and mostly unaffected by the central control mechanism for vasodilation and sweating. Almost the opposite is true for the body-core-temperature rise, which is however typically greatly lower than the peak temperature rise. It also seems that ignoring the thermoregulation and the blood temperature increase is a good approximation when the local 10 g averaged specific absorption rate is smaller than 10 W kg-1.

  15. Hypoxaemia affects male reproduction: a case study of how to differentiate between primary and secondary hypoxic testicular toxicity due to chemical exposure.

    PubMed

    Bomhard, Ernst M; Gelbke, Heinz-Peter

    2013-07-01

    Classification for fertility is based on two conditions, namely on evidence of an adverse effect on sexual function and fertility and that the effect is not secondary to other toxic effects. To decide on an adverse effect is a relatively simple day-to-day decision in toxicology but whether this effect is secondary often leads to serious controversy. As the seminiferous epithelium operates on the verge of hypoxia, oxygen deficit can lead to secondary impairment of testicular function. This is well known from healthy mountaineers exposing themselves to high altitude. They have reduced blood oxygen content that goes in parallel with impairment of testicular function and this effect remains for some time in spite of a compensatory polycythaemia. Similar findings are described for experimental animals exposed to hypobaric oxygen/high altitude. In addition, testicular function is affected in severe diseases in humans associated with systemic oxygen deficit like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sickle cell disease or beta-thalassaemia as well as in transgenic animals simulating haemolytic anaemia or sickle cell disease. The problem of insufficient oxygen supply as the underlying cause for testicular impairment has received relatively little attention in toxicology, mainly because blood oxygen content is generally not measured in these animal experiments. The difficulties associated with the decision whether testicular toxicity is primary or secondary to hypoxia are exemplified by the results of inhalation studies with nickel subsulphide and gallium arsenide (GaAs). Both of these particulate substances lead to severe lung toxicity that might impair oxygen uptake, but testicular toxicity is only observed with GaAs. This may first be explained by different effects on the blood: nickel subsulphide inhalation leads to a compensatory erythropoiesis that may mitigate pulmonary lack of oxygen uptake. In contrast, GaAs exposure is associated with microcytic haemolytic

  16. 42 CFR 9.7 - Reproduction.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Reproduction. 9.7 Section 9.7 Public Health PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES GENERAL PROVISIONS STANDARDS OF CARE FOR CHIMPANZEES HELD IN THE FEDERALLY SUPPORTED SANCTUARY SYSTEM § 9.7 Reproduction. Chimpanzee reproduction...

  17. 42 CFR 9.7 - Reproduction.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Reproduction. 9.7 Section 9.7 Public Health PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES GENERAL PROVISIONS STANDARDS OF CARE FOR CHIMPANZEES HELD IN THE FEDERALLY SUPPORTED SANCTUARY SYSTEM § 9.7 Reproduction. Chimpanzee reproduction...

  18. 42 CFR 9.7 - Reproduction.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Reproduction. 9.7 Section 9.7 Public Health PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES GENERAL PROVISIONS STANDARDS OF CARE FOR CHIMPANZEES HELD IN THE FEDERALLY SUPPORTED SANCTUARY SYSTEM § 9.7 Reproduction. Chimpanzee reproduction...

  19. 42 CFR 9.7 - Reproduction.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Reproduction. 9.7 Section 9.7 Public Health PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES GENERAL PROVISIONS STANDARDS OF CARE FOR CHIMPANZEES HELD IN THE FEDERALLY SUPPORTED SANCTUARY SYSTEM § 9.7 Reproduction. Chimpanzee reproduction...

  20. 42 CFR 9.7 - Reproduction.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Reproduction. 9.7 Section 9.7 Public Health PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES GENERAL PROVISIONS STANDARDS OF CARE FOR CHIMPANZEES HELD IN THE FEDERALLY SUPPORTED SANCTUARY SYSTEM § 9.7 Reproduction. Chimpanzee reproduction...

  1. Differential Muscle Involvement in Mice and Humans Affected by McArdle Disease.

    PubMed

    Krag, Thomas O; Pinós, Tomàs; Nielsen, Tue L; Brull, Astrid; Andreu, Antoni L; Vissing, John

    2016-05-01

    McArdle disease (muscle glycogenosis type V) is caused by myophosphorylase deficiency, which leads to impaired glycogen breakdown. We investigated how myophosphorylase deficiency affects muscle physiology, morphology, and glucose metabolism in 20-week-old McArdle mice and compared the findings to those in McArdle disease patients. Muscle contractions in the McArdle mice were affected by structural degeneration due to glycogen accumulation, and glycolytic muscles fatigued prematurely, as occurs in the muscles of McArdle disease patients. Homozygous McArdle mice showed muscle fiber disarray, variations in fiber size, vacuoles, and some internal nuclei associated with cytosolic glycogen accumulation and ongoing regeneration; structural damage was seen only in a minority of human patients. Neither liver nor brain isoforms of glycogen phosphorylase were upregulated in muscles, thus providing no substitution for the missing muscle isoform. In the mice, the tibialis anterior (TA) muscles were invariably more damaged than the quadriceps muscles. This may relate to a 7-fold higher level of myophosphorylase in TA compared to quadriceps in wild-type mice and suggests higher glucose turnover in the TA. Thus, despite differences, the mouse model of McArdle disease shares fundamental physiological and clinical features with the human disease and could be used for studies of pathogenesis and development of therapies. PMID:27030740

  2. Factors affecting platinum concentrations in human surgical tumour specimens after cisplatin.

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, D. J.; Molepo, J. M.; Green, R. M.; Montpetit, V. A.; Hugen