Archive | October, 2016

University of Utah Health Sciences study: Rich or poor? Where you start in life influences cancer risk in adulthood

24 Oct

Poverties.org details the effects of poverty:

Consequences on people

The vicious cycles of poverty mentioned before mean that lifelong handicaps and troubles that are passed on from one generation to another. To name just a few of these hereditary plagues: no school or education, child labor to help the parents, lack of basic hygiene, transmission of diseases. Unemployment and very low incomes create an environment where kids can’t simply go to school. As for those who can actually go to school, they simply don’t see how hard work can improve their life as they see their parents fail at the task every day.

Other plagues associated with poverty:

  • Alcohol & substance abuse, from kids in African slums to adults in the US, this is a very common self-destructing habit often taken as a way to cope with huge amounts of stress and… well, despair;
  • Crippling accidents due to unsafe working environments (machinery in factories or agriculture) as well as other work hazards such as lead poisoning, pesticide poisoning, bites from wild animals due to lack of proper protection;
  • Poor housing & living conditions, a classic cause of diseases;
  • Water and food-related diseases, simply because the poor can’t always afford “safe” foods.

Effects on society as a whole

In the end, poverty is a major cause of social tensions and threatens to divide a nation because of the issue of inequalities, in particular income inequality. This happens when wealth in a country is poorly distributed among its citizens. In other words, when a tiny minority has all the money.

The feature of a rich or developed country for example is the presence of a middle class, but recently we’ve seen even Western countries gradually losing their middle class, hence the increasing number of riots and clashes. In a society, poverty is a very dangerous factor that can destabilize and entire country. The Arab Spring is another good example, in all of the countries concerned, the revolts started because of the lack of jobs and high poverty levels. This has led to most governments being overthrown)….                                                                                               http://www.poverties.org/blog/effects-of-poverty

Science Daily reported in Rich or poor? Where you start in life influences cancer risk in adulthood:

Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah announced today the results of a study that found that circumstances in childhood, such as parental occupation at birth and neighborhood income, might be associated with different risks of certain cancers later in life.

HCI researchers and collaborators at Rutgers University in New Jersey and Temple University Health System in Philadelphia analyzed cancer risk and socioeconomic status (SES) of baby boomers (for this study, those born during 1945 — 1959,) in two Utah counties.

Children born to parents with high occupational standing faced higher risks of melanoma (a serious form of skin cancer) and prostate cancer and, for women, greater risks of breast cancer. The study also found that for those born in neighborhoods with low socioeconomic status in relation to those from high status neighborhoods, women faced greater risks of invasive cervical cancer. In these low SES neighborhoods, men faced lower risks of prostate cancer, and overall (both sexes) the risk of melanoma was lower….                                                                                   https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161013151315.htm

Citation:

Rich or poor? Where you start in life influences cancer risk in adulthood

Date:      October 13, 2016

Source:   University of Utah Health Sciences

Summary:

A recent study has found that circumstances in childhood, such as parental occupation at birth and neighborhood income, might be associated with different risks of certain cancers later in life.

Journal Reference:

  1. A. M. Stroup, K. A. Herget, H. A. Hanson, D. L. Reed, J. T. Butler, K. A. Henry, C. J. Harrell, C. Sweeney, K. R. Smith. Baby Boomers and Birth Certificates: Early Life Socioeconomic Status and Cancer Risk in Adulthood. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 2016; DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0371

Baby Boomers and Birth Certificates: Early Life Socioeconomic Status and Cancer Risk in Adulthood.

Stroup AM1, Herget KA2, Hanson HA3, Reed DL4, Butler JT5, Henry KA6, Harrell CJ2, Sweeney C7, Smith KR8.

Author information

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Early life socioeconomic status (SES) may play a role in cancer risk in adulthood. However, measuring SES retrospectively presents challenges. Parental occupation on the birth certificate is a novel method of ascertaining early-life SES that has not been applied in cancer epidemiology.

METHODS:

For a Baby-Boom cohort born in 1945-1959 in two Utah counties, individual-level Nam-Powers SES (Np-SES) was derived from parental industry/occupation reported on birth certificates. Neighborhood SES was estimated from average household income of census tract at birth. Cancer incidence was determined by linkage to Utah Cancer Registry records through the Utah Population Database. Hazard ratios (HR) for cancer risk by SES quartile were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression.

RESULTS:

Females with low Np-SES at birth had lower risk of breast cancer compared to those in the highest Np-SES group (HRQ1/Q4=0.83 95% CI: 0.72-0.97; HRQ2/Q4=0.81 95% CI: 0.69-0.96). Np-SES was inversely associated with melanoma (HRQ1/Q4=0.81 95% CI: 0.67-0.98) and prostate cancer (HRQ1/Q4=0.70 95% CI: 0.56-0.88). Women born into lower SES neighborhoods had a significantly increased risk for invasive cervical cancer (HRQ1/Q4=1.44 95% CI: 1.12-1.85; HRQ2/Q4=1.33 95% CI: 1.04-1.72). Neighborhood SES had similar effects for melanoma and prostate cancers, but was not associated with female breast cancer. We found no association with SES for pancreas, lung, and colon and rectal cancers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Individual SES derived from parental occupation at birth was associated with altered risk for several cancer sites.

IMPACT:

This novel methodology can contribute to improved understanding of the role of early-life SES in affecting cancer risk.

Copyright {copyright, serif}2016, American Association for Cancer Research.

PMID:

27655898

DOI:

10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0371

[PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

This government and both parties, has failed to promote the kind of economic development AND policy which creates livable wage jobs. That is why Mc Donalds is popular for more than its dollar menu. They are hiring people. This economy must start producing livable wage jobs and educating kids with skills to fill those jobs. Too bad the government kept the cash sluts and credit crunch weasels like big banks and financial houses fully employed and destroyed the rest of the country.

Related:

Hard times are disrupting families
https://drwilda.com/2011/12/11/hard-times-are-disrupting-families/

3rd world America: The link between poverty and education
https://drwilda.com/2011/11/20/3rd-world-america-the-link-between-poverty-and-education/

3rd world America: Money changes everything
https://drwilda.com/2012/02/11/3rd-world-america-money-changes-everything/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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Dr. Wilda Reviews: Seattle Art Museum: Yves Saint Laurent – The Perfection of Style

10 Oct

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.             Arthur Schopenhauer

Moi attended the press preview for Yves Saint Laurent – The Perfection of Style at Seattle Art Museum (SAM). Here are the details:

Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style

Tue Oct 11 2016 – Sun Jan 8 2017

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries

Get Tickets     https://tickets.seattleartmuseum.org/public/show_events_list.asp?shcode=942&secode=771&vencode=1

“I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style.”
–Yves Saint Laurent

The Seattle Art Museum presents Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style, showcasing highlights from the legendary designer’s 44-year career. Drawn from the collection of the Fondation Pierre Bergé—Yves Saint Laurent, the exhibition features new acquisitions by the Foundation that have never been shown publicly before.

With a selection of 100 haute couture garments, SAINT LAURENT rive gauche clothing and accessories, photographs, drawings, films and other multimedia elements from the Foundation’s vast archive, the exhibition creates a visually rich environment for visitors to witness the development of Saint Laurent’s style and recurring themes throughout the designer’s career. The multifaceted exhibition is curated by independent Parisian curator and fashion expert Florence Müller in collaboration with Chiyo Ishikawa, SAM’s Deputy Director of Art and Curator of European Painting & Sculpture.

Visitors will observe Saint Laurent’s immersive working process from his first sketch and fabric selection to the various stages of production and fitting before the final garment was realized. Beginning in 1953 with the Paper Doll Couture House that he created when he was a teenager, the exhibition is a journey from his first days at Dior in 1958, through his groundbreaking designs in the 1960s and 70s and the splendor of his final runway collection in 2002.

The exhibition is organized by the Seattle Art Museum in partnership with the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris

Special Hours

  • Monday 10 am – 5pm
  • Closed Tuesday
  • Wednesday 10am – 5pm
  • Thursdays 10am – 9pm
  • Friday – Sunday 10am – 5pm

Daily Prices

  • $24.95 Adult
  • $22.95 Senior (62+), Military (with ID)
  • $14.95 Student (with ID), Teen (13 – 17)
  • FREE for children (12 and under)
  • FREE for SAM Members

Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style [Book]

Author: Florence Müller

Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications, Incorporated

Pages: 168

Format: hardback

Publication Date: 2016

ISBN: 0847849422

Here is the site:  http://ysl.site.seattleartmuseum.org/

This is how SAM described the exhibit in the press release:

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

The exhibition guides viewers on a path tracing the trajectory of Yves Saint Laurent’s life and career. Divided into eight thematic sections, it features 110 Ensembles illustrative of his tremendous achievements and the sources of his design inspiration.

The exhibition begins with Saint Laurent’s “Paper Doll Couture House,” shown For the first time in the United States. The paper dolls and corresponding wardrobes and accessories were created by the designer as a teenager on the precipice of a lifetime of fame and success.

Ensembles early in the exhibition focus on Saint Laurent’s formative years at the House of Dior, including an example of a short evening dress from his successful debut Trapeze collection (1958). Later ensembles from Saint Laurent’s own couture house spotlight innovations that redefined women’s

fashion: the peacoat (1962), the tuxedo (1966), the “First” pantsuit (1967), the safari jacket (1968).

Visitors will also see how Saint Laurent was inspired by art. The exhibition includes one of his famous dresses that pays homage to Piet Mondrian (1965) and dresses inspired by Pop art (1966). Also on view is an evening ensemble comprising a raffia coat and a silk dress embroidered with wooden beads

(1967) loosely based on African art. In addition to ensembles fully accessorized in the “total look” favored by Saint Laurent, numerous photographs, drawings, and production documents offer a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creative workings of the fashion house and the private life of the couturier. Collection boards from 1962 to 2002—every Saint Laurent haute couture show—feature sketches and swatches that retrace 40 years of the maison de couture’s fascinating history. A room of muslins, the hand-sewn forms ateliers use to create a first draft of couture garments, offer a unique look into how the garments were constructed.

The exhibition concludes in an explosion of color with a procession of evening wear ranging from black silk (1977) to blue-green chiffon (1985) to red silk crepe (1985) gowns to a white damask wedding gown (1995)—the traditional ending to an Yves Saint Laurent couture show.

The multifaceted exhibition is curated by Florence Müller, guest curator and Denver Art Museum’s Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and curator of fashion in collaboration with Chiyo Ishikawa, SAM’s Deputy Director of Art and Curator of European Painting and Sculpture…..

After SAM, the exhibition will travel to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from

May 6–August 27, 2017….

British Vogue has a concise biography.

Jo Craven wrote about Saint Laurent in  British Vogue:

Yves Saint Laurent’s legacy as a king of fashion designers, who created a masterpiece of a brand, keeps growing.

  • Yves Saint Laurent was born in 1936 and grew up in Oran, Algeria
  • At 17, he left for Paris where he showed his drawings to Michelde Brunhoff – director of French Vogue – who publishedseveral of them immediately
  • Following a stint at fashion school, Yves Saint Laurent was introduced to Christian Dior where he worked until Dior’s death in 1957
  • After taking over as art director for Dior, Yves Saint Laurent launched his first collection for the company, the Ligne Trapéze, that year. It was a resounding success and won him a Neiman Marcus Oscar
  • In 1962, after completing National Service, Yves Saint Laurent set up his own fashion house with Pierre Bergé
  • In 1966, he introduced le smoking – his legendary smoking suit. His other inventions include the reefer jacket (1962), the sheer blouse (1966), and the jumpsuit (1968)
  • In October 1998 Yves Saint Laurent showed his last ready-to-wear collection for the Rive Gauche label he had founded more than 30 years before. He carried on his haute couture until 2002
  • After a brief stint with Alber Elbaz as designer, in 1999 Tom Ford arrived to take control at the house. The brand entered the stratosphere where it remains today, covering perfume and menswear as well as womenswear.
  • At his last show, in 2002, a tearful Yves Saint Laurent tookhis final bow as his long-time muse, Catherine Deneuve, sang MaPlus Belle Histoire d’Amour. Stefano Pilati, who replaced TomFord in 2005, continues Yves Saint Laurent’s message that “dressingis a way of life”.
  • Yves Saint Laurent died after a long period of ill health at his home in Paris on June 1, 2008. He was 71.

http://www.vogue.co.uk/article/yves-saint-laurent-biography

SAM’s exhibit of 110 fashion exhibits is organized around the following themes as described in the Gallery Guide:

The Little Prince of Fashion

The Beatnik Couturier

The Celebrity Couturier

A Living Legend

Never Too Much

Contradictory Impulses

The Genders

A Modular Wardrobe

The Alchemy of Style

African Art

The Pop Movement

Mondrian and Pop Art

From Darkness to an Explosion of Color

Claire Marie Healy wrote about Bowes Museum, County Durham and their exhibit of Saint Laurent:

Before the exhibition opens this weekend, here’s just five reasons why a dip into the YSL archives is more relevant than ever.

HIS TAKE ON ANDROGYNY STARTED A REVOLUTION

When Saint Laurent debuted Le Smoking in 1966 – a menswear-inspired tuxedo, tailored for women – it became an instant classic for women who wanted to appear equal parts glamorous and strong. Entering the cultural consciousness at a time when many second-wave feminists avoided discussing fashion directly, it radicalised eveningwear and irrevocably transformed the way women dressed. Made iconic by famous devotees like Nan Kempner, Betty Catroux and Bianca Jagger, the look told the world that if women are ever going to wear the trousers, they should be able to wear them to their wedding day and Studio 54 alike.

HE MADE ART AND FASHION COLLIDE

While mining one another’s inspirations is now par for the course in the fashion and contemporary art worlds, Saint Laurent was among the first to tap the gallery for the runway. Sending out clothing inspired by Andy Warhol, Van Gogh and Georges Braque in the ’60s and ’70s, his 1965 Mondrian collection is the most enduring collaboration: containing six shift dresses in homage to Piet Mondrian, the colourful designs punctuated the modernist spirit of an entire generation.

HE FREED THE NIPPLE BEFORE INSTAGRAM WAS A THING

The on-going fight to #freethenipple on present-day social media reveals the trailblazing nature of Saint Laurent’s taste for sheer throughout his design career. Rebelling in a different way in the era of the miniskirt, Saint Laurent’s models would always go braless under sheer organza blouses and couture gowns with a feathered trim. And much like today’s campaign, the decision was less about pleasing the onlooker, and more about asserting equality between the sexes.

HE CHAMPIONED DIVERSITY IN FASHION

In a fashion industry where white-washing is still an issue, it’s worth revisiting the designer who went against the grain with his focus on diverse casting in the ’60s and ’70s. Saint Laurent made major strides in diversity that are still being felt today, tapping black models like Iman, Rebecca Ayoko and Katoucha Niane for his muses over the years. Queen Naomi herself – who just this week spoke out against industry racism – even credited the designer with giving her her first Vogue cover. As she said on news of his death in 2008, “He has done so much for people of colour.”

HE STARRED IN HIS OWN CAMPAIGNS

Today, you’re increasingly likely to see a designer star in his or her own campaign – or, in the case of Donatella for Givenchy, another label’s campaign altogether. But several decades before Marc Jacobs’ beefed up body illustrated the benefits of nude self-promotion, Yves Saint Laurent’s (slightly less oiled) physique broke new ground in fragrance advertising in 1971. Photographed by Jeanloup Sieff, the black and white image for YSL Pour Homme was hardly published anywhere at the time – though it would come to resonate with the gay community in later years. http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/25429/1/how-yves-saint-laurent-changed-fashion

When Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé began saving pieces from each collection, they obviously believed the work of Saint Laurent was important and so artistic and creative that the pieces could be considered art. Zandra Rhodes and the director of the Design Museum, Alice Rawsthorn debated in the Guardian article, Is fashion a true art form?  https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2003/jul/13/art.artsfeatures1  Suzy Menkes also address the question in the New York Times article, Gone Global: Fashion as Art?  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/fashion/is-fashion-really-museum-art.html  Moi is not prepared to say whether fashion is art. Saint Laurent’s clothes are certainly beautiful at times, creative, and slightly ahead of the culture, but not so far ahead as to not be commercially viable. One notices that many designers have been influenced by his line and vision, Rachel Roy comes to minds. Let intellectuals debate the art issue. What SAM has done is told the story of a genius and how that genius evolved and grew using fashion to express his creativity and demons.

Dr. Wilda gives a definite thumbs up, you will be awed and challenged.

Resources:

The Turbulent Love Story Behind Yves Saint Laurent’s Revolutionary Rise                               http://www.npr.org/2014/06/24/323552220/the-turbulent-love-story-behind-yves-saint-laurents-revolutionary-rise

Yves Saint Laurent, Giant of Couture, Dies at 71                                                                    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/02/fashion/02laurent.html

Which Yves Saint Laurent Biopic Should You Watch?                                                             http://fashionista.com/2015/05/which-yves-saint-laurent-biopic-is-better

Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent                                                                    http://www.fondation-pb-ysl.net/en/Accueil-825.html

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Dr. Wilda Reviews ©

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: New technology helps pinpoint sources of water contamination

5 Oct

National Geographic has a good overview of water pollution:

As technology improves, scientists are able to detect more pollutants, and at smaller concentrations, in Earth’s freshwater bodies. Containing traces of contaminants ranging from birth control pills and sunscreen to pesticides and petroleum, our planet’s lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater are often a chemical cocktail.

Beyond synthetic pollution, freshwater is also the end point for biological waste, in the form of human sewage, animal excrement, and rainwater runoff flavored by nutrient-rich fertilizers from yards and farms. These nutrients find their way through river systems into seas, sometimes creating coastal ocean zones void of oxygen—and therefore aquatic life—and making the connection between land and sea painfully obvious. When you dump paint down the drain, it often ends up in the ocean, via freshwater systems….

Fast Facts

  • In developing countries, 70 percent of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters, polluting the usable water supply.
  • On average, 99 million pounds (45 million kilograms) of fertilizers and chemicals are used each year….                                                                                                                          http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/pollution/

Water pollution is one toxin which affects children.

The Agency for Toxic Effects and Disease Registry (ATEDR) has some good information about the effects of toxins on children. In Principles of Pediatric Environmental Health: What Are Special Considerations Regarding Toxic Exposures to Young and School-age Children, as Well as Adolescents? ATEDR reports:

Young Child (2 to 6 years old)

With the newly acquired ability to run, climb, ride tricycles, and perform other mobile and exploratory activities, the young child’s environment expands, as does the risk of exposure.

Many of a young child’s toxic exposures may occur from ingestion. If the child’s diet is deficient in iron or calcium, the small intestine avidly absorbs lead….

School-aged Children (6 to 12 years old)

School-aged children spend increasingly greater amounts of time in outdoor, school, and after-school environments. They may be exposed to outdoor air pollution, including

  • widespread air pollutants,
  • ozone, particulates, and
  • nitrogen and sulfur oxides.

These result primarily from fossil fuel combustion. Although these pollutants concentrate in urban and industrial areas, they are windborne and distribute widely. Local pockets of intense exposure may result from toxic air and soil pollutants emanating from hazardous waste sites, leaking underground storage tanks, or local industry. One example of a localized toxic exposure adverse effect was seen in children exposed to high doses of lead released into the air from a lead smelter in Idaho. When tested 15 to 20 years later, these children showed reduced neurobehavioral and peripheral nerve function [ATSDR 1997b]….

In addition, some school age children engage in activity such as

  • lawn care,
  • yard work, and
  • trash pickup.

These and other work situations may put them at risk for exposures to hazardous substances such as pesticides used to treat lawns.

Adolescents (12 to 18 years old)

But nothing more than just adolescent behavior may result in toxic exposures. Risk-taking behaviors of adolescents may include exploring off-limit industrial waste sites or abandoned buildings. For example, in one reported case, teenagers took elemental mercury from an old industrial facility and played with and spilled the elemental mercury in homes and cars [Nadakavukaren 2000]. Teens may also climb utility towers or experiment with psychoactive substances (inhalant abuse, for example). Cigarette smoking and other tobacco use often begins during adolescence. For more information about adolescent tobacco use see CDC Office of Smoking and Health at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco

Compared with younger children, adolescents are more likely to engage in hobbies and school activities involving exposure to

  • solvents,
  • caustics, or
  • other dangerous chemicals.

Few schools include basic training in industrial hygiene as a foundation for safety at work, at school, or while enjoying hobbies.

Many adolescents may encounter workplace hazards through after-school employment. Working adolescents tend to move in and out of the labor market, changing jobs and work schedules in response to employer needs or their own life circumstances [Committee on the Health and Safety Implications of Child Labor 1998]. In the United States, adolescents work predominately in retail and service sectors. These are frequently at entry-level jobs in

  • exterior painting of homes,
  • fast-food restaurants,
  • gas stations and automotive repair shops,
  • nursing homes,
  • parks and recreation, and
  • retail stores.

Such work may expose adolescents to commercial cleaners, paint thinners, solvents, and corrosives by inhalation or splashes to the skin or eyes. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimated that, on average, 67 workers under age 18 died from work-related injuries each year during 1992-2000 [NIOSH 2003]. In 1998, an estimated 77,000 required treatment in hospital emergency departments [NIOSH 2003]….

Metabolic Vulnerability of Adolescents

Metabolic processes change during adolescence. Changes in cytochrome P450 expression [Nebert and Gonzalez 1987] result in a decrease in the metabolism rate of some xenobiotics dependent on the cytochrome CYP (P450) – for example, the concentration of theophylline increases in blood [Gitterman and Bearer 2001]. The metabolic rate of some xenobiotics is reduced in response to the increased secretion of growth hormone, steroids, or both that occur during the adolescent years [Gitterman and Bearer 2001]. The implications of these changes on the metabolism of environmental contaminants are areas of intense research. By the end of puberty, the metabolism of some xenobiotics achieves adult levels.

Puberty results in the rapid growth, division, and differentiation of many cells; these changes may result in vulnerabilities. Profound scientific and public interest in endocrine disruptors – that is, chemicals with hormonal properties that mimic the actions of naturally occurring hormones – reflects concerns about the effect of chemicals on the developing reproductive system. Even lung development in later childhood and adolescence may be disrupted by chronic exposure to air pollutants, including

  • acid vapors,
  • elemental carbon,
  • nitrogen dioxide, and
  • particulate matter [Gauderman et al. 2004].

Citation:

Principles of Pediatric Environmental Health
What Are Special Considerations Regarding Toxic Exposures to Young and School-age Children, as Well as Adolescents?

Course: WB2089
CE Original Date: February 15, 2012
CE Expiration Date: February 15, 2014
Download Printer-Friendly version  [PDF – 819 KB]

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=27&po=10https://drwilda.com/2012/07/08/toxic-dangers-in-schools/

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley) developed a more precise test to detect water contamination.

Science Daily reported in New technology helps pinpoint sources of water contamination:

When the local water management agency closes your favorite beach due to unhealthy water quality, how reliable are the tests they base their decisions on? As it turns out, those tests, as well as the standards behind them, have not been updated in decades. Now scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a highly accurate, DNA-based method to detect and distinguish sources of microbial contamination in water.

Using the award-winning PhyloChip, a credit card-sized device that can detect the presence of more than 60,000 species of bacteria and archaea, the new method was found to be more sensitive than conventional methods at assessing health risks. In tests at the Russian River watershed in Northern California, the Berkeley Lab researchers found instances where their method identified potential human health risks that conventional fecal indicator tests had failed to detect. Conversely, they also found instances where the conventional tests flagged bacteria that weren’t likely risks to human health.

The research was led by Eric Dubinsky and Gary Andersen, microbial ecologists at Berkeley Lab, and was published recently in the journal Water Research in an article titled, “Microbial source tracking in impaired watersheds using PhyloChip and machine-learning classification.” Steven Butkus of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, which supported part of the research, was also a co-author.

“With the PhyloChip, in an overnight test we can get a full picture of the microorganisms in any given sample,” Dubinsky said. “Instead of targeting one organism, we’re essentially getting a fingerprint of the microbial community of potential sources in that sample. So it gives us a more comprehensive picture of what’s going on. It’s a novel way of going about source tracking.”

What local water agencies currently do is collect water samples, culture the bacteria overnight, and then check the growth level of two types of bacteria, E. coli and Enterococcus, which are presumed to be indicators of fecal contamination….                                                                               https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161004141522.htm

Citation:

New technology helps pinpoint sources of water contamination

Date:        October 4, 2016

Source:    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Summary:

When the local water management agency closes your favorite beach due to unhealthy water quality, how reliable are the tests they base their decisions on? As it turns out, those tests, as well as the standards behind them, have not been updated in decades. Now scientists have developed a highly accurate, DNA-based method to detect and distinguish sources of microbial contamination in water.

Journal Reference:

  1. Eric A. Dubinsky, Steven R. Butkus, Gary L. Andersen. Microbial source tracking in impaired watersheds using PhyloChip and machine-learning classification. Water Research, 2016; 105: 56 DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2016.08.035

Here is the press release from Berkeley Lab:

News Center

New Technology Helps Pinpoint Sources of Water Contamination

Berkeley Lab develops better method of environmental monitoring using the PhyloChip, finds surprising results in Russian River watershed

News Release Julie Chao (510) 486-6491 • October 4, 2016

When the local water management agency closes your favorite beach due to unhealthy water quality, how reliable are the tests they base their decisions on? As it turns out, those tests, as well as the standards behind them, have not been updated in decades. Now scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a highly accurate, DNA-based method to detect and distinguish sources of microbial contamination in water.

Using the award-winning PhyloChip, a credit card-sized device that can detect the presence of more than 60,000 species of bacteria and archaea, the new method was found to be more sensitive than conventional methods at assessing health risks. In tests at the Russian River watershed in Northern California, the Berkeley Lab researchers found instances where their method identified potential human health risks that conventional fecal indicator tests had failed to detect. Conversely, they also found instances where the conventional tests flagged bacteria that weren’t likely risks to human health.

The research was led by Eric Dubinsky and Gary Andersen, microbial ecologists at Berkeley Lab, and was published recently in the journal Water Research in an article titled, “Microbial source tracking in impaired watersheds using PhyloChip and machine-learning classification.” Steven Butkus of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, which supported part of the research, was also a co-author.

“With the PhyloChip, in an overnight test we can get a full picture of the microorganisms in any given sample,” Dubinsky said. “Instead of targeting one organism, we’re essentially getting a fingerprint of the microbial community of potential sources in that sample. So it gives us a more comprehensive picture of what’s going on. It’s a novel way of going about source tracking.”

What local water agencies currently do is collect water samples, culture the bacteria overnight, and then check the growth level of two types of bacteria, E. coli and Enterococcus, which are presumed to be indicators of fecal contamination.

Power of the PhyloChip

However, this method doesn’t distinguish between sources­. The bacteria could have come from humans, cows, ducks, sewage, or even decaying vegetation.

“These tests have been used for decades and are relatively primitive,” Dubinsky said. “Back in the 1970s when the Clean Water Act was developed and we had sewage basically flowing into our waters, these tests worked really well. Epidemiological studies showed an association of these bacteria with levels of illness of people who used the water. These bacteria don’t necessarily get you sick, but they’re found in sewage and fecal matter. That’s why they’re measured.”

As pollution from point sources—single identifiable sources such as sewage—has been cleaned up over time, the emerging concern has become what are known as nonpoint sources, or diffuse sources, throughout the watershed, such as agricultural lands.

“The picture is much more complicated now than it was back then, when the concern was really point sources,” Dubinsky added.

The PhyloChip, which was developed by Andersen and several other Berkeley Lab scientists, has been used for a number of medical, agricultural, and environmental purposes, including understanding air pollution, the ecology of coral reefs, and environmental conditions of the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill. With 1 million probes, it identifies microbes based on variations of a specific gene, with no culturing needed.

“About seven years ago we started doing water quality work, and we realized the PhyloChip could provide a fundamentally new and improved method for doing source tracking,” Andersen said.

A Library of Poop

Determining the source of any particular pathogen is not a straightforward task. In most cases, a single microbe is not a definitive marker of an animal or other source. “A microbial community is complex,” Dubinsky said. “A cow may have 1,000 different organisms.”

So Andersen and Dubinsky had an idea. “We had Laleh Coté, an intern at the time and now a Lab employee, run around and basically collect poop from all sorts of animals,” said Andersen. “What we’ve done since then is develop a reference library of the microbial communities that occur in different types of poop—we have cows, horses, raccoons, humans, different types of birds, pigs, sea lions, and other animals, as well as sewage and septage. We used that library to develop a model.”

The new method takes the unknown sample and compares it against this microbial reference library. “We’ve used the PhyloChip in a way that it hasn’t been used before by using machine learning models to analyze the data in order to detect and classify sources,” Andersen said. “It’s essentially giving you a statistical probability that a microbial community came from a particular source.”

They validated their method by comparing it to about 40 other methods of microbial source tracking in a California study. “We were the only method that could detect all sources and get them right,” Dubinsky said.

If the source is an animal that is not in the reference library, their method can still point you in the right direction. “For example, in that study, one sample was a chicken,” said Dubinsky. “We hadn’t analyzed chickens, but we had geese, gulls, and pigeons. We were still able to determine that the sample was a bird.”

In extensive testing throughout the Russian River watershed, which is out of compliance with the Clean Water Act, the Berkeley Lab researchers found widespread contamination by human sources close to areas where communities rely on aging septic tanks.

They also found significant human contamination immediately after a weekend jazz festival, whereas testing by conventional methods yielded a much weaker signal after a time lag of a couple days. “Our method is more sensitive to human contamination than those fecal indicator tests are,” Dubinsky said.

Next Steps

The team is now working on characterizing the microbial community of naturally occurring E. coli and Enterococci, using Hawaii with its warm waters as a testing ground. “They can occur naturally in sediments and decaying kelp and vegetation,” Dubinsky said. “It is known that they do, but nobody has developed a test to definitively show that.”

The researchers will also be able to study whether climate affects microbial communities. “Does a Hawaiian cow look like a California cow in terms of fecal bacteria composition? That’s a good question and something we’ll be able to find out,” he said.

They are working closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is looking at new technologies for what it calls “next generation compliance.” Ultimately the goal is to develop their method—possibly with a downsized version of the PhyloChip—to the point where it can be universally used in any location and by non-experts.

Dubinsky says the method should also be useful with the burgeoning issue of algal blooms, to understand, for example, the processes by which they form, the microbial dynamics before and after a bloom, and specifically, whether runoff from livestock production in the Midwest is related to algal blooms in the Great Lakes, a question they’re investigating with the EPA.

# # #

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more, visit www.lbl.gov.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

Updated: October 5, 2016

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University of Bergen study: Smoking fathers increase asthma-risk in future offspring

3 Oct

There are numerous reasons why smoking is considered bad for an individual and there are numerous research studies which list the reasons. Studies are showing how bad second hand smoke is for children. A MNT article, Smoking During Pregnancy May Lower Your Child’s Reading Scores:

Babies born to mothers who smoke more than a pack of cigarettes a day while pregnant have lower reading scores and a harder time with reading tests, compared with children whose mothers do not smoke.
This is the conclusion of a recent study conducted by researchers at Yale School of Medicine and published in The Journal of Pediatrics in November 2012. The reading tests measured how well children read out loud and understood what they were reading.

This isn’t the first study to suggest that smoking in pregnancy may affect a child’s future health and development. A study released in August 2012 said that smoking during pregnancy increases a child’s risk of asthma. In addition, a 2009 study linked smoking during pregnancy to behavioral problems among 3 and 4 year olds boys…. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/253100.php

An Inserm and Pierre and Marie Curie University study adds behavior problems to the list of woes children of smokers suffer.

Science Daily reported in Early exposure to tobacco can cause behavioral problems in children:

Researchers from Inserm and Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC), in collaboration with the university hospitals of 6 French cities, have analysed data on pre- and postnatal exposure to tobacco in the homes of 5,200 primary school children. They show that this exposure is associated with a risk of behavioural disorders in children, particularly emotional and conduct disorders. The association is stronger when exposure takes place both during pregnancy and after birth. These data show the risk associated with smoking in early life and its behavioural repercussions when the child is of school-going age.These results are published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The consequences of tobacco exposure are widely documented. It leads to many illnesses, including asthma. However, the potential role of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is much less well known in terms of its link to behavioural problems in children. In this context, the team led by Isabella Annesi-Maesano, Inserm Research Director at Unit 1136, “Pierre Louis Public Health Institute” (Inserm/UPMC) examined the association between pre- and postnatal ETS exposure and behavioural problems in children….

These observations seem to confirm those carried out in animals, i.e. that the nicotine contained in tobacco smoke may have a neurotoxic effect on the brain. During pregnancy, nicotine in tobacco smoke stimulates acetylcholine receptors, and causes structural changes in the brain. In the first months of life, exposure to tobacco smoke generates a protein imbalance that leads to altered neuronal growth….. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150928103029.htm?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

Steven Reinberg reported in the Health Day article, Secondhand Smoke in Infancy May Harm Kids’ Teeth.  http://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/cavities-and-dental-news-118/secondhand-smoke-in-infancy-may-harm-kids-teeth-704482.html

Science Daily reported in Smoking fathers increase asthma-risk in future offspring:

A Norwegian study shows that asthma is three times more common in those who had a father who smoked in adolescence than offspring who didn’t.

It is well known that a mother’s environment plays a key role in child health. However, recent research, including more than 24,000 offspring, suggests that this may also be true for fathers.

“Offspring with a father who smoked only prior to conception had over three times more early-onset asthma than those whose father had never smoked,” says Professor Cecilie Svanes at the Centre for International Health, Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen (UiB).

Early debut increases risk

The study shows that both a father’s early smoking debut and a father’s longer smoking duration before conception increased non-allergic early-onset asthma in offspring. This is equally true with mutual adjustment, and adjusting for the number of cigarettes smoked and years since quitting smoking.

“The greatest increased risk for their children having asthma was found for fathers having their smoking debut before age 15. Interestingly, time of quitting before conception was not independently associated with offspring asthma,” Svanes says.

Smoking fathers may influence gene control in children

Concerning mother’s smoking, the research found more offspring asthma if the mother smoked around pregnancy, consistent with previous studies. However, no effect of maternal smoking only prior to conception was identified. The difference from father’s smoking suggests effects through male sperm cells.

“Smoking is known to cause genetic and epigenetic damage to spermatozoa, which are transmissible to offspring and have the potential to induce developmental abnormalities,” explains Svanes.

It is previously known that nutritional, hormonal and psychological environment provided by the mother permanently alters organ structure, cellular response and gene expression in her offspring. Father’s lifestyle and age appear, however, to be reflected in molecules that control gene function.

“There is growing evidence from animal studies for so called epigenetic programming, a mechanism whereby the father’s environment before conception could impact on the health of future generations,” Svanes says….                                                                                                       https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160928135903.htm

Citation:

Smoking fathers increase asthma-risk in future offspring

Date:         September 28, 2016

Source:     University of Bergen

Summary:

Offspring with a father who smoked prior to conception had more than three times higher chance of early-onset asthma than children whose father had never smoked. Both a father’s early smoking debut and a father’s longer smoking duration before conception increased non-allergic early-onset asthma in offspring. This suggests that not only the mother’s environment plays a key role in child health, but also the father’s lifestyle, shows a new study including 24,000 children.

Journal Reference:

  1. Cecilie Svanes, Jennifer Koplin, Svein Magne Skulstad, Ane Johannessen, Randi Jakobsen Bertelsen, Byndis Benediktsdottir, Lennart Bråbäck, Anne Elie Carsin, Shyamali Dharmage, Julia Dratva, Bertil Forsberg, Thorarinn Gislason, Joachim Heinrich, Mathias Holm, Christer Janson, Deborah Jarvis, Rain Jögi, Susanne Krauss-Etschmann, Eva Lindberg, Ferenc Macsali, Andrei Malinovschi, Lars Modig, Dan Norbäck, Ernst Omenaas, Eirunn Waatevik Saure, Torben Sigsgaard, Trude Duelien Skorge, Øistein Svanes, Kjell Torén, Carl Torres, Vivi Schlünssen, Francisco Gomez Real. Father’s environment before conception and asthma risk in his children: a multi-generation analysis of the Respiratory Health In Northern Europe study. International Journal of Epidemiology, 2016; dyw151 DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyw151

Here is the press release from the University of Bergen:

Smoking fathers increase asthma-risk in future offspring.

A Norwegian study shows that asthma is three times more common in those who had a father who smoked in adolescence than offspring who didn’t.

SMOKING FATHERS: If you smoke as a young man, your future offspring will have a higher risk of getting asthma.

By Kim E. AndreassenPublished: 22.09.2016 (Last updated: 28.09.2016)

It is well known that a mother’s environment plays a key role in child health. However, recent research, including more than 24,000 offspring, suggests that this may also be true for fathers.

“Offspring with a father who smoked only prior to conception had over three times more early-onset asthma than those whose father had never smoked,” says Professor Cecilie Svanes at the Centre for International Health, Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen (UiB).

Early debut increases risk

The study shows that both a father’s early smoking debut and a father’s longer smoking duration before conception increased non-allergic early-onset asthma in offspring. This is equally true with mutual adjustment, and adjusting for the number of cigarettes smoked and years since quitting smoking.

“The greatest increased risk for their children having asthma was found for fathers having their smoking debut before age 15. Interestingly, time of quitting before conception was not independently associated with offspring asthma,” Svanes says.

The study is published in the scientific magazine International Journal of Epidemiology

Smoking fathers may influence gene control in children

Concerning mother’s smoking, the research found more offspring asthma if the mother smoked around pregnancy, consistent with previous studies. However, no effect of maternal smoking only prior to conception was identified. The difference from father’s smoking suggests effects through male sperm cells.

“Smoking is known to cause genetic and epigenetic damage to spermatozoa, which are transmissible to offspring and have the potential to induce developmental abnormalities,” explains Svanes.

It is previously known that nutritional, hormonal and psychological environment provided by the mother permanently alters organ structure, cellular response and gene expression in her offspring. Father’s lifestyle and age appear, however, to be reflected in molecules that control gene function.

“There is growing evidence from animal studies for so called epigenetic programming, a mechanism whereby the father’s environment before conception could impact on the health of future generations,” Svanes says.

Welding increases risk

Svanes and her team also investigated whether parental exposure to welding influenced asthma risk in offspring, with a particular focus on exposures in fathers prior to conception.

The study shows that paternal welding increased offspring asthma risk even if the welding stopped prior to conception. Smoking and welding independently increased offspring asthma risk, and mutual adjustment did not alter the estimates of either.

“For smoking and welding starting after puberty, exposure duration appeared to be the most important determinant for the asthma risk in offspring,” says Cecilie Svanes.

FACTS

Smoking fathers study

  • Cecilie Svanes investigated whether parental smoking and exposure to welding influenced asthma risk in offspring, with a particular focus on exposures in fathers prior to conception.
  • The study was conducted on a population-based cohort from seven Northern European research centres (RHINE study).
  • The experiences of more than 24,000 offspring, of which over 6000 had smoking and/or welding fathers, were included in the study The participants were from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia.
  • The researches wanted to identify  vulnerable periods during male reproductive development by addressing whether potential preconception effects were related to exposure age, exposure duration, and time from quitting exposure until conception.
  • This research is part of the ECRHS study, and contributes to the large EU funded project “Ageing Lungs in European Cohorts.

http://www.uib.no/en/news/100994/smoking-fathers-increase-asthma-risk-future-offspring

See, Prenatal care fact sheet http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/prenatal-care.html

Our goal as a society should be a healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood. ©

Resources:

  1. A History of Tobacco
    http://archive.tobacco.org/History/Tobacco_History.html
  2. American Lung Association’s Smoking and Teens Fact Sheet Women and Tobacco Use
    African Americans and Tobacco Use
    American Indians/Alaska Natives and Tobacco Use
    Hispanics and Tobacco Use
    Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders and Tobacco Use
    Military and Tobacco Use
    Children/Teens and Tobacco Use
    Older Adults and Tobacco Use
    http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/about-smoking/facts-figures/specific-populations.html
  3. Center for Young Women’s Health A Guide for Teens http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/smokeinfo.html
  4. Kroger Resources Teens and Smoking
    http://kroger.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Wellness/Smoking/Teens/
  5. Teens Health’s Smoking
    http://kidshealth.org/teen/drug_alcohol/tobacco/smoking.html
  6. Quit Smoking Support.com
    http://www.quitsmokingsupport.com/teens.htm

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