Developmental contributions to macronutrient selection: a randomized controlled trial in adult survivors of malnutrition
Birthweight in children who had kwashiorkor and marasmus showed no independent effect on the intake of protein and energy in adulthood. However, energy intake and weight gain increase as the percentage of energy derived from dietary protein (PEP) is reduced, hence risk of developing obesity with low PEP diets.
A deep sequencing tool for partitioning clearance rates following antimalarial treatment in polyclonal infections
Our approach for detecting drug resistance identifies rare resistant parasites in polyclonal infections through their phenotypic signature. By translating genetic data to clearance phenotypes of parasite subpopulations in malaria infections, we found rare slow clearing parasites in Tanzania where resistance to front-line drugs is not thought to be a problem.
Postnatal depression reduces completed fertility; women who experience it early in their childbearing careers are less likely to have a third birth. Postnatal depression at the first birth leads to lowered fertility levels, indicating a causal role in population ageing and highlighting a new incentive to invest in prevention.
A hundred years ago, infectious diseases disappeared over few decades as major causes of mortality in several Northern European countries. Heart-attack, stroke and cancer then became the main causes of deaths. Why and how this occurred remains unknown, but just possibly it was the natural consequence of demographic change.
Most studies of depression find that women are twice as likely to be depressed as men, but no compelling explanation of this sex difference has emerged. Here, we show that the sex difference in depression can largely be explained by the sexual dimorphism in upper body strength.
It has been documented that there are differences in disease susceptibilities between humans and non-human primates. We investigate one of these differences in fibroblasts to examine differences in cellular adhesion between humans and chimpanzees using microscopy and gene expression and have found significant differences in both datasets. These results suggest that human and chimpanzee fibroblasts may have somewhat different adhesive properties, which could play a role in differential disease phenotypes and responses to external factors.
Maternal investment, life-history strategy of the offspring and adult chronic disease risk in South Asian women in the UK
We shows that women who received low maternal investment during fetal life, the primary period when the body's organs develop, develop a ‘fast’ life history strategy. This prioritizes reproduction (indicated by early menarche, higher body fatness) over somatic growth (adult height) and the ability to maintain healthy blood pressure.
Association between clinical antibiotic resistance and susceptibility of Pseudomonas in the cystic fibrosis lung
We used Pseudomonas isolates from cystic fibrosis patients to assess associations between phenotypic resistance and sensitivity to other antibiotics, a minimal prerequisite for collateral sensitivity. Single patients contained multiple P. aeruginosa genotypes, which usually varied in resistance phenotypes. We did not find evidence for consistent phenotypic sensitivity of resistant isolates to other antibiotics.
Meta-analysis of variance: an illustration comparing the effects of two dietary interventions on variability in weight
New meta-analysis methods from evolutionary biology allow us to ask how treatments affect variability, as opposed to just the average. Using these methods we demonstrate that low carbohydrate ad libitum diets may have more variable outcomes than calorie restricted diets.
We tested the hypothesis that early-life developmental exposures (nutrition, pathogens, and cues of extrinsic mortality) affect the balance of investment between acquired and innate immune defenses in adults. Analyses of two immuno-markers suggest greater nutrition and pathogen exposure, and lower extrinsic mortality cues associated with a small bias towards acquired defenses.
Opposite differential risks for autism and schizophrenia based on maternal age, paternal age, and parental age differences
Parents' age affects autism and schizophrenia risk, but large-scale single-population studies covering the entire mental disease spectrum are lacking. For a nation-wide Danish data set, we show that older fathers increase risks for autism but not schizophrenia, and that mothers transition from imposing increased schizophrenia to increased autism risk as they age.
The human capacity for anxiety is probably an evolutionary adaptation to deal with environmental threats. But this does not explain the high prevalence of anxiety disorders, which can be severely debilitating. We present a simple mathematical model to demonstrate that even if all individuals in a population behave optimally, a substantial subset of the population will become overly sensitive to threats, which we suggest may point towards an adaptive explanation for dysfunctional anxiety.
Using first a theoretical framework, we show that repeated short immune challenges could impact the accumulation of cancerous cells through continuous perturbation of immune system efficiency. We discuss for a new indirect role for infectious disease in cancer progression.
We conducted the first large sample, multivariable study of acne among adolescents in a traditional population. The low prevalence and severity of acne supports the hypothesis that acne should join the list of “diseases of civilization.” However, our results also showed a puzzling decrease in acne in urban boys.