The curative potential of allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo HSCT) in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia CLL is established, with a demonstrated role for graft-versus-leukaemia and less certainty for other factors in determining outcome. The first two decades of CLL patients proceeding to allo HSCT at the Leukaemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of British Columbia (n = 49 consecutive, 1991-2009) were studied to clarify factors predicting outcome. The donor was related in 29 (59%) and unrelated in 20 (41%). Conditioning was reduced-intensity in 27 (55%) and myeloablative in 22 (45%). Thirty-one of 49 patients survive with median follow-up of 5 years (0·2-15). Cumulative incidence of non-relapse mortality; complete remission (CR); clearance of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) abnormality and progression at 10 years was 36%; 69%; 55% and 22%. Overall survival (OS) was 63% at 2 years; 55% at 5 years and beyond. Factors predicting OS (P value by log rank 90%, clearance of FISH abnormality post-HSCT and absence of high-grade (3-4) graft-versus-host disease. Results from this province-wide, two-decade cohort demonstrated that a substantial proportion of patients with high-risk CLL become long term disease-free survivors.
Anadromous and non-anadromous Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) from multiple sample sites in Labrador, Canada were used to investigate possible differences in total mercury concentration ([THg]) between 1977-78 and 2007-09. The mean [THg] of anadromous Arctic charr was 0.03 µg/g wet weight (ww) in 1977-78 and 0.04 µg/g ww in 2007-09, while mean concentrations in non-anadromous conspecifics were 0.18 µg/g ww in 1977-78 and 0.14 µg/g ww in 2007-09. After correcting for the effects of fish age and fork-length, there was no widespread difference in the mean [THg] of anadromous or non-anadromous fish between the two time periods. However, at individual sites sampled during both time periods, [THg] increased, decreased, or did not change. The mean age of sampled fish declined from 9.0 years in 1977-78 to 8.2 years in 2007-09 for anadromous fish, and from 11.7 years to 10.5 years in non-anadromous Arctic charr. Similarly, mean fork-lengths decreased from 450 mm to 417 mm in anadromous and from 402 mm to 335 mm in non-anadromous fish between 1977-78 and 2007-09. The mean annual temperature at four Labrador weather stations increased by 1.6°C to 2.9°C between the two sampling periods. The lack of an overall trend in anadromous or non-anadromous Arctic charr [THg] despite warming temperatures that favour increased mercury methylation suggests that regional changes in climate-driven factors have had limited impacts on mercury exposure in Labrador freshwater or marine fish.
Food insecurity is an urgent public health issue for Aboriginal people in Canada because of high rates of poverty; the effects of global climate change and environmental pollution on traditional food systems; and high rates of diet-related diseases. However, to date, public health has operated with conceptualizations of food security that were developed in non-Aboriginal contexts; they do not take full account of the traditional food practices of Aboriginal people or Aboriginal conceptualizations of food security. In this paper, I argue that there are unique food security considerations for Aboriginal people related to the harvesting, sharing and consumption of country or traditional foods, which impact the four pillars of food security: access, availability, supply and utilization. Thus food security conceptualizations, policies, and programs for Aboriginal people must consider both the market food system and traditional food system. Given the centrality of traditional food practices to cultural health and survival, I propose that cultural food security is an additional level of food security beyond individual, household and community levels. Conceptualizations of food security for Aboriginal people will be incomplete without qualitative research to understand Aboriginal perspectives; such research must take account of the diversity of Aboriginal people.
This paper draws on four bodies of literature to consider the determinants of healthy eating for low-income Canadians: a) the social determinants of health; b) socio-economic gradients in diet; c) food security; and d) the sociology of food. Though there is a paucity of data for Canada, it is very likely that, as in other industrialized countries, there are socio-economic gradients in diet such that those who are better off consume healthier diets than those less well-to-do. The available evidence suggests that income affects food intake both directly and indirectly through the dispositions associated with particular social class locations. Thus, there may be both economic and cultural thresholds for some food groups or particular foods in food groups. Understanding these thresholds is especially important in addressing the issues facing those who are the most vulnerable among Canadians with low incomes: the food insecure. The literature reviewed suggests that improved nutrition for low-income Canadians may be difficult to achieve a) in isolation from other changes to improve their lives; b) without improvement in the nutrition of the general population of Canadians; and c) without some combination of these two changes. Four major areas of research need were identified: a) national data on socio-economic gradients in diet; b) sociological research on the interaction of income and class with other factors affecting food practices; c) sociological research on Canadian food norms and cultures; and d) research on the costs of healthy eating.
Food insecurity affected over 2.3 million Canadians in 2004. To date, the food security literature has not considered the potential impact of economic abuse on food security, but there are three ways in which these two important public health issues may be related: 1) victims of economic abuse are at risk of food insecurity when they are denied access to adequate financial resources; 2) the conditions that give rise to food insecurity may also precipitate intimate partner violence in all its forms; 3) women who leave economically abusive intimate heterosexual relationships are more likely to live in poverty and thus are at risk of food insecurity. This paper presents a case of one woman who, during a qualitative research interview, spontaneously reported economic abuse and heterosexual interpersonal violence. The economic abuse suffered by this participant appears to have affected her food security and that of her children, while her husband's was apparently unaffected. There is an urgent need to better understand the nature of intra-household food distribution in food-insecure households and the impact of economic abuse on its victims' food security. Such an understanding may lead to improved food security measurement tools and social policies to reduce food insecurity.
Estimate media technology use in Alaska Native communities to inform the feasibility of technology-based nutrition education.
A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to a random selection of about 50% of Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) authorized representatives in remote Alaska Native communities (n = 975). Media technology use, interest in media technology-based nutrition education, and potential barriers were assessed. Chi-square tests were used to investigate associations among technology use, age, and education.
Technology use was common among respondents (n = 368); use was significantly more common among younger age groups and participants with a higher level of education. Smartphone (78.8%) and Facebook (95.8%) use was comparable to national averages, but having a computer at home (38.4%) was much less likely. Less than 50% of participants have Internet access at home.
Findings shed light on new opportunities for WIC and other programs to deliver nutrition education to Alaska Native people in remote communities.
Cites: JAMA. 2004 Jun 2;291(21):2545-6 PMID 15173144
Cites: Am J Prev Med. 2009 Feb;36(2):165-73 PMID 19135907
BACKGROUND: The Antarctic clam, Laternula elliptica, is an infaunal stenothermal bivalve mollusc with a circumpolar distribution. It plays a significant role in bentho-pelagic coupling and hence has been proposed as a sentinel species for climate change monitoring. Previous studies have shown that this mollusc displays a high level of plasticity with regard to shell deposition and damage repair against a background of genetic homogeneity. The Southern Ocean has amongst the lowest present-day CaCO3 saturation rate of any ocean region, and is predicted to be among the first to become undersaturated under current ocean acidification scenarios. Hence, this species presents as an ideal candidate for studies into the processes of calcium regulation and shell deposition in our changing ocean environments. RESULTS: 454 sequencing of L. elliptica mantle tissue generated 18,290 contigs with an average size of 535 bp (ranging between 142 bp-5.591 kb). BLAST sequence similarity searching assigned putative function to 17% of the data set, with a significant proportion of these transcripts being involved in binding and potentially of a secretory nature, as defined by GO molecular function and biological process classifications. These results indicated that the mantle is a transcriptionally active tissue which is actively proliferating. All transcripts were screened against an in-house database of genes shown to be involved in extracellular matrix formation and calcium homeostasis in metazoans. Putative identifications were made for a number of classical shell deposition genes, such as tyrosinase, carbonic anhydrase and metalloprotease 1, along with novel members of the family 2 G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs). A membrane transport protein (SEC61) was also characterised and this demonstrated the utility of the clam sequence data as a resource for examining cold adapted amino acid substitutions. The sequence data contained 46,235 microsatellites and 13,084 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms(SNPs/INDELS), providing a resource for population and also gene function studies. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first 454 data from an Antarctic marine invertebrate. Sequencing of mantle tissue from this non-model species has considerably increased resources for the investigation of the processes of shell deposition and repair in molluscs in a changing environment. A number of promising candidate genes were identified for functional analyses, which will be the subject of further investigation in this species and also used in model-hopping experiments in more tractable and economically important model aquaculture species, such as Crassostrea gigas and Mytilus edulis.
Within the subarctic climate of Clinton Creek, Yukon, Canada, lies an abandoned and flooded open-pit asbestos mine that harbors rapidly growing microbialites. To understand their formation we completed a metagenomic community profile of the microbialites and their surrounding sediments. Assembled metagenomic data revealed that bacteria within the phylum Proteobacteria numerically dominated this system, although the relative abundances of taxa within the phylum varied among environments. Bacteria belonging to Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were dominant in the microbialites and sediments, respectively. The microbialites were also home to many other groups associated with microbialite formation including filamentous cyanobacteria and dissimilatory sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria, consistent with the idea of a shared global microbialite microbiome. Other members were present that are typically not associated with microbialites including Gemmatimonadetes and iron-oxidizing Betaproteobacteria, which participate in carbon metabolism and iron cycling. Compared to the sediments, the microbialite microbiome has significantly more genes associated with photosynthetic processes (e.g., photosystem II reaction centers, carotenoid, and chlorophyll biosynthesis) and carbon fixation (e.g., CO dehydrogenase). The Clinton Creek microbialite communities had strikingly similar functional potentials to non-lithifying microbial mats from the Canadian High Arctic and Antarctica, but are functionally distinct, from non-lithifying mats or biofilms from Yellowstone. Clinton Creek microbialites also share metabolic genes (R (2) 0.900). These metagenomic profiles from an anthropogenic microbialite-forming ecosystem provide context to microbialite formation on a human-relevant timescale.