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Sasaki N.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Sasaki N.,Iwate Biotechnology Research Center | Matsuba Y.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Matsuba Y.,University of Michigan | And 9 more authors.
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2013

Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) are among the most commercially important ornamental flower crops in the world along with roses and chrysanthemums. The variation in carnation flower colors has been established through selective breeding and the genetics of this color variation have been studied for more than half a century. The cyanic coloration of carnation flowers is due to anthocyanins. Recent molecular biology studies have identified the genes that encode the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of pelargonidin and cyanidin, the anthocyanin backbone (aglycones). The agylcones are converted into anthocyanins by attachment of a glucosyl group at either the 3- or 3,5-positions. A malyl group is then joined to the glucosyl group at the 3-position. Anthocyanidin 3,5-diglucoside can be modified by a malyl group linking the glucosyl groups at the 3- and 5-positions to form a macrocyclic ring in anthocyanidin 3,5-diglucoside. The modification step that attaches a glucosyl group to the 3-position relies on a UDP-glucose dependent glucosyltransferase in the cytosol; however, until recently, the mechanisms for malylation and glucosylation at the 5-position were unclear. It has now been found that novel enzymes, malyl-glucose dependent acyltransferase and acyl-glucose dependent 5- O-glucosyltransferase, are involved in these modifications at the 5-position and that these enzymes function in the vacuole and not the cytosol. Defects in malyltransferase prevent anthocyanin from diffusing in the vacuolar sap and cause formation of anthocyanic vacuolar inclusions that result in a dusky and metallic color in the flower petal. Several factors are now known to influence anthocyanin accumulation in vacuoles and, thereby, to influence the color of the flower. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Samaraweera Y.,University of Kelaniya | Abeysena C.,University of Kelaniya | Abeysena C.,National Institute of Health science
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Year: 2010

Aims: To determine risk factors for miscarriage. Methods: A case control study was carried out at the gynaecological wards and antenatal clinics of the De Soysa Maternity Hospital in Sri Lanka. A case was defined as that of mothers with a confirmed diagnosis of partial or full expulsion of the fetus during the first 28 weeks of gestation. Controls comprised ante-natal clinic attendees whose period of gestation was <28 weeks and carrying a viable fetus. Two hundred and thirty cases and 504 controls were selected. A pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaire and modified life events inventory were used to gather data. Multivariate logistic regression was applied separately for first and second trimester miscarriages and the results were expressed as odds ratios (OR) and as 95% confidence intervals (95%CI). Results: Sleeping ≤8 hday (OR:3.80, 95%CI:1.01-14.3) was found to be a risk factor for first trimester miscarriage controlling for the effect of period of gestation. Sleeping ≤8 hday (OR:2.04, 95%CI:1.24-3.37), standing ≤3 hday (OR:1.83, 95%CI:1.08-3.10), exposure to cooking smoke (OR:3.83, 95%CI:1.50-9.90) and physical trauma during the pregnancy (OR:43.2, 95%CI:4.55-411.4) were found to be risk factors for second trimester miscarriage controlling for the effect of period of gestation. Conclusions: Sleep deprivation, a sedentary lifestyle, exposure to cooking smoke and physical trauma during pregnancy were risk factors for miscarriage. Most of the risk factors are therefore modifiable. © 2010 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Source

Perera B.,National Council for Economic Development | Emmanuel R.,Glasgow Caledonian University | Nandasena S.,National Institute of Health science
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning | Year: 2010

This paper reports on a study carried out to examine human exposure to street-level air pollutants in Sri Lanka and explores the effectiveness of mitigation options. Baseline air pollution and health risk assessment data were collated and a free-ware computer model (Envi-met) was then applied to a selected urban area to test the effectiveness of air pollution mitigation options. Model variables included changes to street vegetation, soil conditions and building geometry. Background aerosol (particulate matter, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide) exposure was found to be significantly different for urban and rural populations. More greenery and reduced vehicular traffic on roads entering main traffic arteries resulted in a decreased particulate matter concentration, whereas the presence of high-rise buildings resulted in an increase. On the basis of the research findings, the paper suggests a 'best case' with a marked decrease in particulate matter concentration compared with the current situation. The possibility of using this methodology in the schematic planning stages of new developments and the regeneration of existing neighbourhoods is highlighted. Source

Igimi S.,National Institute of Health science
Nihon rinsho. Japanese journal of clinical medicine | Year: 2012

Appropriate handling and controlled temperature prevent cross-contamination and proliferation of contaminants in foods, thereby reducing the incidences of food-borne gastroenteritis in Japan. However, the incidence of Campylobacter jejuni/coli infection did not markedly decrease and has become one of the major causes of food-borne diseases. C. jejuni and C. coli are widespread in warm-blooded domestic animals; therefore, food products may easily become contaminated during processing. C. jejuni and C. coli do not proliferate in foods, nor resistant to freezing, drying and oxidative stresses, and the number is greatly reduced under such conditions. These properties should be considered for risk management of Campylobacter in food processing and manufacturing. Source

Malwenna L.I.,National Institute of Health science | Jayawardana P.L.,University of Kelaniya | Balasuriya A.,Defense University
International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine and Public Health | Year: 2012

Introduction: Unmet need is defined as the percentage of all fecund women who are married or living in union and thus presumed to be sexually active but are not using any method of contraception, either do not want to have any more children or want to postpone their next birth at least for two more years or do not know when or if they want another child 1. Unmet Need for Modern Methods includes all in the unmet need group and those who are using natural and traditional methods at the time of survey (The Westoff Model) 2. It describes the discrepancy between sexual and contraceptive behaviors and stated fertility preferences of women in the reproductive age. Objective: This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a health educational intervention in improving the knowledge and attitudes on family planning (FP) among Public Health Midwives (PHMM) who function as community health workers and acceptance of modern FP methods planning which eventually reduce the Unmet Need (UMN) and thereby reducing the risk of unintended pregnancy among 15 - 49 year old married women in in the Kalutara district. Method: Initially the perceptions on unmet need in community service providers was assessed by three Focus Group Discussions conducted among Medical Officers of Health, Public Health Nursing Sisters and PHMM. It was followed by assessment of the baseline knowledge and attitudes on FP and UMN among all the PHMM and a group of married women in reproductive age (15-49) with unmet need for modern methods selected from cluster sampling of PHM areas in the district using PPS technique, allocating 22 clusters of 12 women in each Intervention (IA) and Control Area (CA).The developed health education intervention was applied on PHMM followed by the selected group of women with unmet need for modern methods only to the IA. The effectiveness was assessed in terms of the change in knowledge and attitudes of PHMM after 2 months of intervention, of target group of women after 6 months of intervention and the reduction of unmet need for modern methods in the IA compared to CA. Result: In PHMM, overall percentage mean knowledge score in IA at pre and post intervention were 29.9% and 65.7% respectively with a statistically significant difference (p<0.001) but with no such difference (p=0.10) in CA between pre (20%) and post (30%) scores. Median attitude scores were 37.5% and 86% in IA at pre and post intervention with a statistically significant difference (p<0.001). For CA respective figures were (40%) and (41%) with no significant difference (p=0.09) Regarding the target group, in IA had pre (37.6%) and post (70.6%) mean knowledge scores with a statistically significant difference (p<0.001); but with no significant difference (p=0.06) in CA between pre (39.0%) and post (40.2%) scores. Similarly, between groups comparison shows statistically significant difference (p<0.001) between IA and CA in post intervention, the scores being 70.6% and 40.2% respectively. Conclusion: The training conducted on PHMM revealed a significant impact on knowledge and attitudes in both service providers and clients leading to change in the FP practice and reduction in unmet need for modern methods of FP. Source

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