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Oswego, NY, United States

Sonchak L.,SUNY Oswego
Maternal and Child Health Journal | Year: 2016

Objectives To investigate the impact of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) on a variety of infant health outcomes using recent South Carolina Vital Statistics data (2004–2012). Methods To account for non-random WIC participation, the study relies on a maternal fixed effects estimation, due to the availability of unique maternally linked data. Results The results indicate that WIC participation is associated with an increase in birth weight and length of gestation, decrease in the probability of low birth weight, prematurity, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit admission. Additionally, addressing gestational bias and accounting for the length of gestation, WIC participation is associated with a decrease in the probability of delivering a low weight infant and a small for gestational age infant among black mothers. Conclusions for Practice Accounting for non-random program participation, the study documents a large improvement in birth outcomes among infants of WIC participating mothers. Even in the context of somewhat restrictive gestation-adjusted specification, the positive impact of WIC remains within the subsample of black mothers. © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

The present study explored the development of spontaneous eye blinking (SEB) and its relationship to approach-inhibition behavior during the second half of the first year. The dopaminergic regulation of SEB in adult primates provides an empirical basis for studying blinking in infants, and dopamine's role in infant temperament provides justification for examining approach-inhibition specifically. A longitudinal design with an experimental manipulation was used to examine developmental change in the rate of SEB. Healthy, full-term infants (N = 74) were observed at 4 and 12 months. Blinking rate was observed during a quiet baseline and a randomly assigned stimulus condition. Then, approach-inhibition responses were examined as stimulus objects were presented. Experimental conditions altered blink rate at both ages, but the effects varied by age and stimulus type. At 12 months, individual differences in SEB were associated with positive affect during the approach-inhibition task. The divergent effects for the cognitive and social conditions suggest that the mechanisms regulating blink rate have distinct relationships to these behavioral domains and that these undergo changes during the first year. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Green-Hamann S.,University of Maine, United States | Campbell Eichhorn K.,SUNY Oswego | Sherblom J.C.,University of Maine, United States
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication | Year: 2011

The present study investigates why people participate in Second Life social support groups. Twenty-three participants in Alcoholics Anonymous and Cancer Caregiver groups that meet in Second Life were interviewed and asked how satisfied they are with those meetings, what influences their satisfaction, what they find most helpful, what they like the least, the nature of their relationships in the group, and what surprised them the most. Their responses identify the text-based anonymity, nearly synchronous communication, visual representation of avatars, and use of time and virtual space as influences that stimulate hyperpersonal relationship development in their Second Life social support groups. © 2011 International Communication Association. Source

Kettle A.J.,SUNY Oswego | Asbjorn Vollestad L.,University of Oslo | Wibig J.,University of Lodz
Fish and Fisheries | Year: 2011

The collapse in recruitment of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) since the early 1980s has been ascribed to possible overfishing, poisoning, parasitism, habitat loss and changes in ocean circulation. It is unclear which mechanism is most important, and firm data are lacking to make an assessment of the factors that apply over the full continental range. On the other hand, the recruitment of the American eel (A. rostrata) has declined along the western Atlantic at about the same time. This suggests a candidate mechanism that can affect both species together. A change in ocean climate may be a likely explanation, which is supported by a possible link between the North Atlantic Oscillation and one important recruitment index. However, it is unsafe to discard the other possible mechanisms because of lack of evidence. Habitat loss, in particular, may be important. We review over a century of evidence to suggest how the eel may have declined through progressive habitat loss that accelerated in the early 1980s as the result of economic development linked with hydrological changes. Although no single line of evidence can definitely prove one hypothesis for the eel decline, the total body of information may indicate a pronounced susceptibility in the southwest corner of the continental range closest to the Sargasso Sea that has been particularly affected by drought and dam construction. The sexual dimorphism of the species together with the energy requirements of the spawning migration may provide insight to explain the population collapse. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

News Article
Site: http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/rss-feeds/all/rss.xml/all

A variety of ancient tetrapods—four-limbed ancestors of man, the other mammals, amphibians, and reptiles—could regenerate limbs and tails, says a startling paper in Nature. Among modern tetrapods, only salamanders fully regenerate limbs and tails. It was thought this was also true eons ago, as only salamanders grow digits front to back—while all other tetrapods grow them back to front. But Nature reported that, as far back as 300 million years ago, many different tetrapods—whether their digits formed backwards or forwards—fully regrew lost limbs. “The findings are surprising, and provide an important consideration when trying to understand genes specific to limb regeneration,” Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute regeneration expert James Godwin, Ph.D., told Bioscience Technology. The idea of regeneration as a lost ancient trait has been around “for some time. The news that regeneration predates stem [most primitive precursors of] salamanders provides critical evidence regenerative capacity was part of the original vertebrate blueprint, or acquired very early in vertebrate evolution. This paper is important. It extends our understanding of the evolutionary timeline of regeneration.” Godwin was uninvolved in the work. “A great surprise to see many early tetrapods capable of regenerating limbs and tails in a manner only salamanders do among extant tetrapods,” senior author, and visiting Brown University paleontologist Floria Witzmann, Ph.D., told Bioscience Technology. “We thought this was a derived characteristic in salamanders. Now it seems vice versa. Regeneration limb capacity appears a primitive characteristic of tetrapods only retained in salamanders. Other tetrapods –human beings – might possess the latent potential to regenerate limbs. This might lead to new approaches in regeneration research.” University of Basel vertebrate embryologist Rolf Zeller, Ph.D., told Bioscience Technology: “It is interesting the authors provide evidence, by analysis of fossil records, that in early tetrapods (distal) limb and tail regeneration appears more widespread than today.” Zeller, also uninvolved, cautioned limb regeneration has not yet been observed in fossil amniota (including human ancestors), just more distant fossil microsaurs. Others agreed, but consider microsaurs to be more closely related to amniota than to amphibians. And University of Padova evolutionary developmental biologist Alessandro Minelli, Ph.D., told Bioscience Technology the new study was “very important” for another reason: its proof fossil morphology (form) is key. “It shows that, in evolutionary developmental biology, morphology can be of no lesser value than molecular genetics,” said Minelli, also uninvolved. “Study of fossil ontogenies has revealed important features of evolution of development in vertebrates and trilobites, not to mention Cambrian larvae of invertebrates of problematic affinities. More is expected.” Alone among modern four-limbed vertebrates, salamanders regenerate hurt or missing limbs and tails their entire adult lives. As noted, it was thought the strange way they develop limbs was related to their regenerative skills. In other modern tetrapods digits form “post-axially,” back to front. Modern salamander digits form “pre-axially,” front to back. A team from Brown University, SUNY Oswego, and the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, looked for the link between regeneration and the salamander limb oddity in fossils of different Carboniferous and Permian (300-million-year old) amphibian groups from many natural history museums. Analyzed were a variety of individual amphibians at different developmental stages. Unexpectedly, the teams saw evidence of salamander-esque regenerative qualities in both ancient amphibians that developed digits like modern vertebrates, and ancient tetrapods that did not. First author Museum für Naturkunde paleontologist Nadia Froebisch, Ph.D., told Bioscience Technology: “We were surprised to find evidence for salamander-like regenerative capacities in tails and limbs in very distant lineages of Paleozoic tetrapod, some on the stem lineage to modern amphibians, but also in groups belonging to more distant relatives, and even in lepospondyl, which are more closely related to amniotes (that is, all fully terrestrial vertebrates, today represented by all birds, reptiles, and mammals). This indicates regenerative capacities are not special and derived for salamanders, but may be the primitive condition for all tetrapods.” Some of the evidence they found, she said: “Micromelerpeton [extinct European amphibian genus] shows a pattern and combination of abnormalities in the limbs characteristic for abnormalities in regenerated limbs of salamanders, differing from abnormalities associated with initial development.” More evidence, she said: Among microsaurs (aforementioned lepospondyls), they found specimens with asymmetries in limbs. “On one side, the limb is well-developed, and in accordance with the overall developmental stage of the individual. On the right side, the upper arm is equally well-developed, but more distal limb elements are much less well-developed, not fully ossified and differentiated, indicating a possible ongoing regeneration of the distal part.” Also among the specimens, the team saw that, “the tails in some microsaurs are very obviously regenerating: the well-developed vertebral column stops abruptly, and continues with small elements just differentiating. In salamanders, the primordial part of the new vertebral column in the tail is already subdivided on the cellular level, and these segments then give rise to new vertebral elements. This is also visible in microsaur specimens.” “There is no easy answer” why most tetrapods lost the skill, Froebisch said. “It seems counterintuitive something so seemingly useful as regenerating a limb should get lost. However, there could be good reasons, such as high energetic costs. Or another highly adaptive feature incompatible with regeneration was selected for, and regeneration got lost as a byproduct.” Salamanders are special in many ways, “including their metabolism, amazing plasticity in life history patterns, and in showing the largest cell sizes among extant vertebrates. It is also possible they are still regenerating because regeneration was never actively selected against (or for). So it is just still around.” “Astonishing” loss Witzmann told Bioscience Technology: “At first sight, it is astonishing a characteristic so obviously beneficial like limb regeneration was lost in most extant tetrapods. However, a number of hypotheses are summarized in a Bely and Nyberg review. Regeneration of limbs and other body parts are certainly energy intensive. In some cases, costs may be greater than advantages. Bely & Nyberg cite an example: for taxa with a short life-span, it might be more beneficial to spend more energy producing offspring, than regenerating body parts (which could take a long time).” Then there is the fact that adult frogs cannot regenerate limbs, but tadpoles can until metamorphic climax. Galis et al propose “the capacity of limb regeneration is timed to embryonic limb development. In amniotes, limbs are patterned during the phylotypic stage. Limbs develop relatively late in amphibians, after the phylotypic stage.” If it was adaptive for most tetrapods to lose regenerative talents, this could spell trouble for humans trying to revive them. But was it? “I don't think so,” Sorbonne Research Center on Paleobiodiversity and Paleoenvironments vertebrate paleontologist Michel Laurin, Ph.D., told Bioscience Technology. He was uninvolved with the new study. “It might be a by-product of other evolutionary constraints leading to adaptive characteristics outweighing the disadvantage of losing regenerative capacity.” Zeller noted that while “lizards drop tails, an advantage in escaping predators, this is apparently not the case for limbs. Maybe the potential to regenerate limbs was retained in few species due to evolutionary constraints, rather than a true and significant selective advantage.” Apparently, regeneration was not scotched to avoid cancer, as “salamander proteins have been shown to stop spreading cancer cells,” said Froebisch. “Fascinating system.” Laurin said a key step will be to check links “between developmental complexity and regenerative capacity. Even if we document the loss of regenerative capacity in amniotes, we will still never know why it happened if it is a singular event occurring on a branch (at the base of amniotes, or deeper in the tree) where other characteristics changed. How could we be sure to which of these regeneration loss is linked?” Another “big step,” said Zeller: determining “to what extent limb regeneration relies on the same molecular networks as tetrapod limb development, and to what extent gene regulatory networks governing regeneration are active during limb development in higher tetrapods.” Witzmann wants to investigate, on histological slides, “how bone injury healing proceeds on the tissue level in fossilized early tetrapods capable of limb and tail regeneration. It would be interesting to compare results with bone healing in extant amphibians.” Like Zeller, Minelli warned regeneration evidence is still wanting among amniotes. But he said the paper opens “a new vista on the evolutionary origin of the very peculiar pattern of digit formation only found in salamanders among living tetrapods. Parsimony applied to previously available evidence suggested this mode of digit formation was a specialization of salamander lineage. The newly added data suggest instead the mechanism was already present at least 80 million years before the origin of the salamander. Thus, the opposite polarity in digit formation, as found in all other living tetrapods, must have evolved secondarily in the frogs and – perhaps – amniotes (if this will depend on the condition at node two in the tree of figure 1, still unresolved).” Many questions remain, says Godwin. “It is clear all extant salamanders regenerate limbs, and the fossil record indicates this is a trait that goes back to early salamander ancestors. It is perhaps not too surprising preaxial limb development may have been present in Temnospondyli.” It is unclear if regeneration “is an acquired trait in some species (possibly through transposable elements acting as enhancers providing new functions), or if some species maintained regenerative abilities present in a common ancestor, and others lost these abilities at the expense of traits with higher selective pressure (e.g. the immune system). There is strong evidence on both sides of the ledger. It is likely a mixture of both, depending on tissue and injury context.” Limb and tail regeneration the same—or different? Limb regeneration, he added, “may rely on a limb-specific program. There is no guarantee tail regeneration uses exactly the same mechanism.” So a key next step, he said, is to precisely identify and quantify components acting as “roadblocks to human regeneration, while continuing the search for salamander-specific molecular pathways that could provide a blueprint for engineering human tissue regeneration. Humans are relatively fragile when it comes to tissue injury as adults. We have a lot to learn.” Godwin added salamanders regenerate in two different ways that humans also do—via stimulation of existing adult stem cells, and dedifferentiation of mature cells—if humans perform less dramatic feats. (For a look at recent developments in the understanding of natural human dedifferentiation in stomach, trachea, and kidney in response to stress, see earlier Bioscience Technology story.) “This is still an unresolved question that my students and I are working hard on,” Godwin told Bioscience Technology.  “Many different cell types are involved in salamander regeneration response of various tissue types.  In the heart, cardiomyocytes are replaced from existing cardiomyocytes with a transient down-regulation of mature cardiac genes [dedifferentiation of mature cells].” Godwin continued: “In the case of the limb, we still do not know the contribution of endogenous [native] stem cells in salamanders, but we do see that some cells dedifferentiate and express more embryonic gene markers.  Some multipotency is also observed.  This also in true in other contexts of salamander regeneration, such as the eye.  In limb muscle cells, it seems that in the newt the ratio is about 70 percent dedifferentiation, and about 30 percent pax7 satellite (muscle- restricted stem cells) from work done in Andras Simon's lab.  In a recent paper where Simon's lab joined with Elly Tanaka's lab, species differences between newts and axolotls were seen.  Axolotls replace their muscle in a mechanism like we do. So I think in a complex structure like the limb, the answer is likely to be: both.”

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