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  • Identifying interventions that more effectively promote healthy growth of children with undernutrition is a pressing global health goal. Analysis of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) from 6-month-postpartum mothers in two Malawian birth cohorts revealed that sialylated HMOs are significantly less abundant in those with severely stunted infants. To explore this association, we colonized young germ-free mice with a consortium of bacterial strains cultured from the fecal microbiota of a 6-month-old stunted Malawian infant and fed recipient animals a prototypic Malawian diet with or without purified sialylated bovine milk oligosaccharides (S-BMO). S-BMO produced a microbiota-dependent augmentation of lean body mass gain, changed bone morphology, and altered liver, muscle, and brain metabolism in ways indicative of a greater ability to utilize nutrients for anabolism. These effects were also documented in gnotobiotic piglets using the same consortium and Malawian diet. These preclinical models indicate a causal, microbiota-dependent relationship between S-BMO and growth promotion.
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  • The motivation to seek social contact may arise from either positive or negative emotional states, as social interaction can be rewarding and social isolation can be aversive. While ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons may mediate social reward, a cellular substrate for the negative affective state of loneliness has remained elusive. Here, we identify a functional role for DA neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), in which we observe synaptic changes following acute social isolation. DRN DA neurons show increased activity upon social contact following isolation, revealed by in vivo calcium imaging. Optogenetic activation of DRN DA neurons increases social preference but causes place avoidance. Furthermore, these neurons are necessary for promoting rebound sociability following an acute period of isolation. Finally, the degree to which these neurons modulate behavior is predicted by social rank, together supporting a role for DRN dopamine neurons in mediating a loneliness-like state.
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  • Research into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has expanded at a remarkable pace in the decade since Shinya Yamanaka and Kazutoshi Takahashi first reported their groundbreaking discovery in 2006. This Timeline highlights the key events in the development of this field, including basic insights into the production of iPSCs and how they have been applied to improve our understanding and treatment of human disease.
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  • Musical tempo is most strongly associated with the rate of the beat or “tactus,” which may be defined as the most prominent rhythmic periodicity present in the music, typically in a range of 1.67–2Hz. However, other factors such as rhythmic density, mean rhythmic inter-onset interval, metrical (accentual) structure, and rhythmic complexity can affect perceived tempo (Drake, Gros, & Penel, 1999; London, 2011Drake, Gros, & Penel, 1999; London, 2011). Visual information can also give rise to a perceived beat/tempo (Iversen, et al., 2015), and auditory and visual temporal cues can interact and mutually influence each other (Soto-Faraco & Kingstone, 2004; Spence, 2015). A five-part experiment was performed to assess the integration of auditory and visual information in judgments of musical tempo. Participants rated the speed of six classic R&B songs on a seven point scale while observing an animated figure dancing to them. Participants were presented with original and time-stretched (±5%) versions of each song in audio-only, audio+video (A+V), and video-only conditions. In some videos the animations were of spontaneous movements to the different time-stretched versions of each song, and in other videos the animations were of “vigorous” versus “relaxed” interpretations of the same auditory stimulus. Two main results were observed. First, in all conditions with audio, even though participants were able to correctly rank the original vs. time-stretched versions of each song, a song-specific tempo-anchoring effect was observed, such that sped-up versions of slower songs were judged to be faster than slowed-down versions of faster songs, even when their objective beat rates were the same. Second, when viewing a vigorous dancing figure in the A+V condition, participants gave faster tempo ratings than from the audio alone or when viewing the same audio with a relaxed dancing figure. The implications of this illusory tempo percept for cross-modal sensory integration and working memory are discussed, and an “energistic” account of tempo perception is proposed.
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  • This Spectacular Case Session, in its 11th year, was presented by the Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons (RAS-ACS) at the 2015 Clinical Congress meeting. This session presented 7 multidisciplinary cases from RAS members out of nearly 150 submitted from members located all over the world. The presentations were followed by discussions between residents and panelists, who challenged each other with reviews of procedures and processes for patient care. Audio files of the discussions of each case are included as Supplemental Materials.
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  • Evidence suggests that excessive intake of added sugars has adverse effects on cardiometabolic health, which is consistent with many reviews and consensus reports from WHO and other unbiased sources. 74% of products in the US food supply contain caloric or low-calorie sweeteners, or both. Of all packaged foods and beverages purchased by a nationally representative sample of US households in 2013, 68% (by proportion of calories) contain caloric sweeteners and 2% contain low-calorie sweeteners. We believe that in the absence of intervention, the rest of the world will move towards this pervasiveness of added sugars in the food supply. Our analysis of trends in sales of sugar-sweetened beverages around the world, in terms of calories sold per person per day and volume sold per person per day, shows that the four regions with the highest consumption are North America, Latin America, Australasia, and western Europe. The fastest absolute growth in sales of sugar-sweetened beverages by country in 2009–14 was seen in Chile. We believe that action is needed to tackle the high levels and continuing growth in sales of such beverages worldwide. Many governments have initiated actions to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in the past few years, including taxation (eg, in Mexico); reduction of their availability in schools; restrictions on marketing of sugary foods to children; public awareness campaigns; and positive and negative front-of-pack labelling. In our opinion, evidence of the effectiveness of these actions shows that they are moving in the right direction, but governments should view them as a learning process and improve their design over time. A key challenge for policy makers and researchers is the absence of a consensus on the relation of beverages containing low-calorie sweeteners and fruit juices with cardiometabolic outcomes, since decisions about whether these are healthy substitutes for sugar-sweetened beverages are an integral part of policy design.
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  • This Spectacular Case Session, in its 11th year, was presented by the Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons (RAS-ACS) at the 2015 Clinical Congress meeting. This session presented 7 multidisciplinary cases from RAS members out of nearly 150 submitted from members located all over the world. The presentations were followed by discussions between residents and panelists, who challenged each other with reviews of procedures and processes for patient care. Audio files of the discussions of each case are included as Supplemental Materials.
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  • To improve measurement of upper extremity (UE) use in the community by evaluating the feasibility of using body-worn sensor data and machine learning models to distinguish productive prehensile and bimanual UE activity use from extraneous movements associated with walking.
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