Having an egg a day could reduce risk of stroke by 26 percent — ScienceDaily

People who consume an egg a day could significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases compared with eating no eggs, suggests a study carried out in China, published in the journal Heart.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, including China, mostly due to ischaemic heart disease and stroke (including both haemorrhagic and ischaemic stroke).

Unlike ischaemic heart disease, which is the leading cause of premature death in most Western countries, stroke is the most responsible cause in China, followed by heart disease.

Although ischaemic stroke accounted for the majority of strokes, the proportion of haemorrhagic stroke in China is still higher than that in high income countries.

Eggs are a prominent source of dietary cholesterol, but they also contain high-quality protein, many vitamins and bioactive components such as phospholipids and carotenoids.

Previous studies looking at associations between eating eggs and impact on health have been inconsistent, and most of them found insignificant associations between egg consumption and coronary heart disease or stroke.

Therefore, a team of researchers from China and the UK led by Professor Liming Li and Dr Canqing Yu from the School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center, set out to examine the associations between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease, ischaemic heart disease, major coronary events, haemorrhagic stroke and ischaemic stroke.

They used data from the China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB) study, an ongoing prospective study of around half a million (512,891) adults aged 30 to 79 from 10 different geographical areas in China.

The participants were recruited between 2004-2008 and were asked about the frequency of their egg consumption. They were followed up to determine their morbidity and mortality.

For the new study, the researchers focused on 416,213 participants who were free of prior cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes.

From that group at a median follow-up of 8.9 years, a total of 83,977 cases of CVD and 9,985 CVD deaths were documented, as well as 5,103 major coronary events.

At the start of the study period, 13.1% of participants reported daily consumption (usual amount 0.76 egg/day) and 9.1% reported never or very rare consumption (usual amount 0.29 egg/day) of eggs.

Analysis of the results showed that compared with people not consuming eggs, daily egg consumption was associated with a lower risk of CVD overall.

In particular, daily egg consumers (up to one egg/day) had a 26% lower risk of haemorrhagic stroke — the type of stroke with a higher prevalence rate in China than in high-income countries — a 28% lower risk of haemorrhagic stroke death and an 18% lower risk of CVD death.

In addition, there was a 12% reduction in risk of ischaemic heart disease observed for people consuming eggs daily (estimated amount 5.32 eggs/week), when compared with the ‘never/rarely’ consumption category (2.03 eggs/week).

This was an observational study, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, but the authors said their study had a large sample size and took into account established and potential risk factors for CVD.

The authors concluded: “The present study finds that there is an association between moderate level of egg consumption (up to 1 egg/day) and a lower cardiac event rate.

“Our findings contribute scientific evidence to the dietary guidelines with regard to egg consumption for the healthy Chinese adult.”

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Mice brain structure linked with sex-based differences in anxiety behavior — ScienceDaily

Using male individuals has long been a tradition in scientific mice studies. But new research enforces the importance of using a balanced population of male and female mice.

In a paper published May 22 in the journal Cell Reports, scientists studying the locus coeruleus brain structure in mice unexpectedly found substantial differences in the molecular structures of this part of the brain between male and female mice. They found that female mice had a three-fold higher abundance of the prostaglandin receptor EP3 (PTGER3), as well as elevated levels of Slc6a15 and Lin28b, both genes in regions associated with major depressive disorder (MDD).

“This is particularly interesting because many of the same diseases that are targeted by drugs that work on this structure, such as ADHD or depression, also really have differences in prevalence between men and women in the general population,” says senior author Joseph Dougherty of the Department of Genetics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Women are usually two to four times more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety, and ADHD is more commonly found in males. “We thought it really striking that there was this structure in the brain that is the target of these drugs that also has this very profound molecular-level difference between males and females,” he says.

The researchers initially set out to study gene expression in the mouse locus coeruleus, a small nucleus of neurons in the brain that is the primary source for the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a major target of many drugs to treat disorders like ADHD and depression.

“We are the first to take a genome-wide view of all of the genes utilized in this small structure,” adds Dougherty. In this study, he and his team studied mouse noradrenergic neurons found in the locus coeruleus in vivo and identified over 3,000 transcripts it expressed.

Because Dougherty follows current practices mandated by the National Institutes of Health since 2016, his experiments included a balanced population of both male and female mice in the experiment. When they studied the gene expression of the mice, they unexpectedly found these differences in the transcriptome between the male and female mice in this part of the brain structure.

This finding prodded the researchers to test whether this molecular difference had any functional consequences. They next delivered sulprostone, a drug targeting PTGER3, to see if they could influence its activity. When both male and female mice received sulprostone directly to the locus coeruleus via cannula after a simulated stress event, only the females responded. “We could turn off a stress-induced anxiety like behavior, specifically in the female mice, but not in the males,” says Dougherty, who believes that this sex-based difference may help inform how to conduct experimentation around mood disorders and development of therapeutics.

Going forward, Dougherty plans on researching whether these molecular and functional differences in the locus coeruleus of mice are duplicated in the human brain.

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Researchers define for the first time the mechanisms responsible for the mammary gland development — ScienceDaily

Publication in Nature Cell Biology: researchers at the Université libre de Bruxelles, ULB define for the first time the mechanisms responsible for the mammary gland development.

The mammary gland is the tissue that produces the milk during lactation, allowing the survival of young mammalian offspring. The mammary gland is composed of two main lineages: the basal cells, which surround the inner luminal cells. The luminal cells can be subdivided into ductal cells, and alveolar cells that produce the milk. The basal cells allow the circulation of the milk from the alveoli to the nipple region through their contractile properties. During pubertal mammary gland expansion and adult life, distinct pools of unipotent stem cells replenish the basal and luminal lineages independently of each other’s. However, it remains unclear how mammary gland initially develops. Are embryonic mammary gland progenitors multipotent, meaning that their progenitors are capable of giving rise to both basal and luminal cells? If so, when does the switch from multipotency to unipotency occur? And what are the molecular mechanisms that regulate multipotency and basal and luminal lineage segregation?

In a new study published in Nature Cell Biology, research team led by Prof. Cédric Blanpain, MD/PhD, WELBIO investigator and Professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, identified the mechanisms that regulate mammary gland development. Using a combination of lineage tracing, molecular profiling, single cell sequencing and functional experiments, Aline Wuidart and colleagues demonstrated that mammary gland initially develops from multipotent progenitors during the early steps of embryonic mammary gland morphogenesis whereas postnatal mammary gland development is mediated by lineage-restricted stem cells.

To understand the molecular mechanisms regulating multipotency during embryonic development, the researchers developed a novel strategy to isolate embryonic mammary gland stem cells, and assessed for the first time their molecular features using single cell sequencing in collaboration with Thierry Voet group, KUL/Sanger Institute. Interestingly, only embryonic mammary gland progenitors and not adult cells, expressed a hybrid transcriptional signature comprising markers for both luminal and basal lineages, explaining their multipotent fate at this stage of embryonic development.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. By analyzing the early steps of breast cancer formation, Alexandra Van Keymeulen and Cédric Blanpain previously demonstrated that the expression of one of the most frequently mutated genes in patients with breast cancers reactivates a multipotent program in adult unipotent stem cells. In this new study, the researchers show that embryonic mammary gland progenitors express the same genes than during the reactivation of multipotency associated with breast cancer development. “It was really interesting to see that many genes found to be specifically expressed by embryonic mammary gland progenitors are expressed in aggressive human breast cancers with poor prognosis, further suggesting that the reactivation of a gene expression program characteristic of embryonic mammary gland during tumorigenesis is essential for cancer growth and invasion.” Comments Cédric Blanpain, the senior author of this study.

In conclusion, this new study identifies multipotent embryonic stem cells of the mammary gland, uncovers the molecular features associated with embryonic multipotency and identifies the molecular mechanisms regulating the switch from multipotency to unipotency during mammary gland development. The paradigm uncovered in this study has important implications for the understanding of the development of other glandular organs and tissues such as the prostate that present similar developmental switch. Finally, the mechanisms uncovered here have also implications for cancer development and progression.

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New tech may make prosthetic hands easier for patients to use — ScienceDaily

Researchers have developed new technology for decoding neuromuscular signals to control powered, prosthetic wrists and hands. The work relies on computer models that closely mimic the behavior of the natural structures in the forearm, wrist and hand. The technology could also be used to develop new computer interface devices for applications such as gaming and computer-aided design (CAD).

The technology has worked well in early testing but has not yet entered clinical trials — making it years away from commercial availability. The work was led by researchers in the joint biomedical engineering program at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Current state-of-the-art prosthetics rely on machine learning to create a “pattern recognition” approach to prosthesis control. This approach requires users to “teach” the device to recognize specific patterns of muscle activity and translate them into commands — such as opening or closing a prosthetic hand.

“Pattern recognition control requires patients to go through a lengthy process of training their prosthesis,” says He (Helen) Huang, a professor in the joint biomedical engineering program at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “This process can be both tedious and time-consuming.

“We wanted to focus on what we already know about the human body,” says Huang, who is senior author of a paper on the work. “This is not only more intuitive for users, it is also more reliable and practical.

“That’s because every time you change your posture, your neuromuscular signals for generating the same hand/wrist motion change. So relying solely on machine learning means teaching the device to do the same thing multiple times; once for each different posture, once for when you are sweaty versus when you are not, and so on. Our approach bypasses most of that.”

Instead, the researchers developed a user-generic, musculoskeletal model. The researchers placed electromyography sensors on the forearms of six able-bodied volunteers, tracking exactly which neuromuscular signals were sent when they performed various actions with their wrists and hands. This data was then used to create the generic model, which translated those neuromuscular signals into commands that manipulate a powered prosthetic.

“When someone loses a hand, their brain is networked as if the hand is still there,” Huang says. “So, if someone wants to pick up a glass of water, the brain still sends those signals to the forearm. We use sensors to pick up those signals and then convey that data to a computer, where it is fed into a virtual musculoskeletal model. The model takes the place of the muscles, joints and bones, calculating the movements that would take place if the hand and wrist were still whole. It then conveys that data to the prosthetic wrist and hand, which perform the relevant movements in a coordinated way and in real time — more closely resembling fluid, natural motion.

“By incorporating our knowledge of the biological processes behind generating movement, we were able to produce a novel neural interface for prosthetics that is generic to multiple users, including an amputee in this study, and is reliable across different arm postures,” Huang says.

And the researchers think the potential applications are not limited to prosthetic devices.

“This could be used to develop computer-interface devices for able-bodied people as well,” Huang says. “Such as devices for gameplay or for manipulating objects in CAD programs.”

In preliminary testing, both able-bodied and amputee volunteers were able to use the model-controlled interface to perform all of the required hand and wrist motions — despite having very little training.

“We’re currently seeking volunteers who have transradial amputations to help us with further testing of the model to perform activities of daily living,” Huang says. “We want to get additional feedback from users before moving ahead with clinical trials.

“To be clear, we are still years away from having this become commercially available for clinical use,” Huang stresses. “And it is difficult to predict potential cost, since our work is focused on the software, and the bulk of cost for amputees would be in the hardware that actually runs the program. However, the model is compatible with available prosthetic devices.”

The researchers are also exploring the idea of incorporating machine learning into the generic musculoskeletal model.

“Our model makes prosthetic use more intuitive and reliable, but machine learning could allow users to gain more nuanced control by allowing the program to learn each person’s daily needs and preferences and better adapt to a specific user in the long term,” Huang says.

Microwave/RF cable assemblies meet mil/aero qualifications

W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. (Gore) has announced that the
GORE-FLIGHT Microwave Assemblies and GORE Microwave/RF Assemblies for
military/aerospace applications have passed U.S. Army flight qualifications on
the MH-47 Rotorcraft. Gore provided a complex harness that included more than
100 of its rugged assemblies for the ALQ-211 SIRFC, a critical aircraft
survivability system used by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment
(SOAR).

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Gore also provided a similar microwave/RF solution for Aircraft
Survivability Equipment (ASE) on the MH-60 Rotorcraft that is expected to pass
U.S. Army flight qualifications in the next several months. The company also is
working with the U.S. Army to provide high-speed data interconnects for future
APR-39 D(V) 2 radar warning receivers on the Apache D model.

Gore
offers an extensive portfolio of advanced cables, cable assemblies, and
materials designed specifically for harsh military conditions. Products include
microwave/RF assemblies, high-data-rate cables, high-power delivery cables,
aircraft sealants, and shielding materials.

USB 3.0 cable assemblies feature thumbscrews

MilesTek has introduced a new series of USB 3.0 cable assemblies
with thumbscrews that tackle high vibration and vision applications. Aimed at
military and industrial applications in which cable pull can occur from
excessive vibration, the MUS3A-series cables feature a unique molded
connector that includes two thumbscrews on one end of the assembly and a
standard male USB 3.0 connector on the other end.

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The
cables are manufactured per the mechanical requirements of the USB3 Vision
standard and feature 30-micro-inch gold-plated contacts and throughput of 4.8
Gbits/s. The USB 3.0 cables with thumbscrews are in stock and available
for immediate shipment.

Learn more about MilesTek

Inductor offers high operating temp

Vishay Intertechnology has launched a new series of low-profile,
high-current IHLP inductors that claims to be the industry’s first to meet
the requirements of MIL-STD-981 class S. Designed for high reliability in
space-grade applications, the Vishay Custom Magnetics SGIHLP series of
inductors features a ruggedized package and performs at high operating
temperatures to 180°C.

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The SGIHLP series, featuring a magnetically shielded construction,
are offered in five case sizes and are optimized for DC/DC converters and
high-current noise-suppression filters in satellites and defense systems.

Applications include low-profile, high-current power supplies, and
point-of-load (POL) converters; “flight-ready” solar inverters, high current
filters, and DC/DC converters in distributed power systems.

Key
features include high efficiency with typical direct current resistance (DCR)
from 0.56 mΩ to 240 mΩ, inductance values from 0.22 µH to 100 µH, and rated
currents to 100 A. Handling high transient current spikes without saturation,
the inductors provide excellent inductance and saturation stability over the
operating temperature range, said Vishay. Technical datasheets can be found
at www.vishay.com by entering SGIHLP in the “Part
# / Keyword Search” field.

Resettable TCO protects higher-capacity Li-ion batteries

Touting a lightweight and smaller size, Bourns Inc. has released a
new series of miniature
resettable thermal cutoff (TCO) devices
, claiming breakthrough current capacity in a miniature package.
Building on its Model AA series, the new Model AC parts offer improved features
to protect higher-capacity lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery cells.

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Helping battery pack designers save design space and weight, the
AC series is 0.12 mm thinner and 16% lighter than the existing Model AA
devices. The smaller size coupled with higher capacity also help designers
extend Li-ion cell usage beyond the traditional laptop, tablet, and smartphone
applications to power tools, electric vehicles, e-bikes, and grid storage
applications, said Bourns.

The previous Model AA series offered four trip temperature options
from 72°C to 85°C, which the Model AC extends with a fifth option of 90°C. The
new option can carry up to 20 A at 60°C. This makes it the highest
current-carrying TCO device that Bourns offers. The devices also offer
extremely low impedance/resistance (2 mΩ max.). The series is RoHS-compliant
and halogen-free.

Pricing
for the Model AC72ABD is $0.73 each in quantities of 3,000. For more product
information, please see https://bit.ly/1VjH7ai.

MLCCs deliver high capacitance, low ESR

Combing high capacitance and low equivalent series resistance
(ESR), TDK Corp. has introduced its CA series of vertically-stacked MEGACAP
Type multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) with a capacitance range from 20 nF
to 150 µF. The new MLCCs are available with C0G, X7T, X7S, and X7R temperature
characteristics and offer a rated voltage range from 25 V to 1,000 V.

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TDK has adapted its MEGACAP stack design so that the MLCC elements
are stacked side by side to achieve a low profile with increased capacitance.
This vertically stacked design also enables stacks with three or more elements.
The CA series will be available initially with 2x and 3x stacks, with future
expansion with 5x stacks.

Other features include metal lead frames attached to the electrode
ends of the components to protect against board flexure cracks and solder
cracks from thermal shocks. The metal material of the terminal has been
optimized to lower the ESR and achieve a higher ripple current capability, said
TDK.

In addition, the hybrid joints between the metal terminals and the
MLCCs are soldered and clamped to prevent the individual MLCC elements from
falling out of the lead frame at higher reflow temperatures, said the company.

The
new capacitors are suitable for the resonant circuits of wireless and plug-in
charging systems such as for industrial vehicles and robots. They can also be
used in smoothing and decoupling applications in industrial equipment.
Production of the CA series began in April 2018. Automotive-grade products will
be introduced after mid-2018.

High-reliability resistors target compact circuits

TT Electronics has expanded its high-reliability CR and HR series
with two resistor types in the 0603 size. These thick-film chip resistors
target compact circuits in aerospace, military, communications, medical, and
industrial applications.

Both resistor series’ thick-film elements claim a higher surge
tolerance than thin-film, which also improves reliability, said TT Electronics.
The CR0603 resistors are available in values from 1R0 to 10M with tolerance
values down to 0.1%. CECC 40401-008 screened parts are optionally available. Applications
include sub-sea repeaters, mainframe systems, and hi-rel systems.

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The resistors’ optional screened release (CECC) enhances
reliability, reduces field failures, and provides low demonstrated FIT rates
compared to competing commodity products, according to the company. Seven sizes
are available from 0503 up to 2512. The CECC-approved resistors are also
available as shorting links.

The HR0603 resistors are available in values from 10M to 20G with
tolerance values down to 5%. Specific applications include high gain
amplifiers, infra-red and glass break sensors, and smoke, gas, and medical
monitors. The HR series’ high-ohmic-value resistors offer enhanced reliability
and reduced field failures compared to series-connected, multi-chip solutions
and deliver a low voltage coefficient of resistance. Custom designs and sizes
are available.

The solder terminations for both series have a nickel barrier
layer that ensures excellent “leach” resistance properties and solderability,
and they will withstand immersion in solder at 260°C for 30 seconds. Both series
also include gold wire bond or solder terminations. An ambient temperature
range of –55°C to 155°C is specified for both ranges. All relevant marking
information is recorded on the primary package or reel.

Datasheets
can be found at https://bit.ly/2KE3gOd and https://bit.ly/2KKBXBQ.