Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) technology has enabled genetic engineering feats previously considered impracticable, offering great hopes for solutions to problems facing society. We consider it timely to highlight how CRISPR can benefit public health, medicine, and agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and offer recommendations for successful implementation.
Suicides are related to diverse demographic, socio-economical, medical and behavioural ‘risk factors’. Theoretical work in suicidology attempts to construct models that explicate the mechanisms underlying these suicides; however, models taking first person perspectives as their primary evidential bases are scarce. Drawing on interviews carried out by researchers at a UK mental health charity during 2010–2012 with people bereaved by suicide ( = 25), suicidal individuals ( = 14) and their ‘significant others’ ( = 15), we present an explanatory model of the process of suicide derived from a Grounded Theory study. Suicide/attempt can be understood as the result of a complex interaction of three elements of experience: ‘lack of trust’, ‘lack of inherent worth’ and ‘suicidal exhaustion’. The first two may be seen as conditions from which the third emerges, but so that all the elements are related to each other reciprocally and the exhaustion and the suicidal thoughts, feelings and behaviours it gives rise to feed back into the initial conditions. Trust, understood as an aspect of experience that allows a person to accommodate uncertainty in relationships and in thinking about the future, is lacking in suicidal people, as is a self-determined sense of worth that is independent of external factors. Substituting inherent worth with self-worth gained from extrinsic factors, and trustful experiencing with strategies of self-reliance and withdrawal, a person begins to consume mental resources at a high rate. ‘Suicidal exhaustion’ is distinguished from other types of chronic mental exhaustion in that it is experienced as non-contingent (arises from living itself) and hopeless in that the exhausted person is unable to envisage a future in which demands on his/her mental resources are fewer, and their replenishment available. The model has potential applications for public participation in suicide prevention, which should be mapped and assessed in further research.
Environmental factors have been shown to contribute to the incidence of Parkinson's disease (PD). Pesticides, which represent one of the primary classes of environmental agents associated with PD, share the common feature of being intentionally released into the environment to control or eliminate pests. Pesticides consist of multiple classes and subclasses of insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides, fungicides, fumigants and others and exhibit a vast array of chemically diverse structures. In this review we examine the evidence regarding the ability of each of the major pesticide subclasses to increase the incidence of PD. We propose that, from a toxicological perspective, it would be beneficial to identify specific subclasses, common structural features and the propensity for widespread human exposure when considering the potential role in PD, rather than using the overly broad term of ‘pesticides’ to describe this diverse group of chemicals. Furthermore, these chemicals and their environmentally relevant combinations should be evaluated for their ability to promote or accelerate PD and not merely for being singular causative agents.
The peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor or recognition site (PBR) is a widely distributed transmembrane protein that is located mainly in the outer mitochondrial membrane. The PBR binds to high-affinity drug ligands and cholesterol. Many functions are associated directly or indirectly with the PBR, including the regulation of cholesterol transport and the synthesis of steroid hormones, porphyrin transport and heme synthesis, apoptosis, cell proliferation, anion transport, regulation of mitochondrial functions and immunomodulation. Based on these functions, there are many potential clinical applications of PBR modulation, such as in oncologic, endocrine, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. Although ‘PBR’ is a widely used and accepted name in the scientific community, recent data regarding the structure and molecular function of this protein increasingly support renaming it to represent more accurately its subcellular role (or roles) and putative tissue-specific function (or functions). Translocator protein (18 kDa) is proposed as a new name, regardless of the subcellular localization of the protein.
Human Fertility Control: Theory and Practice reviews the theoretical and practical concepts of human fertility control and covers topics ranging from hormonal contraception and barrier methods to intra-uterine contraception, legal abortion, and sterilization. Family planning is also discussed, with emphasis on contraception in patients with medical disorders. Comprised of 21 chapters divided into seven sections, this book begins with an introduction to hormonal contraceptives, including the oral ones such as combined pills, sequential pills, and low-dose progestagen pills, along with injectable hormones and implants. The following chapters explore the clinical pharmacology of estrogens and progestagens combined oral contraceptives and the relative effectiveness and risks of hormonal contraception. Barrier methods such as condoms, spermicides, and coitus interruptus (male withdrawal) are also described. The remaining chapters examine intra-uterine devices and complications of intra-uterine contraception issues surrounding legal abortion and methods of operative sterilization. This monograph will be a valuable resource for obstetricians and gynecologists, medical and postgraduate students, nurses and midwives concerned with family planning, and specialists in training..
Health, Safety and Ergonomics provides an account of the part ergonomics play in the improvement of working conditions. The book begins with the presentation of the advantages of ergonomics intervention. Subsequent chapters focus on the discussion of the principles, applications, and methods of ergonomics such as assessment and prediction of human reliability, hazard awareness and risk perception, and work-related musculo-skeletal disorders. Manufacturing automation, the cost of ergonomic limitations, and the direct benefit from ergonomics action on health and safety are elucidated as well. Ergonomics researchers, health and safety engineers, and production managers will find the book useful..
Although public health campaigns advise pregnant women to abstain from ethanol, drinking during pregnancy is pervasive. Here, we highlight recent studies that have clearly demonstrated long-lasting neurobehavioral deficits in the offspring of laboratory animals exposed to moderate levels of ethanol during development. Alterations in learning, memory, motor coordination, social behavior, and stress responses were identified in these animals. Increased vulnerability to substance abuse was also demonstrated. These behavioral alterations have been associated with impairments in neurotransmitter systems, neuromodulators, and/or synaptic plasticity in several brain regions. With this review we hope to contribute to a better appreciation of the potential effects of developmental exposure to moderate ethanol levels, leading to better interventions aimed at relieving fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Hormesis offers the potential to build biological shields to protect against a plethora of age-related diseases and acute trauma (e.g., brain traumatic injury) via the implementation of pre- and postconditioning strategies. These strategies have the potential to markedly enhance a broad spectrum of medical and public health practices.