here are the titles and abstracts of some of the more interesting papers from this issue:
HLA genes and surnames show a similar genetic structure in Lombardy: Does this reflect part of the history of the region? (p 311-318)
Antonella Lisa, Annalisa De Silvestri, Luca Mascaretti, Alberto Degiuli, Carmela R. Guglielmino
Abstract Lombardy, in northern Italy, is the most populated and industrialized Italian region. We attempt to study its genetic structure with two independent sets of data: HLA allele frequencies and surnames. According to our results, it is plausible to deduce that ancient history, more than genetic isolation and drift, may have contributed to the present genetic structure of Lombardy. The hypothesis seems to be confirmed by the results of the cluster analysis of the 11 provinces of the region, which was performed using two different types of markers. Both genes and surnames show approximately the same structure. Not only Celts but also ancient Ligurians (and Etruscans) probably shaped the region into the present three clusters in which the 11 provinces appear to be genetically structured. In particular, an ancient historic, archaeological, and linguistic boundary, along the Adda River, seems to be preserved in present-day Lombardy's population structure.
New saliva DNA collection method compared to buccal cell collection techniques for epidemiological studiesNikki L. Rogers , Shelley A. Cole , Hao-Chang Lan , Aldo Crossa, Ellen W. Demerath
Abstract: Epidemiological studies may require noninvasive methods for off-site DNA collection. We compared the DNA yield and quality obtained using a whole-saliva collection device (OrageneTM DNA collection kit) to those from three established noninvasive methods (cytobrush, foam swab, and oral rinse). Each method was tested on 17 adult volunteers from our center, using a random crossover collection design and analyzed using repeated-measures statistics. DNA yield and quality were assessed via gel electrophoresis, spectophotometry, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification rate. The whole-saliva method provided a significantly greater DNA yield (mean ± SD = 154.9 ± 103.05 g, median = 181.88) than the other methods (oral rinse = 54.74 ± 41.72 g, 36.56; swab = 11.44 ± 7.39 g, 10.72; cytobrush = 12.66 ± 6.19, 13.22 g) (all pairwise P <>260/OD280 and OD260/OD230 ratios. We conclude that both a 10-ml oral-rinse sample and 2-ml whole-saliva sample provide sufficient DNA quantity and better quality DNA for genetic epidemiological studies than do the commonly used buccal swab and brush techniques.
Abstract: Few studies in developing countries follow growth trajectories from birth to adulthood. Such studies are important because size at birth and postnatal growth affect risk of chronic disease in adulthood. This study examines the inter-relationships of maternal factors during pregnancy, infant birth weight and length, early postnatal growth, and young adult height, weight, BMI, and skinfold thicknesses, with particular attention to patterns of growth associated with increased chronic disease risk. Women were recruited in pregnancy, and offspring were followed from birth to age 21 in the community-based Cebu (Philippines) Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey. Birth weight and length are independently, positively associated with height, BMI and sum of skinfolds in young adult males and females, and inversely associated with the subscapular to triceps ratio in males only. The effects of size at birth on adult size were modified by birth order, and remained significant after adjusting for maternal nutritional status, socioeconomic status at birth and throughout the growth period, and maturation. Early postnatal growth was strongly influenced by BMI at birth, with rapid early infant weight gain associated with thinness. The growth pattern of the at-risk group most often associated with increased risk of chronic disease (small at birth, relatively heavy as an adult), was characterized by more rapid growth in the first 4 postnatal months. The high level of inter-relatedness of maternal nutrition in pregnancy, prenatal growth, and postnatal growth emphasizes the need to consider the full growth trajectory in studies of developmental origins of adult disease.
, L. V. K. S. Bhaskar , C. Annapurna , A. G. Reddy , K. Thangaraj , A. Papa Rao , Lalji Singh
Endurance running and digit ratio (2D:4D): Implications for fetal testosterone effects on running speed and vascular healthJohn T. Manning , Laura Morris, Noreen Caswell
Abstract: There is anatomical and physiological evidence that endurance running (ER), i.e., running one or more kilometers using aerobic metabolism, originated early in the evolution of Homo, and the consequences of early selection for ER may be important in modern Homo. Here we examine ER performance in competitive ER. ER is sex dependent such that men tend to run faster than women, and the influence of sex on ER suggests that it may be modified by testosterone (T). It is shown that a putative proxy for prenatal T, the ratio of the length of the 2nd and 4th digits (2D:4D), is correlated with ER. Thus performance in training for ER was associated with high prenatal T, as measured by low 2D:4D, in both men and women. In cross-country races from 1 to 4 miles, 2D:4D explained about 25% of the variance in both male and female ER. Therefore, speed in ER was dependent on a proxy for prenatal T. 2D:4D correlates with performance in sport and exercises, which test a mix of strength and fitness, but the associations are in general quite weak with 2D:4D accounting for less than 10% of the variance in performance. Our finding that 2D:4D explains about 25% of the variance in ER suggests that prenatal T is important in determining efficiency in aerobic exercise. Early populations of Homo may have been strongly selected for ER and high prenatal T. The implications of this for patterns of predisposition to cardiovascular disease in modern Homo are discussed.
....and several more interesting ones. Check out the table of contents.