Health care

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Memories linking environmental cues to alcohol reward are involved in the development and maintenance of heavy drinking. Here, the authors show that a single dose of ketamine, given after retrieval of alcohol-reward memories, disrupts the reconsolidation of these memories and reduces drinking in humans.

    • Ravi K. Das
    • , Grace Gale
    •  & Sunjeev K. Kamboj
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, in a cohort of infants unexposed to maternal antibiotics, the authors analyse the gut microbiome development of children born naturally and by caesarean section, finding a higher abundance of known pathogens in the latter group, and an association between these bacteria and a higher incidence of respiratory infections in the first year of life.

    • Marta Reyman
    • , Marlies A. van Houten
    •  & Debby Bogaert
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Food intake shapes intestinal microbiome composition, which in turn shapes adaptive immune responses. Here the authors show that dietary tryptophan restriction (DTR) protects mice from subsequent autoimmune neuropathology challenge by altering intestinal microbiota, highlighting the potential of diet-regulated microbiota to prevent immune pathology.

    • Jana K. Sonner
    • , Melanie Keil
    •  & Michael Platten
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Currently there are no therapeutics for long lasting central nervous system injuries, that can address the complex injury cascade that develops over years. Here the authors report biomaterial scaffolds that release 17β-estradiol (E2) at nanomolar concentrations over the course of 1–10 years via slow hydrolysis in vitro.

    • Anthony R. D’Amato
    • , Devan L. Puhl
    •  & Edmund F. Palermo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Previous studies have suggested that being hungry causes people to make more selfish and less prosocial decisions. Here, the authors carried out a series of studies to test this claim and found that the effect of acute hunger was very weak at best.

    • Jan A. Häusser
    • , Christina Stahlecker
    •  & Nadira S. Faber
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Diagnosing brain cancer is frequently difficult and requires specialist equipment. Here, the authors develop their previous attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy method and incoporate the use of disposable silicon wafers for diagnosing brain cancer using serum samples.

    • Holly J. Butler
    • , Paul M. Brennan
    •  & Matthew J. Baker
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, Shah et al. perform a meta-analysis and show that people who live or work in agricultural land in Southeast Asia are on average 1.7 times more likely to be infected with a pathogen than controls, suggesting that agricultural land-use increases infectious disease risk.

    • Hiral A. Shah
    • , Paul Huxley
    •  & Kris A. Murray
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy has been associated with impaired birth outcomes. Here, Bové et al. report evidence of black carbon particle deposition on the fetal side of human placentae, including at early stages of pregnancy, suggesting air pollution could affect birth outcome through direct effects on the fetus.

    • Hannelore Bové
    • , Eva Bongaerts
    •  & Tim S. Nawrot
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Renin-angiotensin system inhibitors (RASi) are beneficial in several classes of cardiovascular patients. However, whether their perioperative use is beneficial and/or safe in cardiac surgery is unclear. Here the authors perform a multicenter retrospective cohort study showing that preoperative and postoperative use of RASi is associated with reduction of mortality in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

    • Qian Ding
    • , Zugui Zhang
    •  & Jianzhong Sun
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Detection of viral biomarkers is important for disease treatment and prevention. Here, the authors report on a system that uses an electrical pulse-induced electrochemical sensor for the detection of hepatitis E virus, and demonstrate potential application of the device.

    • Ankan Dutta Chowdhury
    • , Kenshin Takemura
    •  & Enoch Y. Park
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Oral care based foods are of great interest for increasing the dental health of animals. Here, the authors report on computer simulations to optimise the texture and geometry of food in order to maximise tooth abrasion and enhance cleaning efficiency.

    • C. G. Skamniotis
    • , M. Elliott
    •  & M. N. Charalambides
  • Article
    | Open Access

    MRI has been used for the non-invasive imaging of human brain aging but is sensitive to both tissue molecular composition and water content. Here the authors present a quantitative MRI method that discriminates these factors and describe region-specific changes in the molecular composition of the aging human brain.

    • Shir Filo
    • , Oshrat Shtangel
    •  & Aviv A. Mezer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Iatrogenic injury of the ureters is a feared complication of laparoscopic abdominal surgery. Here the authors present the NIR fluorophore ZW800-1 as an intraoperative imaging agent for ureter mapping, showing its safety, pharmacokinetic properties, and efficacy in healthy volunteers and patients undergoing abdominopelvic surgery.

    • Kim S. de Valk
    • , Henricus J. Handgraaf
    •  & Alexander L. Vahrmeijer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A genetic diagnosis remains unattainable for many individuals with a rare disease because of incomplete knowledge about the genetic basis of many diseases. Here, the authors present the web-based tool GADO (GeneNetwork Assisted Diagnostic Optimization) that uses public RNA-seq data for prioritization of candidate genes.

    • Patrick Deelen
    • , Sipko van Dam
    •  & Lude Franke
  • Perspective
    | Open Access

    Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017 and resulted in a complete loss of activity of the Public Health Laboratories. Here, the authors discuss the approach taken and tools developed to re-establish activity in these laboratories using a quality management system and the lessons learned in this process.

    • Margaret C. Hardy
    • , Rita C. Stinnett
    •  & Eduardo O’Neill
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Foreign aid is necessary to control tropical diseases in endemic countries. Here the authors outline the steps taken to control malaria in Africa since 2000 and present an economic model to propose that US$25−30 per capita will be needed to avoid a disease trap.

    • Eric Maskin
    • , Célestin Monga
    •  & Jean-Claude Berthélemy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Gastric aspiration severely injures donor lungs, frequently making them unacceptable for transplantation. Here the authors show that an interventional cross-circulation platform enables the regeneration of severely damaged lungs in a swine model of gastric aspiration injury.

    • Brandon A. Guenthart
    • , John D. O’Neill
    •  & Matthew Bacchetta
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Structural variations in gastric cancer impact progression. Here, the authors perform whole-genome sequencing on 168 gastric cancer patients and identified tandem-duplications of super-enhancer ZFP36L2 in 10% of gastric cancer, and mutational signatures in tumors with cadherin 1 mutations that associated with poor prognoses.

    • Rui Xing
    • , Yong Zhou
    •  & Youyong Lu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a promising treatment for psychiatric disorders, but its mechanism in relieving symptoms is unclear. Here, the authors show that DBS of ventral internal capsule/ventral striatum (VCVS) may act by enhancing prefrontal cortex oscillations that in turn enhance cognitive control.

    • A. S. Widge
    • , S. Zorowitz
    •  & D. D. Dougherty
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The genetic underpinnings of alcohol use disorder and consumption are incompletely understood. Here, the authors perform GWAS for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) Identification Test-Consumption scores and AUD diagnosis from electronic health records of 274,424 individuals and identify a total of 18 associated loci.

    • Henry R. Kranzler
    • , Hang Zhou
    •  & Joel Gelernter
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Imaging the mouse brain using glass cranial windows has limitations in terms of flexibility and long-term imaging. Here the authors engineer transparent polymer skulls that can fit various skull morphologies and can be implanted for over 300 days, enabling simultaneous high resolution brain imaging and electrophysiology across large cortical areas.

    • Leila Ghanbari
    • , Russell E. Carter
    •  & Suhasa B. Kodandaramaiah
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Lack of knowledge of individual infection history hinders understanding of immunological interactions among DENV serotypes. Here, the authors introduce a framework to infer the relationship between unobserved infection history and subsequent infection and disease risk, and find complex dependencies.

    • Tim K. Tsang
    • , Samson L. Ghebremariam
    •  & Yang Yang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In 2014 Guangzhou, China experienced its worse dengue epidemic on record. To determine the reasons for this the authors model historical data under combinations of four time-varying factors and find that past epidemics were limited by one or more unfavourable conditions, but the 2014 epidemic faced none of these restraints.

    • Rachel J. Oidtman
    • , Shengjie Lai
    •  & Hongjie Yu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors explore the relationship between socioeconomic position (SEP) across the life course and inflammation in a multi-cohort study and show that educational attainment is most strongly related to inflammation, suggesting that socioeconomic disadvantage in young adulthood is independently associated with later life inflammation.

    • Eloïse Berger
    • , Raphaële Castagné
    •  & Michelle Kelly-Irving
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sex-stratified medicine is an important and understudied field. Here the authors investigate in a systematic study of the Danish population differences in incidence, risk, and several aspects of diagnoses between sexes and find differences across all areas of disease.

    • David Westergaard
    • , Pope Moseley
    •  & Søren Brunak
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Seasonal malaria chemoprevention provides substantial benefit for young children, but resistance to used drugs will likely develop. Here, Chotsiri et al. evaluate the use of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine as a regimen in 179 children, and population-based simulations suggest that small children would benefit from a higher and extended dosage.

    • Palang Chotsiri
    • , Issaka Zongo
    •  & Joel Tarning
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Organs from donors with transmissible viral infections, such as hepatitis C virus (HCV), are not offered for transplantation due to a high risk of transmission. Here, Galasso et al. develop a method for treatment of HCV-infected human donor lungs that is safe and prevents HCV transmission in the pig model.

    • Marcos Galasso
    • , Jordan J. Feld
    •  & Marcelo Cypel
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Some perinatally HIV infected children who have received early antiretroviral therapy (ART) show long-term sustained virological control after ART cessation. Here the authors describe a case who, at age 9.5 years, shows normal CD4:CD8 T cell ratios and has no detectable levels of replication-competent virus.

    • Avy Violari
    • , Mark F. Cotton
    •  & Caroline T. Tiemessen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There are currently no validated methods for the diagnosis of prion disease at the preclinical stage. Here the authors show that serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification and real-time quaking-induced conversion can be used to detect prions in the skin of prion-inoculated hamsters and humanized transgenic mice at early preclinical stages.

    • Zerui Wang
    • , Matteo Manca
    •  & Wen-Quan Zou
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cancer patients are at an increased risk of suicide: elderly, white, unmarried males with localized disease are at highest risk vs other cancer patients. Among those diagnosed at < 50 years of age, the plurality of suicides is from hematologic and testicular tumors; if > 50, from prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer patients.

    • Nicholas G. Zaorsky
    • , Ying Zhang
    •  & Vernon M. Chinchilli
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Real-time disease surveillance can aid mitigation of outbreaks. Here, Lu et al. combine an approach using Google search and EHR data with an approach leveraging spatiotemporal synchronicities of influenza activity across states to improve state-level influenza activity estimates in the US.

    • Fred S. Lu
    • , Mohammad W. Hattab
    •  & Mauricio Santillana
  • Article
    | Open Access

    While human lifespan is only moderately heritable, “getting old” runs in families. Here, van den Berg et al. study mortality data from three-generation cohorts to define a threshold for longevity and find that individuals have an increasing survival advantage with each additional relative in the top 10% survivors of their birth cohort.

    • Niels van den Berg
    • , Mar Rodríguez-Girondo
    •  & P. Eline Slagboom
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Parasitic nematodes causing onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis rely on a bacterial endosymbiont, Wolbachia, which is a validated therapeutic target. Here, Clare et al. perform a high-throughput screen of 1.3 million compounds and identify 5 chemotypes with faster kill rates than existing anti-Wolbachia drugs.

    • Rachel H. Clare
    • , Catherine Bardelle
    •  & Stephen A. Ward
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Robust surveillance methods are needed for trachoma control and recrudescence monitoring, but existing methods have limitations. Here, Pinsent et al. analyse data from nine trachoma-endemic populations and provide operational thresholds for interpretation of serological data in low transmission and post-elimination settings.

    • Amy Pinsent
    • , Anthony W. Solomon
    •  & Michael. T. White
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Developing new technologies for the neuromodulation of the vagus nerve can enable therapeutic strategies for body weight control in obese patients. Here, the authors present a battery-free self-powered implantable vagus nerve stimulation system that electrically responds to stomach movement.

    • Guang Yao
    • , Lei Kang
    •  & Xudong Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nutritional experience can have phenotypic consequences in subsequent generations, as is evident from studies in animals and plants. Here, Vågerö et al. find in a large three-generation cohort that access to food in the paternal grandfather associates with all-cause and cancer mortality in male grandchildren.

    • Denny Vågerö
    • , Pia R. Pinger
    •  & Gerard J. van den Berg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Biomedical image analysis challenges have increased in the last ten years, but common practices have not been established yet. Here the authors analyze 150 recent challenges and demonstrate that outcome varies based on the metrics used and that limited information reporting hampers reproducibility.

    • Lena Maier-Hein
    • , Matthias Eisenmann
    •  & Annette Kopp-Schneider
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Anemia has a global prevalence of over 2 billion people and is diagnosed via blood-based laboratory test. Here the authors describe a smartphone app that can estimate hemoglobin levels and detect anemia by analyzing pictures of fingernail beds taken with a smartphone and without the need of any external equipment.

    • Robert G. Mannino
    • , David R. Myers
    •  & Wilbur A. Lam
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Photodynamic therapy is usually ineffective against deeply seated metastatic tumors due to poor penetration of the excitation light. Here, the authors design a biomimetic nanoreactor which can convert nutriment glucose into toxic singlet oxygen via chemiluminescence resonance energy transfer with no light excitation and demonstrate its high efficacy in a mouse lung metastatic model.

    • Zhengze Yu
    • , Ping Zhou
    •  & Bo Tang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Treatment-seeking for fever is widely used to estimate treatment of childhood infections, but cross-country comparisons are problematic. Here, the authors estimate the probability of seeking treatment for fever at public facilities across 29 countries by quantifying person-level latent variables.

    • Victor A. Alegana
    • , Joseph Maina
    •  & Andrew J. Tatem