Statistical aspects of food safety sampling
Jongenburger, I. ; Besten, H.M.W. den; Zwietering, M.H. - \ 2015
Annual Review of Food Science and Technology 6 (2015). - ISSN 1941-1413 - p. 479 - 503.
microbiological risk-assessment - escherichia-coli o157 - microbial counts - probable number - salmonella-typhimurium - listeria-monocytogenes - hygienic performances - united-states - distributions - water
In food safety management, sampling is an important tool for verifying control. Sampling by nature is a stochastic process. However, uncertainty regarding results is made even greater by the uneven distribution of microorganisms in a batch of food. This article reviews statistical aspects of sampling and describes the impact of distributions on the sampling results. Five different batch contamination scenarios are illustrated: a homogeneous batch, a heterogeneous batch with high- or low-level contamination, and a batch with localized high- or low-level contamination. These batch contamination scenarios showed that sampling results have to be interpreted carefully, especially when heterogeneous and localized contamination in food products is expected.
West Nile Virus: High Transmission Rate in North-Western European Mosquitoes Indicates Its Epidemic Potential and Warrants Increased Surveillance
Fros, J.J. ; Geertsema, C. ; Vogels, C.B.F. ; Roosjen, P.P.J. ; Failloux, A.B. ; Vlak, J.M. ; Koenraadt, C.J.M. ; Takken, W. ; Pijlman, G.P. - \ 2015
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 9 (2015)7. - ISSN 1935-2727
united-states - differential virulence - experimental-infection - vector competence - lineage 1 - outbreak - circulation - strains - disease - encephalitis
West Nile virus (WNV) is on the rise in Europe, with increasing numbers of human cases of neurological disease and death since 2010. However, it is currently unknown whether or not WNV will continue to spread to north-western Europe (NWE), in a fashion similar to the WNV epidemic sweep in the United States (1999–2004). The presence of competent mosquitoes is a strict requirement for WNV transmission, but no laboratory studies have been conducted with the new European lineage 2 WNV outbreak strain. Our study is the first to investigate transmissibility in NWE Culex pipiens for lineage 2 WNV in a systematic, direct comparison with North American Culex pipiens and with the lineage 1 WNV strain. We demonstrate that European mosquitoes are highly competent for both WNV lineages, which underscores the epidemic potential ofWNV in Europe. However, the transmission rate for lineage 2 WNV was significantly lower in North American mosquitoes, which indicates different risk levels between both continents for lineage 2 but not lineage 1 WNV. Based on our result, we propose that WNV surveillance in mosquitoes and birds must be intensified in Europe to allow early detection, timely intervention strategies and prevent outbreaks of WNV neurological disease.
Ethics, Risk and Benefits Associated with Different Applications of Nanotechnology: a Comparison of Expert and Consumer Perceptions of Drivers of Societal Acceptance
Gupta, N. ; Fischer, A.R.H. ; Frewer, L.J. - \ 2015
NanoEthics 9 (2015)2. - ISSN 1871-4757 - p. 93 - 108.
repertory grid methodology - food-production - united-states - public acceptance - gm foods - attitudes - trust - technologies - knowledge - science
Examining those risk and benefit perceptions utilised in the formation of attitudes and opinions about emerging technologies such as nanotechnology can be useful for both industry and policy makers involved in their development, implementation and regulation. A broad range of different socio-psychological and affective factors may influence consumer responses to different applications of nanotechnology, including ethical concerns. A useful approach to identifying relevant consumer concerns and innovation priorities is to develop predictive constructs which can be used to differentiate applications of nanotechnology in a way which is meaningful to consumers. This requires elicitation of attitudinal constructs from consumers, rather than measuring attitudes assumed to be important by the researcher. Psychological factors influencing societal responses to 15 applications of nanotechnology drawn from different application areas (e.g. medicine,agriculture and environment, food, military, sports, and cosmetics) were identified using repertory grid method in conjunction with generalised Procrustes analysis. The results suggested that people differentiate nanotechnology applications based on the extent to which they perceive them to be beneficial, useful,necessary and important. The benefits may be offset by perceived risks focusing on fear and ethical concerns. Compared to an earlier expert study on societal acceptance of nanotechnology, consumers emphasised ethical issues compared to experts but had less concern regarding potential physical contact with the product and time to market introduction. Consumers envisaged fewer issues with several applications compared to experts, in particular food applications.
Social proof in the supermarket: Promoting healthy choices under low self-control conditions
Salmon, S.J. ; Vet, E. de; Adriaanse, M.A. ; Fennis, B.M. ; Veltkamp, M. ; Ridder, D.T.D. de - \ 2015
Food Quality and Preference 45 (2015). - ISSN 0950-3293 - p. 113 - 120.
limited-resource account - ego depletion - physical-activity - decision-making - strength model - united-states - food choices - behavior - consumption - motivation
Under low self-control conditions, people often favor tempting but unhealthy food products. Instead of fighting against low self-control to reduce unhealthy food choices, we aim to demonstrate in a field study that heuristic decision tendencies can be exploited under these conditions. To do so a healthy product was associated with a social proof heuristic, referring to the tendency to adopt the option preferred by others. A healthy low-fat cheese was promoted with banners stating it was the most sold cheese in that supermarket. A state of low self-control was experimentally induced in the supermarket, and compared to a high self-control condition. Participants low in self-control were more likely to buy the low-fat cheese, when this product was associated with the social proof heuristic, compared to when it was not. This suggests that under low self-control conditions, presenting social proof cues may benefit healthy purchases.
Enemies lost: parallel evolution in structural defense and tolerance to herbivory of invasive Jacobaea vulgaris
Lin, T. ; Doorduin, L. ; Temme, A. ; Pons, T.L. ; Lamers, G.E.M. ; Anten, N.P.R. ; Vrieling, K. - \ 2015
Biological Invasions 17 (2015)8. - ISSN 1387-3547 - p. 2339 - 2355.
nitrogen-use efficiency - increased competitive ability - leaf construction cost - pyrrolizidine alkaloids - senecio-jacobaea - united-states - generalist herbivores - biomass allocation - biological-control - sapium-sebiferum
According to the Shifting Defense Hypothesis, invasive plants should trade-off their costly quantitative defense to cheaper qualitative defense and growth due to the lack of natural specialist enemies and the presence of generalist enemies in the introduced areas. Several studies showed that plant genotypes from the invasive areas had a better qualitative defense than genotypes from the native area but only a few studies have focused on the quantitative defenses and tolerance ability. We compared structural defenses, tolerance and growth between invasive and native plant populations from different continents using the model plant Jacobaea vulgaris. We examined several microscopical structure traits, toughness, amount of cell wall proteins, growth and root-shoot ratio, which is a proxy for tolerance. The results show that invasive Jacobaea vulgaris have thinner leaves, lower leaf mass area, lower leaf cell wall protein contents and a lower root-shoot ratio than native genotypes. It indicates that invasive genotypes have poorer structural defense and tolerance to herbivory but potentially higher growth compared to native genotypes. These findings are in line with the Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability hypothesis and Shifting Defense Hypothesis. We also show that the invasiveness of this species in three geographically separated regions is consistently associated with the loss of parts of its quantitative defense and tolerance ability. The simultaneous change in quantitative defense and tolerance of the same magnitude and direction in the three nvasive regions can be explained by parallel evolution. We argue that such parallel evolution might be attributed to the absence of natural enemies rather than adaptation to local abiotic factors, since climate conditions among these three regions were different. Understanding such evolutionary changes helps to understand why plant species become invasive and might be important for biological control.
Designing urban parks that ameliorate the effects of climate change
Brown, R.D. ; Vanos, J. ; Kenny, N. ; Lenzholzer, S. - \ 2015
Landscape and Urban Planning 138 (2015). - ISSN 0169-2046 - p. 118 - 131.
outdoor thermal comfort - green space - heat-stress - united-states - cool island - temperature - health - mortality - cities - environments
Many inhabitants of cities throughout the world suffer from health problems and discomfort that are caused by overheating of urban areas, and there is compelling evidence that these problems will be exacerbated by global climate change. Most cities are not designed to ameliorate these effects although it is well-known that this is possible, especially through evidence-based climate-responsive design of urban open spaces. Urban parks and green spaces have the potential to provide thermally comfortable environments and help reduce vulnerability to heat stress. However, in order for them to provide this function, parks must be designed within the context of the prevailing climate and predicted future climates. To analyze the effects of elements that alter microclimate in parks, we used human energy budget simulations. We modelled the outdoor human energy budget in a range of warm to hot climate zones and interpreted the results in terms of thermal comfort and health vulnerability. Reduction of solar radiant input with trees had the greatest effect in all test cities. Reduction in air temperature was the second-most important component, and in some climates was nearly as important as incorporating shade. We then conducted similar modelling using predicted climates for the middle of the century, emphasizing the importance of city-level efforts for park design to assist in minimizing future climate-related urban health risks. These simulations suggested that heat waves in many climates will produce outdoor environments where people will be in extreme danger of heat stress, but that appropriately designed parks can reduce the threat
Socio-economic status and ethnicity are independently associated with dietary patterns: the HELIUS-Dietary Patterns study
Dekker, L.H. ; Nicolau, M. ; Dam, R.M. van; Vries, J.H.M. de - \ 2015
Food and Nutrition Research 59 (2015). - ISSN 1654-661X - 12 p.
cardiovascular-disease - food-consumption - british adults - united-states - random sample - risk-factors - life-style - health - netherlands - europe
Background: Differences in dietary patterns between ethnic groups have often been observed. These differences may partially be a reflection of differences in socio-economic status (SES) or may be the result of differences in the direction and strength of the association between SES and diet. Objective: We aimed to examine ethnic differences in dietary patterns and the role of socio-economic indicators on dietary patterns within a multi-ethnic population. Design: Cross-sectional multi-ethnic population-based study. Setting: Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Subjects: Principal component analysis was used to identify dietary patterns among Dutch (n1,254), South Asian Surinamese (n425), and African Surinamese (n784) participants. Levels of education and occupation were used to indicate SES. Linear regression analysis was used to examine the association between ethnicity and dietary pattern scores first and then between socio-economic indicators and dietary patterns within and between ethnic groups. Results: ‘Noodle/rice dishes and white meat’, ‘red meat, snacks, and sweets’ and ‘vegetables, fruit and nuts’ patterns were identified. Compared to the Dutch origin participants, Surinamese more closely adhered to the ‘noodle/rice dishes and white meat’ pattern which was characterized by foods consumed in a ‘traditional Surinamese diet’. Closer adherence to the other two patterns was observed among Dutch compared to Surinamese origin participants. Ethnic differences in dietary patterns persisted within strata of education and occupation. Surinamese showed greater adherence to a ‘traditional’ pattern independent of SES. Among Dutch participants, a clear socio-economic gradient in all dietary patterns was observed. Such a gradient was only present among Surinamese dietary oatterns to the ‘vegetables, fruit and nuts’ pattern. Conclusions: We found a selective change in the adherence to dietary patterns among Surinamese origin participants, presumably a move towards more vegetables and fruits with higher SES but continued fidelity to the traditional diet.
Micronutrient intakes and potential inadequacies of community-dwelling older adults: a systematic review
Borg, S. ter; Verlaan, S. ; Hemsworth, J. ; Mijnarends, D. ; Schols, J.M.G.A. ; Luiking, Y.C. ; Groot, C.P.G.M. de - \ 2015
The British journal of nutrition 113 (2015)8. - ISSN 0007-1145 - p. 1195 - 1206.
vitamin-d status - elderly-people - cognitive function - dietary assessment - nutritional-status - nutrient intake - food-consumption - intake adequacy - united-states - energy-intake
Micronutrient deficiencies and low dietary intakes among community-dwelling older adults are associated with functional decline, frailty and difficulties with independent living. As such, studies that seek to understand the types and magnitude of potential dietary inadequacies might be beneficial for guiding future interventions. We carried out a systematic review following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. Observational cohort and longitudinal studies presenting the habitual dietary intakes of older adults ( = 65 years) were included. Sex-specific mean (and standard deviation) habitual micronutrient intakes were extracted from each article to calculate the percentage of older people who were at risk for inadequate micronutrient intakes using the estimated average requirement (EAR) cut-point method. The percentage at risk for inadequate micronutrient intakes from habitual dietary intakes was calculated for twenty micronutrients. A total of thirty-seven articles were included in the pooled systematic analysis. Of the twenty nutrients analysed, six were considered a possible public health concern: vitamin D, thiamin, riboflavin, Ca, Mg and Se. The extent to which these apparent inadequacies are relevant depends on dynamic factors, including absorption and utilisation, vitamin and mineral supplement use, dietary assessment methods and the selection of the reference value. In light of these considerations, the present review provides insight into the type and magnitude of vitamin and mineral inadequacies.
Impact of smoking and smoking cessation on cardiovascular events and mortality among older adults: meta-analysis of individual participant data from prospective cohort studies of the CHANCES consortium
Mons, U. ; Müezzinler, A. ; Gellert, C. ; Schöttker, B. ; Abnet, C.C. ; Bobak, M. ; Groot, C.P.G.M. de; Freedman, N.D. ; Jansen, E. ; Kee, F. ; Kromhout, D. ; Kuulasmaa, K. ; Laatikainen, T. - \ 2015
BMJ: British Medical Journal 350 (2015). - ISSN 0959-8138 - 12 p.
rate advancement periods - myocardial-infarction - cigarette-smoking - united-states - risk-factors - health - disease - population - stroke - women
Objective - To investigate the impact of smoking and smoking cessation on cardiovascular mortality, acute coronary events, and stroke events in people aged 60 and older, and to calculate and report risk advancement periods for cardiovascular mortality in addition to traditional epidemiological relative risk measures. Design - Individual participant meta-analysis using data from 25 cohorts participating in the CHANCES consortium. Data were harmonised, analysed separately employing Cox proportional hazard regression models, and combined by meta-analysis. Results - Overall, 503¿905 participants aged 60 and older were included in this study, of whom 37¿952 died from cardiovascular disease. Random effects meta-analysis of the association of smoking status with cardiovascular mortality yielded a summary hazard ratio of 2.07 (95% CI 1.82 to 2.36) for current smokers and 1.37 (1.25 to 1.49) for former smokers compared with never smokers. Corresponding summary estimates for risk advancement periods were 5.50 years (4.25 to 6.75) for current smokers and 2.16 years (1.38 to 2.39) for former smokers. The excess risk in smokers increased with cigarette consumption in a dose-response manner, and decreased continuously with time since smoking cessation in former smokers. Relative risk estimates for acute coronary events and for stroke events were somewhat lower than for cardiovascular mortality, but patterns were similar. Conclusions - Our study corroborates and expands evidence from previous studies in showing that smoking is a strong independent risk factor of cardiovascular events and mortality even at older age, advancing cardiovascular mortality by more than five years, and demonstrating that smoking cessation in these age groups is still beneficial in reducing the excess risk.
Towards strategies to adapt to pressures on safety of fresh produce due to climate change
Kirezieva, K.K. ; Jacxsens, L. ; Boekel, T. van; Luning, P.A. - \ 2015
Food Research International 68 (2015). - ISSN 0963-9969 - p. 94 - 107.
waterborne disease outbreaks - escherichia-coli o157-h7 - extreme weather events - food safety - pesticide-residues - aflatoxin contamination - mycotoxin contamination - sustainable development - foodborne illness - united-states
This article outlines the findings from a Delphi study aimed to generate insights from a systems perspective about responding to climate change in terms of food safety of fresh produce. The study identified pressures to food safety of fresh produce at primary production, related to contamination of water sources and production environment with microorganisms, pesticide residues, mycotoxins and heavy metals due to heavy rainfalls and floods, droughts, increased temperature and change in seasonality, as results of climate change. First response to these pressures is realised by the core control activities implemented at farm, and depends on their current implementation and actual operation. The experts highlighted the need to strengthen activities, such as water control (including water treatment and quality monitoring), irrigation method, pesticide management (and pre-harvest intervals), personal hygiene requirements and (cold) storage control. Validating the effectiveness of control activities for the changed circumstances, guidance and training to the farmers was emphasized. Moreover, response strategies were proposed for farms to cope with the pressures immediately after occurring and to adapt long-term with support at the community level. The participating experts represented countries from the global north with industrialised food systems, and from the global south — with structured and traditional food systems. They assessed the likelihood of most pressures as higher for the countries from the global south, which was explained by existing response strategies in the global north. It was proposed that the adaptive and coping capacities of companies, regions and sectors are determined by the currently available adaptation and coping strategies. The pressures to food safety can differ per company, supply chain, region and sector due to variability of current climate vulnerabilities, control activities, and adaptive capacity. This paper argues that future adaptation actions should take into account the context of countries, sectors and companies, thus, focus on improving adaptive capacity from a systems perspective.
Food Insecurity and Food Access in U.S. Metro Areas
Bonanno, A. ; Li, J. - \ 2015
Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 37 (2015)2. - ISSN 2040-5790 - p. 177 - 204.
stamp program - wal-mart - neighborhood characteristics - united-states - competition - variables - models - participation - supercenters - endogeneity
Household food insecurity in the United States has reached its highest levels to date. As public and private initiatives have emerged to help improve diets by fostering access to food, the availability of more food stores may result in lower levels of food insecurity. In this article, we assess the relationship between adult food insecurity and food store density in metropolitan areas of the United States. We find that while small grocery/convenience stores show a mitigating effect on adult food insecurity across different samples of households, the effects of large supermarkets/grocery stores and supercenters vary. We also find that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participation and food access can have a simultaneously beneficial effect in reducing adult food insecurity. Implications for policies aiming to improve food security by fostering access to food stores are discussed.
An updated conventional- and a novel GM potato late blight R gene differential set for virulence monitoring of Phytophthora infestans
Suxian Zhu, Suxian ; Vossen, J.H. ; Bergervoet-van Deelen, J.E.M. ; Nijenhuis, M.A. ; Kodde, L.P. ; Kessel, G.J.T. ; Vleeshouwers, V.G.A.A. ; Visser, R.G.F. ; Jacobsen, E. - \ 2015
Euphytica 202 (2015)2. - ISSN 0014-2336 - p. 219 - 234.
resistance genes - solanum-bulbocastanum - disease resistance - durable resistance - rxlr effectors - united-states - pathogen - population - races - diversity
Late blight is an important disease in potato that is caused by the oomycete Phytophthora infestans. In the past, Solanum demissum late blight resistance (R) genes were introgressed into cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum). Eleven of these resistant plants were selected to characterize the virulence spectrum of individual P. infestans isolates and to monitor the dynamics of virulence in P. infestans populations. These plants are referred to as the Mastenbroek and Black differential sets. It has long been assumed that each differential plant contained one single R gene. In the current study and previous studies, however, most Mastenbroek differential plants were shown to harbor multiple R gene(s), which blurs virulence typing of late blight isolates. In order to acquire more accurate virulence profiles, we extended the Mastenbroek differential set with Solanum spp. plants harboring reduced R gene complexity and with plants containing recently identified R genes from related but different Solanum species. In addition, a differential set of ten Genetically Modified (GM) plants harboring single late blight R genes in the same genetic background (Desiree). By analyzing the virulence spectra of recently collected isolates using both newly described differential sets, we found that the GM Desiree differential set was more accurate for isolate virulence typing than the conventional (extended) differential set. Besides, the GM Desiree differential set was shown to be useful as trap plants to isolate novel P. infestans strains and to monitor virulence towards particular R genes in P. infestans populations `on site´. Legislative restrictions are, however, limiting the use of the GM Desiree differential set.
Structural bisphenol analoques differentially target steroidogenesis in murine MA-10 Leydig cells as well as the glucocorticoid receptor
Roelofs, M.J.E. ; Berg, M. van den; Bovee, T.F.H. ; Piersma, A.H. ; Duursen, M.B.M. van - \ 2015
Toxicology 329 (2015). - ISSN 0300-483X - p. 10 - 20.
endocrine-disrupting chemicals - tetrabromobisphenol-a tbbpa - brominated flame retardants - one-generation reproduction - in-vitro - fetal testis - exogenous progesterone - gene-expression - risk-assessment - united-states
Although much information on the endocrine activity of bisphenol A (BPA) is available, a proper human hazard assessment of analogues that are believed to have a less harmful toxicity profile is lacking. Here the possible effects of BPA, bisphenol F (BPF), bisphenol S (BPS), as well as the brominated structural analogue and widely used flame retardant tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) on human glucocorticoid and androgen receptor (GR and AR) activation were assessed. BPA, BPF, and TBBPA showed clear GR and AR antagonism with IC50 values of 67 µM, 60 µM, and 22 nM for GR, and 39 µM, 20 µM, and 982 nM for AR, respectively, whereas BPS did not affect receptor activity. In addition, murine MA-10 Leydig cells exposed to the bisphenol analogues were assessed for changes in secreted steroid hormone levels. Testicular steroidogenesis was altered by all bisphenol analogues tested. TBBPA effects were more directed towards the male end products and induced testosterone synthesis, while BPF and BPS predominantly increased the levels of progestagens that are formed in the beginning of the steroidogenic pathway. The MA-10 Leydig cell assay shows added value over the widely used H295R steroidogenesis assay because of its fetal-like characteristics and specificity for the physiologically more relevant testicular ¿4 steroidogenic pathway. Therefore, adding an in vitro assay covering fetal testicular steroidogenesis, such as the MA-10 cell line, to the panel of tests used to screen potential endocrine disruptors, is highly recommendable.
Dietary supplement use and colorectal cancer risk: A systematic review and meta-analyses of prospective cohort studies
Heine-Bröring, R.C. ; Winkels, R.M. ; Renkema, J.M.S. ; Kragt, L. ; Orten-Luiten, A.C.B. van; Tigchelaar, E.F. ; Chan, D.S.M. ; Norat, T. ; Kampman, E. - \ 2015
International Journal of Cancer 136 (2015)10. - ISSN 0020-7136 - p. 2388 - 2401.
beta-carotene supplementation - base-line characteristics - iowa womens health - combined folic-acid - colon-cancer - vitamin-d - multivitamin use - united-states - life-style - randomized-trial
Use of dietary supplements is rising in countries where colorectal cancer is prevalent. We conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analyses of prospective cohort studies on dietary supplement use and colorectal cancer risk. We identified relevant studies in Medline, Embase and Cochrane up to January 2013. Original and peer-reviewed papers on dietary supplement use and colorectal cancer, colon cancer, or rectal cancer incidence were included. “Use-no use”(U-NU), “highest-lowest”(H-L) and “dose-response”(DR) meta-analyses were performed. Random-effects models were used to estimate summary estimates. In total, 24 papers were included in the meta-analyses. We observed inverse associations for colorectal cancer risk and multivitamin (U-NU: RR¿=¿0.92; 95% CI: 0.87,0.97) and calcium supplements (U-NU: RR¿=¿0.86; 95% CI: 0.79,0.95; H-L: RR¿=¿0.80; 95% CI: 0.70,0.92; DR: for an increase of 100 mg/day, RR¿=¿0.96; 95% CI: 0.94,0.99). Inconsistent associations were found for colon cancer risk and supplemental vitamin A and vitamin C, and for colorectal cancer risk and supplemental vitamin D, vitamin E, garlic and folic acid. Meta-analyses of observational studies suggest a beneficial role for multivitamins and calcium supplements on colorectal cancer risk, while the association with other supplements and colorectal cancer risk is inconsistent. Residual confounding of lifestyle factors might be present. Before recommendations can be made, an extensive assessment of dietary supplement use and a better understanding of underlying mechanisms is needed.
Inter-ethnic differences in genetic variants within the transmembrane protease, serine 6 (TMPRSS6) gene associated with iron status indicators: a systematic review with meta-analyses
Gichohi, W.N. ; Towers, G.W. ; Swinkels, D.W. ; Zimmermann, M.B. ; Feskens, E.J.M. ; Boonstra, A. - \ 2015
Genes & Nutrition 10 (2015). - ISSN 1555-8932 - 15 p.
genome-wide association - deficiency anemia - african-americans - matriptase-2 tmprss6 - serum hepcidin - transferrin saturation - caucasian populations - racial-differences - common variants - united-states
Transmembrane protease, serine 6 (TMPRSS6), is likely to be involved in iron metabolism through its pleiotropic effect on hepcidin concentrations. Recently, genome-wide association studies have identified common variants in the TMPRSS6 gene to be linked to anaemia and low iron status. To get a more precise evaluation of identified TMPRSS6 single nucleotide polymorphism associations with iron status in cohorts of differing continental ancestry, we conducted a systematic review with meta-analyses. We searched the literature using HuGE Navigator, Pubmed and Scopus databases for primarily genome-wide association studies using TMPRSS6 as a free term. Fixed-effects meta-analysis was used to obtain summary estimates of associations. Eleven studies comprised Caucasian populations, four included an Asian population and one study included an African-American population. Differences in minor allele frequencies of 8 TMPRSS6 SNPs (rs855791, rs4820268, rs2111833, rs1421312, rs228921, rs228918, rs228919 and rs575620) across ethnic groups were observed, with the MAF of rs855791 significantly higher in Asian populations than in Caucasians (0.55 vs 0.42, P <0.0001). In the meta-analysis, the A allele of rs855791 was associated with lower Hb and ferritin concentrations in all populations. This allele was also associated with increased serum transferrin receptor and transferrin concentrations. We observed similar associations for the G allele in rs4820268. Clear disparities in associations were found for the African-American population, although not statistically significant. Associations between TMPRSS6 SNPs and anaemia are consistent across Caucasian and Asian populations. This study highlights the need to conduct studies in African populations where iron deficiency is of utmost public health significance.
Performance assessment of food safety management systems in animal-based food companies in view of their context characteristics: A European study
Luning, P.A. ; Kirezieva, K. ; Hagelaar, G. ; Rovira, J. ; Uyttendaele, M. ; Jacxsens, L. - \ 2015
Food Control 49 (2015). - ISSN 0956-7135 - p. 11 - 22.
critical control point - hazard analysis - processing plants - united-states - microbial-contamination - haccp implementation - escherichia-coli - pasteurized milk - quality - meat
Recurrently the question arises if efforts in food safety management system (FSMS) have resulted in effective systems in animal-based food production systems. The aim of this study was to gain an insight in the performance of FSMS in European animal-based food production companies in view of their typical context characteristics. Hundred European companies (from Belgium, Spain, The Netherlands, Greece, Italy, and Hungary) varying in company size, and producing different types of fresh and processed animal-derived products (dairy, beef/lamb, poultry, and pork) were assed using a diagnostic instrument. Results indicated that most participating companies adapted adequately their food safety management systems to the riskiness of their context characteristics resulting in rather good safety output scores. Only a small group have overall basic systems and operate in a moderate or moderate-high risk context, which was reflected in lower safety output scores. Companies tend to invest first in the control strategies whereas assurance activities such as verification and validation seem to require more time and effort to achieve advanced levels. Our study demonstrated that also small and medium enterprises managed to have advanced systems, and achieve a good safety output. However, their typical organisational characteristics such as less resources (educated staff, laboratory facilities, time), more restricted formalisation (restricted use of procedures and formal meetings), limited information systems, but more stable workforce, might require more tailored support from government and/or branch organisations to develop towards advanced systems in the case of high-risk products and processes. More in-depth studies to successful SMEs could give insight in best practices to improve FSMS performance.
Model collaboration for the improved assessment of biomass supply, demand, and impacts
Wicke, B. ; Hilst, F. van der; Daioglou, V. ; Banse, M. ; Beringer, T. ; Gerssen-Gondelach, S. ; Heijnen, S. ; Karssenberg, D. ; Laborde, D. ; Lippe, M. ; Meijl, H. van; Nassar, A. ; Powell, J.P. ; Prins, A.G. ; Rose, S.N.K. ; Smeets, E.M.W. ; Stehfest, E. ; Tyner, W.E. ; Verstegen, J.A. ; Valin, H. ; Vuuren, D.P. van; Yeh, S. ; Faaij, A.P.C. - \ 2015
Global change biology Bioenergy 7 (2015)3. - ISSN 1757-1693 - p. 422 - 437.
land-use change - global agricultural markets - greenhouse-gas emissions - eu biofuel policies - bioenergy production - united-states - energy crops - trade-offs - bio-energy - ethanol
Existing assessments of biomass supply and demand and their impacts face various types of limitations and uncertainties, partly due to the type of tools and methods applied (e.g., partial representation of sectors, lack of geographical details, and aggregated representation of technologies involved). Improved collaboration between existing modeling approaches may provide new, more comprehensive insights, especially into issues that involve multiple economic sectors, different temporal and spatial scales, or various impact categories. Model collaboration consists of aligning and harmonizing input data and scenarios, model comparison and/or model linkage. Improved collaboration between existing modeling approaches can help assess (i) the causes of differences and similarities in model output, which is important for interpreting the results for policy-making and (ii) the linkages, feedbacks, and trade-offs between different systems and impacts (e.g., economic and natural), which is key to a more comprehensive understanding of the impacts of biomass supply and demand. But, full consistency or integration in assumptions, structure, solution algorithms, dynamics and feedbacks can be difficult to achieve. And, if it is done, it frequently implies a trade-off in terms of resolution (spatial, temporal, and structural) and/or computation. Three key research areas are selected to illustrate how model collaboration can provide additional ways for tackling some of the shortcomings and uncertainties in the assessment of biomass supply and demand and their impacts. These research areas are livestock production, agricultural residues, and greenhouse gas emissions from land-use change. Describing how model collaboration might look like in these examples, we show how improved model collaboration can strengthen our ability to project biomass supply, demand, and impacts. This in turn can aid in improving the information for policy-makers and in taking better-informed decisions.
Location choice of academic entrepreneurs: Evidence from the US biotechnology industry
Kolympiris, C. ; Kalaitzandonakes, N. ; Miller, D. - \ 2015
Journal of Business Venturing 30 (2015)2. - ISSN 0883-9026 - p. 227 - 254.
foreign direct-investment - resource-based view - spin-out companies - united-states - spatial-distribution - university-research - product development - labor mobility - life sciences - agency costs
Where knowledge-based firms are located is important because entrepreneurship, firm creation and innovation are typically associated with regional economic development, wealth creation and increased employment. In this paper we examine where academic entrepreneurs locate their firms. We begin by developing a theoretical model that examines the location choice of the academic entrepreneur within the standard utility maximization theory. Academic entrepreneurs are assumed to maximize their utility by allocating their efforts between academic and entrepreneurial pursuits which, in turn, determine their future streams of income and end-period wealth. Optimal allocation turns out to be a function of both personal and external factors that condition the relevant payoffs and such factors can be empirically observed. We then use several candidate explanatory variables to examine those factors that may influence the firm location choice for 187 biopharmaceutical firms started by 275 academic entrepreneurs in the US. From our empirical analysis we find that location-specific factors such as proximity to certain knowledge assets and to the funding venture capital firms, affect the firm location choice of academic entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, entrepreneur-specific characteristics, such as their age, seem to dominate the choice of firm location.
The dynamics of food, alcohol and cigarette consumption in Russia during transition
Herzfeld, T. ; Huffman, S. ; Rizov, M. - \ 2014
Economics and Human Biology 13 (2014). - ISSN 1570-677X - p. 128 - 143.
longitudinal monitoring survey - former soviet-union - panel-data - economic-crisis - united-states - models - income - federation - obesity - health
This paper presents evidence on the impact of individual as well as regional characteristics on the dynamics of fat, protein, alcohol and cigarette consumption, and on the diversity of the diet in Russia between 1994 and 2005. All those aspects of nutritional behavior are important inputs to the production of health. A dynamic panel data model is used to estimate demand functions for fat, protein, alcohol, cigarettes and diversity of the diet. The results suggest the existence of strong habits in drinking and smoking, and the absence of habits in fat and protein consumption. We also found evidence of habit formation for food diversity. Comparing nutritional behavior of younger and older consumers, we find significant differences in the demand for fat and cigarettes. Older consumers seem to be more persistent in their drinking and smoking behavior. Similarly, men show higher habit persistence for alcohol and cigarette consumption. The results also suggest that among individual determinants, especially education, income and employment have statistically significant impacts on consumption behavior. Regarding the macroeconomic variables, economic growth is negatively related to protein consumption, while regional unemployment rate is negatively affecting the demand for protein and food diversity. Finally, Russian consumers react to the price changes of alcohol, cigarettes, fat and protein as suggested by theory. Consumer demand for food diversity responds negatively to price changes of alcohol and cigarettes, but positively to the price of fat. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
The Importance of Order and Complements: A Mew Way to Understand the Dutch and German Health Insurance Reforms
Helderman, J.K. ; Stiller, S.J. - \ 2014
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 39 (2014)4. - ISSN 0361-6878 - p. 811 - 840.
welfare-state - united-states - care reform - netherlands - efficiency - countries - dynamics
This article adds to recent theorizing on gradual institutional change by focusing on how institutional displacement occurs through sequential patterns of change. It argues that under certain conditions, reformist political actors may achieve systemic reform through sequences of incremental reforms. We illustrate our argument through a comparative analysis of systemic health care reforms in two Bismarckian health insurance systems, the Netherlands and Germany. These reforms involved further universalization of health care insurance combined with regulated competition to enhance efficiency. The analyses show that reformist actors anticipated institutional drift and that they employed layering and conversion over time to pave the way for institutional displacement. In the Netherlands, successive sequences complemented each other so that over time the former bifurcated insurance system could be replaced by a universal system: In Germany, successive sequences did not complement each other, and bifurcation is still in place.