Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(10), 12543-12555; doi:10.3390/ijerph121012543 (registering DOI) - published 9 October 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The potency, selectivity, and decreased side effects of bioactive peptides have propelled these agents to the forefront of pharmacological research. Peptides are especially promising for the treatment of neurological disorders and pain. However, delivery of peptide therapeutics often requires invasive techniques, which is a major obstacle to their widespread application. We have developed a tailored peptide drug delivery system in which the viral capsid of P22 bacteriophage is modified to serve as a tunable nanocontainer for the packaging and controlled release of bioactive peptides. Recent efforts have demonstrated that P22 nanocontainers can effectively encapsulate analgesic peptides and translocate them across blood-brain-barrier (BBB) models. However, release of encapsulated peptides at their target site remains a challenge. Here a Ring Opening Metathesis Polymerization (ROMP) reaction is applied to trigger P22 nanocontainer disassembly under physiological conditions. Specifically, the ROMP substrate norbornene (5-Norbornene-2-carboxylic acid) is conjugated to the exterior of a loaded P22 nanocontainer and Grubbs II Catalyst is used to trigger the polymerization reaction leading to nanocontainer disassembly. Our results demonstrate initial attempts to characterize the ROMP-triggered release of cargo peptides from P22 nanocontainers. This work provides proof-of-concept for the construction of a triggerable peptide drug delivery system using viral nanocontainers.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(10), 12530-12542; doi:10.3390/ijerph121012530 (registering DOI) - published 9 October 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The effects of nanomaterials have been primarily assessed based on standard ecotoxicity guidelines. However, by adapting alternative measures the information gained could be enhanced considerably, e.g., studies should focus on more mechanistic approaches. Here, the environmental risk posed by the presence of silver nanoparticles (Ag NM300K) in soil was investigated, anchoring population and cellular level effects, i.e., survival, reproduction (28 days) and oxidative stress markers (0, 2, 4, 6, 10 days). The standard species Folsomia candida was used. Measured markers included catalase (CAT), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione S-transferase (GST), total glutathione (TG), metallothionein (MT) and lipid peroxidation (LPO). Results showed that AgNO3 was more toxic than AgNPs at the population level: reproduction EC20 and EC50 was ca. 2 and 4 times lower, respectively. At the cellular level Correspondence Analysis showed a clear separation between AgNO3 and AgNP throughout time. Results showed differences in the mechanisms, indicating a combined effect of released Ag+ (MT and GST) and of AgNPs (CAT, GR, TG, LPO). Hence, clear advantages from mechanistic approaches are shown, but also that time is of importance when measuring such responses.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(10), 12518-12529; doi:10.3390/ijerph121012518 (registering DOI) - published 8 October 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper conveys the findings of the first phase of a longitudinal study into climate change adaptation in Atlantic Canada. Men and women from 10 coastal communities in three provinces (Quebec, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island) were interviewed to better understand how both sexes perceived and reacted to extreme weather events. Their responses were recorded based on their experiences, personal and community levels of preparedness, as well as help received and effects on their lives. Most importantly, the findings denote that more men were personally prepared and more active in the community than women. More men recognized a deficiency in help at the community level, and were critical of government in particular, addressing a lack of financial interventions and support. Women were forthcoming with their emotions, admitting to feeling fear and worry, and their perceptions in terms of impacts and actions were closer to home. The results support what others have shown that in rural and coastal communities the traditional division of labor may influence and lead to a gender bias in terms of actions and gradual adaptation in communities. There is a need to better understand how these sometimes subtle differences may affect decisions that do not always consider women’s roles and experiences in the face of extreme events.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(10), 12505-12517; doi:10.3390/ijerph121012505 (registering DOI) - published 8 October 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Currently, in China, improving the quality of teachers’ emotional labor has become an urgent need for most pre-kindergarten through 12th grade (p–12) schools because the new curriculum reform highlights the role of emotion in teaching. A total of 703 primary and high school teachers in Mainland China were investigated regarding their perceptions of school climate, emotional labor strategy and emotional exhaustion via questionnaires. The findings revealed that the teachers’ perceptions of the school climate negatively affected surface acting but positively affected deep acting. Surface acting positively predicted emotional exhaustion, and deep acting had no significant effect on emotional exhaustion. Moreover, emotional labor mediated the relationship between the teachers’ perceptions of the school climate and emotional exhaustion. Programs aimed at improving the school climate and the teachers’ use of appropriate emotional labor strategies should be implemented in schools in Mainland China.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(10), 12489-12504; doi:10.3390/ijerph121012489 (registering DOI) - published 8 October 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Residential self-selection bias is a concern in studies of neighborhoods and health. This bias results from health behaviors predicting neighborhood choice. To quantify this bias, we examined associations between pre-move health factors (body mass index, walking, and total physical activity) and post-move neighborhood factors (County Sprawl Index, Census tract socioeconomic status (SES)) in the Nurses’ Health Study (n = 14,159 moves from 1986–2008). Individuals in the highest quartile of pre-move BMI (BMI > 28.4) compared to the lowest quartile (BMI < 22.5) moved to counties that averaged 2.57 points lower on the sprawl index (95% confidence interval −3.55, −1.59) indicating that individuals moved to less dense counties; however, no associations were observed for pre-move walking nor total physical activity. Individuals with higher pre-move BMI tended to move to Census tracts with lower median income and home values and higher levels of poverty. Analyses examining the change in neighborhood environments after a move demonstrated that healthy pre-move behaviors were associated with moves to worse socioeconomic environments. This type of self-selection would bias results downward, underestimating the true relationship between SES and physical activity. Generally, the magnitudes of associations between pre-move health factors and neighborhood measures were small and indicated that residential self-selection was not a major source of bias in analyses in this population.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(10), 12475-12488; doi:10.3390/ijerph121012475 (registering DOI) - published 8 October 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Soil quality is critical to the management of urban green space, in particular, along traffic corridors where traffic-related air pollution is significant. Soil quality can be evaluated by soil enzyme activities, which show quick responses to both natural and anthropogenic disturbances. In this study, we investigated three soil enzyme activities (i.e., dehydrogenase, catalase and urease) along the major roads in urban areas of Beijing. Results show the activities of dehydrogenase, catalase and urease in urban samples were 58.8%, 68.2% and 48.5% less than the rural sample, respectively. The content of fluorescent amino acids as indicators of microbial activities was also consistently lower in urban samples than the rural. We observed two times greater exposure of particulate material along the roadsides in urban areas than rural areas. Although traffic air pollutants provide some nutrient sources to stimulate the URE activity, the exposure to traffic-related air pollution leads to the substantial decrease in enzyme activities. There were significant negative correlations for exposure to PM10 with DHA (r = −0.8267, p = 0.0017) and CAT (r = −0.89, p = 0.0002) activities. For the urban soils URE activity increased with the increasing of PM. We conclude that the degraded soil quality can negatively affect the target of developing plants and green spaces along the traffic corridors to mitigate the traffic impact. This study suggests the investigation of integrated strategies to restore the soil quality, reinforce the ecological service functions of green spaces along the traffic corridors and reduce the traffic pollutants.