Choline is a nutrient, essential for cardiovascular and brain function, and for cellular membrane composition and repair. Often taken as a lecithin supplement, choline is found in beef liver, egg yolk, peanuts, sunflower seeds, cauliflower and soy. Recent studies had suggested that choline intake during pregnancy might decrease the risk of spina bifida.
James Enaw, from the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center in Houston, Texas and colleagues from the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, analyzed the presence of two specific variants of the genes encoding the enzymes human choline esterase A (CHKA) and CTP:Phosphocholine cytidylytransferase(PCYT1A) in 103 infants suffering from spina bifida and 338 unaffected infants, who served as controls.
Although the study had limited statistical power, Enaw et al.’s results show that one variant of CHKA is associated with a reduced risk of spina bifida and one variant of PCYTA1A is associated with a two-fold increased risk of spina bifida. Interestingly, these associations are not modified by intake of choline by the mother during pregnancy.
The authors conclude: “The results indicate that dietary choline and choline metabolism genes may affect the risk of spina bifida independently or through some other unknown mechanisms.”
Juliette Savin | alfa
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
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An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).
The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...
16.08.2017 | Event News
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16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
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16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research