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Drinking water contamination with poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) poses risks to the developmental, immune, metabolic, and endocrine health of consumers. We present a spatial analysis of 2013-2015 national drinking water PFAS concentrations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3) program. The number of industrial sites that manufacture or use these compounds, the number of military fire training areas, and the number of wastewater treatment plants are all significant predictors of PFAS detection frequencies and concentrations in public water supplies. Among samples with detectable PFAS levels, each additional military site within a watershed’s eight-digit hydrologic unit is associated with a 20% increase in PFHxS, a 10% increase in both PFHpA and PFOA, and a 35% increase in PFOS. The number of civilian airports with personnel trained in the use of aqueous film-forming foams is significantly associated with the detection of PFASs above the minimal reporting level. We find drinking water supplies for 6 million U.S. residents exceed US EPA’s lifetime health advisory (70 ng/L) for PFOS and PFOA. Lower analytical reporting limits and additional sampling of smaller utilities serving <10000 individuals and private wells would greatly assist in further identifying PFAS contamination sources.

Concepts: Water, Water pollution, Sewage treatment, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Drinking water, Stormwater, Safe Drinking Water Act, Environmental protection


Newborn telomere length sets telomere length for later life. At birth, telomere length is highly variable among newborns and the environmental factors during in utero life for this observation remain largely unidentified. Obesity during pregnancy might reflect an adverse nutritional status affecting pregnancy and offspring outcomes, but the association of maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) with newborn telomere length, as a mechanism of maternal obesity, on the next generation has not been addressed.

Concepts: Childbirth, Infant, Nutrition, Obesity, Mass, Breastfeeding, Body mass index, Star Trek: The Next Generation


Studies suggest that where people live, play, and work can influence health and well-being. However, the dearth of neighborhood data, especially data that is timely and consistent across geographies, hinders understanding of the effects of neighborhoods on health. Social media data represents a possible new data resource for neighborhood research.

Concepts: Nutrition, Sociology, Data, Weight loss, Web 2.0, Neighbourhood, Twitter, Neighborhoods


Studies finding higher mortality rates for patients admitted to hospital at weekends rely on routine administrative data to adjust for risk of death, but these data may not adequately capture severity of illness. We examined how rates of patient arrival at accident and emergency (A&E) departments by ambulance-a marker of illness severity-were associated with in-hospital mortality by day and time of attendance.

Concepts: Patient, Hospital


Physical exertion, anger, and emotional upset are reported to trigger acute myocardial infarction (AMI). In the INTERHEART study, we explored the triggering association of acute physical activity and anger or emotional upset with AMI to quantify the importance of these potential triggers in a large, international population.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Obesity, Infarction, Troponin, Necrosis


Intracortical microstimulation of the somatosensory cortex offers the potential for creating a sensory neuroprosthesis to restore tactile sensation. Whereas animal studies have suggested that both cutaneous and proprioceptive percepts can be evoked using this approach, the perceptual quality of the stimuli cannot be measured in these experiments. We show that microstimulation within the hand area of the somatosensory cortex of a person with long-term spinal cord injury evokes tactile sensations perceived as originating from locations on the hand and that cortical stimulation sites are organized according to expected somatotopic principles. Many of these percepts exhibit naturalistic characteristics (including feelings of pressure), can be evoked at low stimulation amplitudes, and remain stable for months. Further, modulating the stimulus amplitude grades the perceptual intensity of the stimuli, suggesting that intracortical microstimulation could be used to convey information about the contact location and pressure necessary to perform dexterous hand movements associated with object manipulation.

Concepts: Perception, Sensory system, Skin, Sense, Somatosensory system, Mind, Proprioception, Philosophy of perception


Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging pathogenic flavivirus currently circulating in numerous countries in South America, the Caribbean, and the Western Pacific Region. Using an unbiased metagenomic sequencing approach, we report here the first complete genome sequence of ZIKV isolated from a clinical semen sample.

Concepts: DNA, Genome, United States, Pacific Ocean, South America, Americas, Caribbean, Nicaragua


Multiple hypothalamic neuronal populations that regulate energy balance have been identified. Although hypothalamic glia exist in abundance and form intimate structural connections with neurons, their roles in energy homeostasis are less known. Here we show that selective Ca(2+) activation of glia in the mouse arcuate nucleus (ARC) reversibly induces increased food intake while disruption of Ca(2+) signaling pathway in ARC glia reduces food intake. The specific activation of ARC glia enhances the activity of agouti-related protein/neuropeptide Y (AgRP/NPY)-expressing neurons but induces no net response in pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-expressing neurons. ARC glial activation non-specifically depolarizes both AgRP/NPY and POMC neurons but a strong inhibitory input to POMC neurons balances the excitation. When AgRP/NPY neurons are inactivated, ARC glial activation fails to evoke any significant changes in food intake. Collectively, these results reveal an important role of ARC glia in the regulation of energy homeostasis through its interaction with distinct neuronal subtype-specific pathways.

Concepts: Nervous system, Neuron, Hypothalamus, Neuroendocrinology, Glial cell, Dopamine


Dominance hierarchies are widespread in animal social groups and often have measureable effects on individual health and reproductive success. Dominance ranks are not static individual attributes, however, but instead are influenced by two independent processes: 1) changes in hierarchy membership and 2) successful challenges of higher-ranking individuals. Understanding which of these processes dominates the dynamics of rank trajectories can provide insights into fitness benefits of within-sex competition. This question has yet to be examined systematically in a wide range of taxa due to the scarcity of long-term data and a lack of appropriate methodologies for distinguishing between alternative causes of rank changes over time. Here, we expand on recent work and develop a new likelihood-based Elo rating method that facilitates the systematic assessment of rank dynamics in animal social groups, even when interaction data are sparse. We apply this method to characterize long-term rank trajectories in wild eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) and find remarkable sex differences in rank dynamics, indicating that females queue for social status while males actively challenge each other to rise in rank. Further, our results suggest that natal females obtain a head start in the rank queue if they avoid dispersal, with potential fitness benefits.

Concepts: Human, Male, Reproduction, Gender, Sex, Chimpanzee, Common Chimpanzee, Chimpanzees


QT interval-prolonging drug-drug interactions (QT-DDIs) may increase the risk of life-threatening arrhythmia. Despite guidelines for testing from regulatory agencies, these interactions are usually discovered after drugs are marketed and may go undiscovered for years.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Drug, Cardiac electrophysiology, Drugs, Experiment