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Concept: Generation


By sharing their experiences, early-career scientists can help to make the case for increased government funding for researchers.

Concepts: Generation


In four large, nationally representative surveys (N = 11.2 million), American adolescents and emerging adults in the 2010s (Millennials) were significantly less religious than previous generations (Boomers, Generation X) at the same age. The data are from the Monitoring the Future studies of 12th graders (1976-2013), 8th and 10th graders (1991-2013), and the American Freshman survey of entering college students (1966-2014). Although the majority of adolescents and emerging adults are still religiously involved, twice as many 12th graders and college students, and 20%-40% more 8th and 10th graders, never attend religious services. Twice as many 12th graders and entering college students in the 2010s (vs. the 1960s-70s) give their religious affiliation as “none,” as do 40%-50% more 8th and 10th graders. Recent birth cohorts report less approval of religious organizations, are less likely to say that religion is important in their lives, report being less spiritual, and spend less time praying or meditating. Thus, declines in religious orientation reach beyond affiliation to religious participation and religiosity, suggesting a movement toward secularism among a growing minority. The declines are larger among girls, Whites, lower-SES individuals, and in the Northeastern U.S., very small among Blacks, and non-existent among political conservatives. Religious affiliation is lower in years with more income inequality, higher median family income, higher materialism, more positive self-views, and lower social support. Overall, these results suggest that the lower religious orientation of Millennials is due to time period or generation, and not to age.

Concepts: Demographics, Religion, Meditation, Household income in the United States, Spirituality, Generation Y, Generation, Generation X


Risky outdoor play has been associated with promoting children’s health and development, but also with injury and death. Risky outdoor play has diminished over time, concurrent with increasing concerns regarding child safety and emphasis on injury prevention. We sought to conduct a systematic review to examine the relationship between risky outdoor play and health in children, in order to inform the debate regarding its benefits and harms. We identified and evaluated 21 relevant papers for quality using the GRADE framework. Included articles addressed the effect on health indicators and behaviours from three types of risky play, as well as risky play supportive environments. The systematic review revealed overall positive effects of risky outdoor play on a variety of health indicators and behaviours, most commonly physical activity, but also social health and behaviours, injuries, and aggression. The review indicated the need for additional “good quality” studies; however, we note that even in the face of the generally exclusionary systematic review process, our findings support the promotion of risky outdoor play for healthy child development. These positive results with the marked reduction in risky outdoor play opportunities in recent generations indicate the need to encourage action to support children’s risky outdoor play opportunities. Policy and practice precedents and recommendations for action are discussed.

Concepts: Medicine, Public health, Health, Child, Childhood, Injury, Developmental psychology, Generation


Hydrogel products constitute a group of polymeric materials, the hydrophilic structure of which renders them capable of holding large amounts of water in their three-dimensional networks. Extensive employment of these products in a number of industrial and environmental areas of application is considered to be of prime importance. As expected, natural hydrogels were gradually replaced by synthetic types due to their higher water absorption capacity, long service life, and wide varieties of raw chemical resources. Literature on this subject was found to be expanding, especially in the scientific areas of research. However, a number of publications and technical reports dealing with hydrogel products from the engineering points of view were examined to overview technological aspects covering this growing multidisciplinary field of research. The primary objective of this article is to review the literature concerning classification of hydrogels on different bases, physical and chemical characteristics of these products, and technical feasibility of their utilization. It also involved technologies adopted for hydrogel production together with process design implications, block diagrams, and optimized conditions of the preparation process. An innovated category of recent generations of hydrogel materials was also presented in some details.

Concepts: Polymer, Science, Chemical substance, Chemical element, Materials science, Technology, Chemical engineering, Generation


Generational change is believed to be transforming the educational and employment preferences of medical trainees. In this article, we examine generational tensions in interviews with policy leaders and clinicians on workforce issues within one subset of the Australian medical profession: general practitioners who provide care to people with HIV in community settings. Integrating the accounts of policy leaders (n = 24) and clinicians representing the ‘first generation’ (n = 21) and ‘next generation’ (n = 23) of clinicians to do this work, shared and divergent perspectives on the role of generational change in shaping professional engagement were revealed. While those engaged in the early response to HIV believed younger clinicians to be less interested in the scientific and political dimensions of HIV care and more concerned about financial security and life balance, the next generation both countered and integrated these beliefs into new ways of conceptualising the value and appeal of this field of medicine. Critical appraisal of the assumptions that underpin generational discourse is essential in appreciating the changing views of providers over time, particularly in fields of medicine which have featured significant historical turning points.

Concepts: Medicine, Physician, Profession, Change, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Next Generation, Engagement, Generation


The tobacco-free generation proposal advocates legislation precluding the sale and supply of tobacco to individuals born after a certain year. The measure is aimed at overcoming defects with current youth access laws that suffer from rite-of-passage and mixed signalling effects. Since its introduction in 2010, the proposal has attracted international attention, highlighting a number of matters that the present short article discusses. Efficacy issues, including retailer compliance, supply by surrogates and illicit sales, are addressed in the broader setting of community adherence to legislation. Encouragement for the likelihood of successful implementation is provided by historical precedents. In principle objections, relating to choice and generational fairness, are considered against the criteria of consistency and proportionality. It is concluded that the measure’s emphasis on the welfare of future generations and its regard for the interests of existing stakeholders provide a feasible opportunity for the ultimate eradication of tobacco supply in appropriate jurisdictions.

Concepts: Present, Sales, The Sale, Proposal, Common law, Generation Y, Generation, Animorphs


Gestational infection is increasingly being recognized for its involvement as causative mechanism in severe developmental brain abnormalities and its contribution to the pathogenesis of psychopathologies later in life. First observations in the widely accepted maternal immune activation (MIA) model based upon the systemic administration of the viral mimetic Polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)) have recently suggested a transmission of behavioral and transcriptional traits across generations. Although maternal care behavior (MCB) is known as essential mediator of the transgenerational effects of environmental challenges on offspring brain function and behavior, the possible propagation of alterations of MCB resulting from MIA to following generations has not yet been examined. Here we show that poly(I:C) stimulation at embryonic day 12.5 (E12.5) leads to aberrant MCB and that this effect is transmitted to the female F1 offspring. The transgenerational effects on MCB are paralleled by enhanced depression-like behavior in the second generation F2 offspring with contributions of both maternal and paternal heritages. Examination of offspring hippocampal expression of genes known as targets of MCB and relevant for ensuing non-genetic transmission of altered brain function and behavior revealed transgenerationally conserved and modified expressional patterns in the F1 and F2 generation. Collectively these data firstly demonstrate the transgenerational transmission of the impact of gestational immune activation on the reproductive care behavior of the mother. Behavioral and molecular characteristics of first and second generation offspring suggest transgenerationally imprinted consequences of gestational infection on psychopathological traits related to mood disorders which remain to be examined in future cross-fostering experiments.

Concepts: Immune system, Psychology, Gene, Gene expression, Transcription, Maternal bond, Behavior, Generation


We examined whether culture-level indices of threat, instability, and materialistic modeling were linked to the materialistic values of American 12th graders between 1976 and 2007 (N = 355,296). Youth materialism (such as the importance of money and of owning expensive material items) increased over the generations, peaking in the late 1980s to early 1990s with Generation X and then staying at historically high levels for Millennials (GenMe). Societal instability and disconnection (e.g., unemployment, divorce) and social modeling (e.g., advertising spending) had both contemporaneous and lagged associations with higher levels of materialism, with advertising most influential during adolescence and instability during childhood. Societal-level living standards during childhood predicted materialism 10 years later. When materialistic values increased, work centrality steadily declined, suggesting a growing discrepancy between the desire for material rewards and the willingness to do the work usually required to earn them.

Concepts: Sociology, The Work, 1990s, Generation Y, Materialism, Generation, Generation X, Kylie Minogue


To investigate cohort effects in arthritis prevalence across four birth cohorts: World War II (born: 1935-1944), older and younger baby boomers (born: 1945-1954 and 1955-1964), and Generation X (born: 1965-1974) and to determine whether birth cohort effects in arthritis prevalence were associated with differences in risk factors over time or period effects.

Concepts: Cohort study, Epidemiology, Demographics, World War II, Baby boomer, Generation Y, Generation, Cultural generations


Early-life adversity is a potent risk factor for mental-health disorders in exposed individuals, and effects of adversity are exhibited across generations. Such adversities are also associated with poor gastrointestinal outcomes. In addition, emerging evidence suggests that microbiota-gut-brain interactions may mediate the effects of early-life stress on psychological dysfunction. In the present study, we administered an early-life stressor (i.e., maternal separation) to infant male rats, and we investigated the effects of this stressor on conditioned aversive reactions in the rats' subsequent infant male offspring. We demonstrated, for the first time, longer-lasting aversive associations and greater relapse after extinction in the offspring (F1 generation) of rats exposed to maternal separation (F0 generation), compared with the offspring of rats not exposed to maternal separation. These generational effects were reversed by probiotic supplementation, which was effective as both an active treatment when administered to infant F1 rats and as a prophylactic when administered to F0 fathers before conception (i.e., in fathers' infancy). These findings have high clinical relevance in the identification of early-emerging putative risk phenotypes across generations and of potential therapies to ameliorate such generational effects.

Concepts: Infant, Effect, Effectiveness, Breastfeeding, Maternal bond, Paternal bond, Generation Y, Generation