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Concept: Netherlands


Being taller is associated with enhanced longevity, and higher education and earnings. We reanalysed 1472 population-based studies, with measurement of height on more than 18.6 million participants to estimate mean height for people born between 1896 and 1996 in 200 countries. The largest gain in adult height over the past century has occurred in South Korean women and Iranian men, who became 20.2 cm (95% credible interval 17.5-22.7) and 16.5 cm (13.3-19.7) taller, respectively. In contrast, there was little change in adult height in some sub-Saharan African countries and in South Asia over the century of analysis. The tallest people over these 100 years are men born in the Netherlands in the last quarter of 20th century, whose average heights surpassed 182.5 cm, and the shortest were women born in Guatemala in 1896 (140.3 cm; 135.8-144.8). The height differential between the tallest and shortest populations was 19-20 cm a century ago, and has remained the same for women and increased for men a century later despite substantial changes in the ranking of countries.

Concepts: Human, Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Human height, Netherlands, Cold War, Gigantism


Investigations at Happisburgh, UK, have revealed the oldest known hominin footprint surface outside Africa at between ca. 1 million and 0.78 million years ago. The site has long been recognised for the preservation of sediments containing Early Pleistocene fauna and flora, but since 2005 has also yielded humanly made flint artefacts, extending the record of human occupation of northern Europe by at least 350,000 years. The sediments consist of sands, gravels and laminated silts laid down by a large river within the upper reaches of its estuary. In May 2013 extensive areas of the laminated sediments were exposed on the foreshore. On the surface of one of the laminated silt horizons a series of hollows was revealed in an area of ca. 12 m(2). The surface was recorded using multi-image photogrammetry which showed that the hollows are distinctly elongated and the majority fall within the range of juvenile to adult hominin foot sizes. In many cases the arch and front/back of the foot can be identified and in one case the impression of toes can be seen. Using foot length to stature ratios, the hominins are estimated to have been between ca. 0.93 and 1.73 m in height, suggestive of a group of mixed ages. The orientation of the prints indicates movement in a southerly direction on mud-flats along the river edge. Early Pleistocene human fossils are extremely rare in Europe, with no evidence from the UK. The only known species in western Europe of a similar age is Homo antecessor, whose fossil remains have been found at Atapuerca, Spain. The foot sizes and estimated stature of the hominins from Happisburgh fall within the range derived from the fossil evidence of Homo antecessor.

Concepts: Human, Foot, United Kingdom, Europe, Netherlands, Western Europe, Human evolution, Northern Europe


Changing professionals' attitudes toward seclusion is seen as an important condition to reduce its use. The purpose of this study was to determine whether professionals from a mental health institute in the Netherlands changed in their attitudes toward seclusion after implementation of a multifaceted seclusion reduction program. Professionals working on four acute admission wards filled in the Professional Attitudes Toward Seclusion Questionnaire (PATS-Q) before and after a seclusion reduction program. Changes were analyzed by comparing mean scores on the PATS-Q. After the program, professionals scored significantly higher on ‘ethics’ and ‘more care’. As expected, no change occurred on ‘reasons’ for the use of seclusion. In addition, no significant changes were found on ‘confidence’, ‘better care’ and ‘other care’. Significant changes in professional attitudes concerning the ethics of using seclusion and involving issues of more care were observed after a seclusion reduction program. Mental health professionals moved in the direction of ‘transformers’, indicating an increased criticism of the practice of seclusion and increased willingness to change their own use of seclusion.

Concepts: Professional, Practice-based professional learning, Change, Netherlands, Psychiatry, Tess Gaerthé


In contrast to western countries, foot complaints are rare in Africa. This is remarkable, as many African adults walk many hours each day, often barefoot or with worn-out shoes. The reason why Africans can withstand such loading without developing foot complaints might be related to the way the foot is loaded. Therefore, static foot geometry and dynamic plantar pressure distribution of 77 adults from Malawi were compared to 77 adults from the Netherlands. None of the subjects had a history of foot complaints. The plantar pressure pattern as well as the Arch Index (AI) and the trajectory of the center of pressure during the stance phase were calculated and compared between both groups. Standardized pictures were taken from the feet to assess the height of the Medial Longitudinal Arch (MLA). We found that Malawian adults: (1) loaded the midfoot for a longer and the forefoot for a shorter period during roll off, (2) had significantly lower plantar pressures under the heel and a part of the forefoot, and (3) had a larger AI and a lower MLA compared to the Dutch. These findings demonstrate that differences in static foot geometry, foot loading, and roll off technique exist between the two groups. The advantage of the foot loading pattern as shown by the Malawian group is that the plantar pressure is distributed more equally over the foot. This might prevent foot complaints.

Concepts: Africa, Foot, Malawi, Netherlands, Length, Dutch people, Arches of the foot, Flat feet


BACKGROUND: Percutaneous transluminal septal myocardial ablation using microsphere embolisation is a new interventional technique to treat patients with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. METHODS AND RESULTS: In two patients, considered at high risk for myectomy, targeted septal perforators were occluded with microsphere embolisation instead of alcohol ablation to reduce left ventricular outflow gradient. In both cases the left ventricular outflow tract gradient was immediately reduced. No adverse events occurred. CONCLUSION: This is the first clinical experience with Embozene® Microspheres in the Netherlands as an alternative for alcohol septal ablation. In both cases it resulted in immediate improvement in the haemodynamics, without any adverse events.

Concepts: Alcohol, Carbon dioxide, Clinical trial, Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Netherlands, Alcohol septal ablation, Microsphere


Electrogastrography (EGG) is a non-invasive method for the assessment of gastric myoelectrical activity. Porcine EGG is comparable with human one. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of atropine and neostigmine on the EGG in experimental pigs. Adult female pigs were administrated atropine (1.5 mg i.m., n=6) and neostigmine (0.5 mg i.m., n=6) after the baseline EGG, followed by a 90-minute trial recording (MMS, Enschede, the Netherlands). Running spectral analysis was used for the evaluation. The results were expressed as dominant frequency of slow waves and EGG power (areas of amplitudes). Neostigmine increased continuously the dominant frequency and decreased significantly the EGG power. Atropine did not change the dominant frequency significantly. However, atropine increased significantly the EGG power (areas of amplitudes) from basal values to the maximum at the 10 - 20-minute interval. After that period, the areas of amplitudes decreased significantly to the lowest values at the 60 - 90-minute interval. In conclusion, cholinergic and anticholinergic agents affect differently EGG in experimental pigs. This paper is scheduled for Physiological Research, Vol. 64, Supplement 5 (2015).

Concepts: Wave, Acetylcholine, Wavelength, Netherlands, Pig, Mydriasis, Physostigmine, Atropa belladonna


In November 1636, the prices of tulip bulbs in the Dutch market rose rapidly from their normal level to the point where a single bulb might sell for 10 times the annual earnings of a typical worker. Just as quickly, in May 1637, tulip-bulb prices returned to their previous values. The causes of this dramatic rise and fall remain in dispute. The event occurred during the Dutch Golden Age, when stock exchanges, central banking, and many of the fundamental structures that govern contemporary capital markets and the approaches deployed by MBAs today were developed. One modern economic analysis suggests that . . .

Concepts: English-language films, Netherlands, Stock market, Stock exchange, Economic bubble, Great Depression, Bulb, Tulip mania


On 10 April 2015, a Dutch TV crew was filming at the Royal Burgers Zoo in Arnhem, The Netherlands. It was the intention to film the chimpanzees in the enclosure from close-by and from above with the means of a drone. When the drone came a bit closer to the chimpanzees, a female individual made two sweeps with a branch that she held in one hand. The second one was successful and downed the drone. The use of the stick in this context was a unique action. It seemed deliberate given the decision to collect it and carry it to a place where the drone might be attacked. This episode adds to the indications that chimpanzees engage in forward planning of tool-use acts.

Concepts: Human, Netherlands, Dutch language, Television program, King Crimson, Tool-using species, Arnhem, Gelderland


To the Editor: Data linking Zika virus (ZIKV) infection to fetal death have been reported in only a handful of cases to date.(1),(2) Here, we present a case of ZIKV infection in a woman who had a miscarriage. ZIKV was detected in the fetal tissue, and ZIKV viremia lasted for at least 21 days. In January 2016, a 31-year-old woman who was 10 weeks pregnant visited an outpatient clinic in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, because of a 2-day history of headache, mild arthralgia in both wrists and the left knee, and a pruritic, macular rash. The symptoms had begun the . . .

Concepts: Netherlands


Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) stranding in large numbers around the southern North Sea with fatal, sharp-edged mutilations have spurred controversy among scientists, the fishing industry and conservationists, whose views about the likely cause differ. The recent detection of grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) DNA in bite marks on three mutilated harbour porpoises, as well as direct observations of grey seal attacks on porpoises, have identified this seal species as a probable cause. Bite mark characteristics were assessed in a retrospective analysis of photographs of dead harbour porpoises that stranded between 2003 and 2013 (n = 1081) on the Dutch coastline. There were 271 animals that were sufficiently fresh to allow macroscopic assessment of grey seal-associated wounds with certainty. In 25% of these, bite and claw marks were identified that were consistent with the marks found on animals that had tested positive for grey seal DNA. Affected animals were mostly healthy juveniles that had a thick blubber layer and had recently fed. We conclude that the majority of the mutilated harbour porpoises were victims of grey seal attacks and that predation by this species is one of the main causes of death in harbour porpoises in The Netherlands. We provide a decision tree that will help in the identification of future cases of grey seal predation on porpoises.

Concepts: Fish, Netherlands, Pinniped, Gray Seal, Massachusetts, Cetacea, Harbour porpoise, Porpoises