You can find a sample of the latest articles below with a link for the journal page.
Age Estimation Based on DNA Methylation Using Blood Samples From Deceased Individuals
by Dias HC, Cordeiro C, Real FC, Cunha E, Manco L., in Journal of Forensic Sciences
Age estimation using DNA methylation levels has been widely investigated in recent years because of its potential application in forensic genetics. The main aim of this study was to develop an age predictor model (APM) for blood samples of deceased individuals based in five age‐correlated genes. Fifty‐one samples were analyzed through the bisulfite polymerase chain reaction (PCR) sequencing method for DNA methylation evaluation in genes ELOVL2, FHL2, EDARADD, PDE4C, and C1orf132. Linear regression was used to analyze relationships between methylation levels and age. The model using the highest age‐correlated CpG from each locus revealed a correlation coefficient of 0.888, explaining 76.3% of age variation, with a mean absolute deviation from the chronological age (MAD) of 6.08 years. The model was validated in an independent test set of 19 samples producing a MAD of 8.84 years. The developed APM seems to be informative and could have potential application in forensic analysis.
The environment contribution to gender differences in childhood obesity and organized sports engagement
This study aims to analyze gender‐specific associations between sports activity outside of school and obesity, observing to what extent the local built environment contributes to the patterns found. A total of 2253 children aged 6.0‐11.0 years were assessed: 49.3% girls and 50.7% boys. Children’s weight and height were measured, age and sex‐specific BMI cut‐off points were used to define normal vs overweight/obesity. Children’s organized sports (OS) activity was assessed by questionnaire, and local facilities for children’s engagement in OS were analyzed. Logistic regression models were computed, adjusted for confounding variables. Results showed greater overweight and obesity (25.1% vs 20.1%) and lower OS engagement (66.5% vs 73.8%) in girls as well as greater impact of OS engagement on weight status in girls (OR for having a normal weight = 1.434 in girls vs 1.043 in boys). Additionally, opportunities to engage in OS were scarce for girls. The gender gap in children’s weight status and OS engagement might be enhanced by an environmental mismatch that undermines girls’ opportunities to play sports. There should be more opportunities for girls to engage in their favorite sports as a means to tackle the obesity epidemic and to promote gender equality.
Physical activity and the association between the FTO rs9939609 polymorphism and obesity in Portuguese children aged 3 to 11 years
by Manco L, Pinho S, Albuquerque D, Machado-Rodrigues AM, Padez C., in American Journal of Human Biology
To investigate whether objectively measured physical activity (PA) modulates the association between the FTO rs9939609 polymorphism and obesity variables in a sample of Portuguese children. A total of 440 children (213 girls and 227 boys) aged 3 to 11 years were observed. Genotyping was performed using TaqMan assay. Body mass index (BMI), BMI Z scores, waist circumference (WC), and waist‐to‐height ratio (WHtR) were calculated. PA was estimated in 399 children by accelerometry. Linear regression, in the additive model, showed that the rs9939609 minor A‐allele significantly associated with BMI (P = .029), BMI Z score (P = .017), WC (P = .016), and WHtR (P = .019). Logistic regression, in the additive model, showed a marginally significant association between the A‐allele and overweight/obesity (odds ratio [OR]: 1.372; P = .049). When stratified by sex, rs9939609 showed marginal or significant associations with BMI (P = .08), BMI Z score (P = .07), WC (P = .005), WHtR (P = .02), and overweight/obesity (OR: 1.529; P = .064) in girls but not in boys (P > .05). Significant interactions were not found between the FTO polymorphism and PA (inactive vs active groups of children) for BMI (P = .461), BMI Z score (P = .387), WC (P = .757), or WHtR (P = .621). Findings of the present study highlight the association between FTO rs9939609 and obesity or body fat indices in girls but not in boys. PA was not found to mediate the impact of FTO genetic variation on risk of obesity.