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1.  District programme to reduce smoking: can sustained intervention by general practitioners affect prevalence? 
A total of 101 general practitioners in 27 practices in inner London took part in a quasi-experimental study designed to examine whether a brief intervention applied to all smokers seen by general practitioners and sustained on a continuous basis could in time have a cumulative effect and reduce the prevalence of smoking among their patients. Of 21 practices approached in our local district (Camberwell), seven were willing to undertake brief intervention with support from the smokers' clinic (SBI), four opted for intervention without support (BI), and six acted as usual care controls. A further 10 out of 12 practices approached in South Hammersmith provided an unselected group of usual care controls. A series of six cross-sectional surveys were conducted over a three-year period. Each survey consisted of all adult patients attending to see a doctor during a defined two-week period, sample sizes averaging just over 9000 per survey. The estimated decline in self-reported smoking prevalence over the 30-month period following the start of intervention was 5.5% (from 36.4% to 30.9%) in the SBI group compared with 2.1% for BI and 2.8% and 3.0% in the two usual care control groups, the decline in the SBI group being significantly greater than in the other groups which did not differ significantly between each other. These interim results provide encouraging evidence that brief intervention by general practitioners with support and back-up from a local smokers' clinic can, when sustained on a continuous basis, reach sufficient smokers to reduce smoking prevalence in their practice populations. However, firm conclusions must await longer periods of observation now that the other Camberwell practices have adopted the SBI procedures.
PMCID: PMC1052702  PMID: 3265427
2.  Cloning of the RNA8 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, detection of the RNA8 protein, and demonstration that it is essential for nuclear pre-mRNA splicing. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1988;8(3):1067-1075.
Strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that bear the temperature-sensitive mutation rna8-1 are defective in nuclear pre-mRNA splicing at the restrictive temperature (36 degrees C), suggesting that the RNA8 gene encodes a component of the splicing machinery. The RNA8 gene was cloned by complementation of the temperature-sensitive growth defect of an rna8-1 mutant strain. Integrative transformation and gene disruption experiments confirmed the identity of the cloned DNA and demonstrated that the RNA8 gene encodes an essential function. The RNA8 gene was shown to be represented once per S. cerevisiae haploid genome and to encode a low-abundance transcript of approximately 7.4 kilobases. By using antisera raised against beta-galactosidase-RNA8 fusion proteins, the RNA8 gene product was identified in S. cerevisiae cell extracts as a low-abundance protein of approximately 260 kilodaltons. Immunodepletion of the RNA8 protein specifically abolished the activity of S. cerevisiae in vitro splicing extracts, confirming that RNA8 plays an essential role in splicing.
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PMCID: PMC363249  PMID: 2835658
4.  Effective lipid lowering diets including lean meat 
The plasma lipid and lipoprotein responses to two modified isoenergetic diets including meat were studied in 15 free living men with hyperlipidaemia (mean plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations 8·1 and 3·4 mmol/l). A reference diet (diet A, 42% energy from fat, ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids (P:S ratio) 0·2) was compared with a fat reduced diet (diet B, 35% energy from fat, P:S ratio 0·5) and with a further fat modified diet supplemented with fibre (diet C, 27% energy from fat, P:S ratio 1·0). Daily intake of meat and meat products (180 g/day) was the same in each dietary period; that in diet A had a fat content typical of the average British diet, whereas that in diets B and C was based on very lean meat and meat products. During consumption of diet B the plasma cholesterol concentration fell by 8·6% and low density lipoprotein cholesterol by 11%. During consumption of diet C plasma cholesterol fell by 18·5% and low density lipoprotein cholesterol by 23·8%. Triglyceride and high density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations and body weight did not change appreciably during the study.
A modified diet including a moderate amount of lean meat and meat products is compatible with a reduced lipoprotein mediated risk of atherosclerotic heart disease.
PMCID: PMC2544768  PMID: 3124899

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