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1.  District programme to reduce smoking: effect of clinic supported brief intervention by general practitioners. 
By encouraging and supporting general practitioners to undertake brief intervention on a routine basis smokers' clinics could reach many more smokers than are willing to attend for intensive treatment. In a study with 101 general practitioners from 27 practices 4445 cigarette smokers received brief intervention with the support of a smokers' clinic, brief intervention without such support, or the general practitioners' usual care. At one year follow up the numbers of smokers who reported that they were no longer smoking cigarettes were 51 (13%), 63 (9%), and 263 (8%), respectively (p less than 0.005). After an adjustment was made for those cases not validated by urine cotinine concentrations the respective success rates were 8%, 5%, and 5%. Use of nicotine chewing gum was associated with higher self reported success rates. General practitioners providing supported brief intervention encouraged not only more smokers to use the gum but also more effective use; gum users in this group reported a success rate of 27% at one year. Compliance by the general practitioners in recording smoking state averaged 45%, and significantly higher success rates were reported by patients whose smoking state had been recorded. Brief intervention by general practitioners with the support of a smokers' clinic thus significantly enhanced success rates based on self reports. Better results might be obtained if general practitioners' compliance with the procedure could be improved and if they encouraged more of their patients to try nicotine gum. Collaboration of this kind between a smokers' clinic and local general practitioners could deliver effective help to many more smokers than are likely to be affected if the two continue to work separately.
PMCID: PMC1248311  PMID: 3120963
3.  Genetic control of capsid length in bacteriophage T4: clustering of ptg mutations in gene 23. 
Journal of Virology  1987;61(9):2823-2827.
Fifty-two new bacteriophage T4 ptg mutations have been isolated by selecting for the giant-capsid phenotype they display. Genetic mapping placed all of them at eight sites, all located in gene 23. These sites were clustered in three locations, one near amber B17 (gene 23 nucleotide [NT] 268), another centrally placed between amE506 (NT 706) and amE1270 (NT 925), and the third between amC208 (NT 1297) and amE1236 (NT 1489). The lack of a selective system for identifying recombinant genotypes when dealing with the very close linkages found within these clusters opens the possibility that more than eight sites are represented in this set of mutations. Since one site was represented by only one mutation, it seems likely that further searching might uncover additional sites. It is suggested that the clustering of mutations observed here identifies regions of the gene 23 product that play a role in regulating the capsid length of T4.
PMCID: PMC255795  PMID: 3612952
4.  Mental health of unemployed men in different parts of England and Wales. 
In a study of mental health among unemployed men two contrasting hypotheses about the importance of the local unemployment rate were examined--namely, that very high local unemployment might be associated with either impoverishment or resilience of the community, which would affect health in opposite ways. The mental health of 954 unemployed men registered at 41 unemployment benefit offices in England and Wales was assessed by the general health questionnaire, men in areas of particularly high unemployment being compared with men in areas of moderate and relatively low unemployment. Scores for ill health were significantly lower in areas of particularly high unemployment, even when personal factors known to affect mental health during unemployment were controlled for. These results support the hypothesis that communities with high rates of unemployment develop resilience that is beneficial for the mental health of the unemployed.
PMCID: PMC1247430  PMID: 3117205
5.  Protein-binding sites within the 5' DNase I-hypersensitive region of the chicken alpha D-globin gene. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1987;7(6):2059-2069.
We mapped at high resolution and as a function of development the hypersensitive domain in the 5'-flanking region of the chicken alpha D-globin gene and determined the specific protein-binding sites within the domain. The domain extends from -130 to +80 nucleotides (nt) relative to the cap site. DNase I footprinting within intact embryonic erythrocyte nuclei revealed a strongly protected area from -71 to -52 nt. The same area was weakly protected in adult nuclei. A factor was present in extracts of erythrocyte nuclei from both embryos and adults that protected the sequence AAGATAAGG (-63 to -55 nt) in DNase I footprinting experiments; at higher concentrations of extract, sequences immediately adjacent (-73 to -64 and -53 to -38) were also protected. The same pattern of binding was revealed by gel mobility shift assays. The identical AAGATAAGG sequence is found in the 5'-flanking region of the beta rho gene; it competed for binding of the alpha D-specific factor, suggesting that regulatory elements are shared.
PMCID: PMC365326  PMID: 3600658

Results 1-5 (5)