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1.  Could hospitals do more to encourage breast feeding? 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1993;307(6917):1437-1438.
PMCID: PMC1679488  PMID: 8281081
2.  Influence of sensory manipulation on postural control in Parkinson's disease. 
Postural control was assessed on a tilting platform system in 20 patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease and 20 age-matched controls. The amount of information provided by vision and lower limb proprioception was varied during the experiment to investigate the influence of changes in sensory cues on postural control. The patient group with clinical evidence of impaired postural control (Hoehn and Yahr III) had significantly higher sway scores over all sensory conditions than either the Hoehn and Yahr II group or controls. The pattern of sway scores indicated that no obvious deficit in the quality, or processing, of sensory information was responsible for the postural instability observed in this group. The patients in both Hoehn and Yahr groups were also able to respond appropriately to potentially destabilising sensory conflict situations and significantly improved their sway scores when provided with visual feedback of body sway. The results indicate that in Parkinson's disease, the main site of dysfunction in postural control is likely to be at a central motor level.
PMCID: PMC1015374  PMID: 8270927
3.  Comparison of the use of Tanner and Whitehouse, NCHS, and Cambridge standards in infancy. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1993;69(4):420-422.
The British (Tanner and Whitehouse) and American (National Center for Health Statistics, NCHS) growth standards are widely used internationally, although the data are now over 30 years old. Routine weight data was retrieved from the child health records of a complete annual cohort of 3418 children aged 18-30 months to test the validity of these standards for modern infants. Compared with the Tanner and Whitehouse standards, Newcastle children rose initially and then fell a mean of 0.7 SDs between 6 weeks and 18 months, resulting in a threefold difference in the proportion of children below the 3rd centile at different ages. NCHS standards showed a similar pattern. When compared with modern standards from the Cambridge growth study, there was a much closer match, although Newcastle children showed a slight gain by the age of 1 year. Existing standards for weight introduce inaccuracy into the estimation of centile position in the early months of life. As both standards show similar problems this probably represents a real secular change due to changes in infant nutrition. These findings support the need to develop new national growth reference standards.
PMCID: PMC1029547  PMID: 8259870
4.  Health professionals and South Africa: supporting change in the health sector. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1993;307(6896):110-112.
Now that political change is on the way in South Africa, what should be the position of doctors who are invited to visit the country? Does the "academic boycott" still have relevance? Waterston and Zwi review the case for and against an academic boycott policy, using evidence collected during the recent visit by Physicians for Human Rights (UK) and the Johannes Wier Foundation. The health system in South Africa is still inequitable, and despite progress towards desegregation in hospitals there is little momentum towards universal provision of primary health care, especially in the rapidly growing townships around big cities. The authors consider that pressure on the government should be maintained by outside organisations but that support directed towards appropriate health care should be encouraged, particularly in public health and primary health care.
PMCID: PMC1693501  PMID: 8343707
6.  The alpha and beta subunits of nematode actin capping protein function in yeast. 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1993;4(9):907-917.
We cloned and analyzed two genes, cap-1 and cap-2, which encode the alpha and beta subunits of Caenorhabditis elegans capping protein (CP). The nematode CP subunits are 55% (cap-1) and 66% (cap-2) identical to the chicken CP subunits and 32% (cap-1) and 48% (cap-2) identical to the yeast CP subunits. Purified nematode CP made by expression of both subunits in yeast is functionally similar to chicken skeletal muscle CP in two different actin polymerization assays. The abnormal cell morphology and disorganized actin cytoskeleton of yeast CP null mutants are restored to wild-type by expression of the nematode CP subunits. Expression of the nematode CP alpha or beta subunit is sufficient to restore viability to yeast cap1 sac6 or cap2 sac6 double mutants, respectively. Therefore, despite evolution of the nematode actin cytoskeleton to a state far more complex than that of yeast, one important component can function in both organisms.
PMCID: PMC275721  PMID: 8257793

Results 1-6 (6)