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The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Firefighters are routinely exposed to various traumatic events and often experience a range of trauma-related symptoms. Although these repeated traumatic exposures rarely progress to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, firefighters are still considered to be a vulnerable population with regard to trauma.
To investigate how the human brain responds to or compensates for the repeated experience of traumatic stress.
We included 98 healthy firefighters with repeated traumatic experiences but without any diagnosis of mental illness and 98 non-firefighter healthy individuals without any history of trauma. Functional connectivity within the fear circuitry, which consists of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, insula, amygdala, hippocampus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), was examined using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Trauma-related symptoms were evaluated using the Impact of Event Scale – Revised.
The firefighter group had greater functional connectivity between the insula and several regions of the fear circuitry including the bilateral amygdalae, bilateral hippocampi and vmPFC as compared with healthy individuals. In the firefighter group, stronger insula–amygdala connectivity was associated with greater severity of trauma-related symptoms (β = 0.36, P = 0.005), whereas higher insula–vmPFC connectivity was related to milder symptoms in response to repeated trauma (β = −0.28, P = 0.01).
The current findings suggest an active involvement of insular functional connectivity in response to repeated traumatic stress. Functional connectivity of the insula in relation to the amygdala and vmPFC may be potential pathways that underlie the risk for and resilience to repeated traumatic stress, respectively.
Introduction: The GridlockED game is a serious game aimed at teaching junior learners about flow and organization in the emergency department(ED). With serious games, the mechanism of learning is thought to be via the gameplay experience. Objectives built into gameplay are aimed at teaching players about a specific concept; in this case, we hoped to teach players about interprofessional collaboration and basic mechanics that drive flow in the ED. However, before a player can be taught, he or she must be engaged and have a positive gameplay experience. From the GridlockED gameplay, we aim to explore how a players gameplay experience related to observed actions while playing the game, including participating in decision making and keeping the team organized. Methods: From April-August 2017, participants were invited to play 4 turns of a GridlockED game session. They were video recorded during gameplay. After playing the game, they were surveyed using the previously derived Game Experience Questionnaire (GEQ) to measure their gameplay experience. The videos were reviewed by two research team members (SH, EJ), tallying various observed game actions. We conducted Pearson correlation between players GEQ total score and their observed actions. Results: A total of 32 participants (13 attendings, 5 senior residents, 10 junior residents, and 4 nurses) played the game. The average total GEQ was 67.2/132 (SD=10.7), suggesting most players had a moderately good gameplay experience. The total GEQ score correlated with component subscores within the questionnaire. Overall observed activity correlated well with each observed action subtype. However, the GEQ total score did not correlate significantly with the total observed action (Pearsons r=0.18,p=0.32). GEQ total score was found to be moderately correlated to an observation that a player participated in determining strategy during gameplay (r=0.36,p=0.04). There was a moderate negative correlation between determining strategy during gameplay and teaching about the game (r=-0.37,p=0.04) or emergency medicine concepts (r=-0.47,p<0.01). Conclusion: The GEQ is internally consistent, but does not have a strong relationship to observed actions, suggesting that game experience does not necessarily correlate with observable actions. This suggests that players may be intellectually stimulated or engaged without necessarily completing any observable actions during gameplay.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Understanding viral transmission dynamics within populations of reservoir hosts can facilitate greater knowledge of the spillover of emerging infectious diseases. While bat-borne viruses are of concern to public health, investigations into their dynamics have been limited by a lack of longitudinal data from individual bats. Here, we examine capture–mark–recapture (CMR) data from a species of Australian bat (Myotis macropus) infected with a putative novel Alphacoronavirus within a Bayesian framework. Then, we developed epidemic models to estimate the effect of persistently infectious individuals (which shed viruses for extensive periods) on the probability of viral maintenance within the study population. We found that the CMR data analysis supported grouping of infectious bats into persistently and transiently infectious bats. Maintenance of coronavirus within the study population was more likely in an epidemic model that included both persistently and transiently infectious bats, compared with the epidemic model with non-grouping of bats. These findings, using rare CMR data from longitudinal samples of individual bats, increase our understanding of transmission dynamics of bat viral infectious diseases.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
We demonstrate an effective recombination zone consisting of Mg:Ag (1:3) alloy and MoO3 layers with 0.8 nm and 3 nm respectively for application in tandem organic photovoltaic devices based on zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPc) donor and fullerene C60 acceptor. The Mg:Ag layer ensures an optimum electron selectivity, while MoO3 layer effectively selects holes. A conversion efficiency of 2.2% has been achieved under an illumination of 100 mW/cm2 at room temperature. The open circuit voltage of 810 mV is close to the sum of the open circuit voltages of the constituent single cells. The recombination Mg:Ag-MoO3 layer system is investigated with regard to the requirements of high optical transparency, work function compatibility, and facilitation of light absorption. The respective characterizations were carried out by UV-Visible spectroscopy, Kelvin probe force microscopy in ultrahigh vacuum, current-voltage and external quantum efficiency methods.
Right hemispheric damage (RHD) caused by strokes often induce attentional disorders such as hemispatial neglect. Most patients with neglect over time have a reduction in their ipsilesional spatial attentional bias. Despite this improvement in spatial bias, many patients remain disabled. The cause of this chronic disability is not fully known, but even in the absence of a directional spatial attentional bias, patients with RHD may have an impaired ability to accurately and precisely allocate their spatial attention. This inaccuracy and variable directional allocation of spatial attention may be revealed by repeated performance on a spatial attentional task, such as line bisection (LBT). Participants with strokes of their right versus left (LHD) hemisphere along with healthy controls (HC) performed 24 consecutive trials of 24 cm horizontal line bisections. A vector analysis of the magnitude and direction of deviations from midline, as well as their standard deviations (SD), were calculated. The results demonstrated no significant difference between the LHD, RHD and HC groups in overall spatial bias (mean bisection including magnitude and direction); however, the RHD group had a significantly larger variability of their spatial errors (SD), and made larger errors (from midline) than did the LHD and HC groups. There was a curvilinear relationship between the RHD participants’ performance variability and their severity of their inaccuracy. Therefore, when compared to HC and LHD, the RHD subjects’ performance on the LBT is more variable and inaccurate. (JINS, 2015, 21, 373–377)
This study was conducted to investigate the angles and orientation of semicircular canals, and the coplanarity of functional canal pairs.
Fluid signals in semicircular canals were reconstructed with three-dimensional reconstruction software using 20 temporal bone magnetic resonance images of normal subjects. The angles between each pair of semicircular canals were measured.
The mean angles between the anterior and horizontal semicircular canal plane, the horizontal and posterior semicircular canal plane, and the anterior and posterior semicircular canal plane were 83.7°, 82.5° and 88.4°, respectively. Pairs of contralateral synergistic canal planes were formed 15.1° between the right and left horizontal semicircular canal planes, 21.2° between the right anterior and left posterior semicircular canal, and 21.7° between the left anterior and right posterior semicircular canal.
Each semicircular canal makes an almost right angle with other canals, but synergistically acting functional canal pairs of both ears do not lie in exactly the same plane.
Depression is common after acute coronary syndrome (ACS) with adverse effects on prognosis. There is little evidence on whether depression treatment improves quality of life (QoL) in ACS patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of co-morbid depression and its treatment on QoL in ACS.
In total, 1152 patients were recruited at baseline, 2–14 weeks after a confirmed ACS episode, and 828 were followed 1 year thereafter. Of 446 baseline participants with co-morbid depressive disorders, 300 were randomized to a 24-week double blind trial of escitalopram or placebo, while the remaining 146 received medical treatment only (MTO). QoL was measured by the World Health Organization Quality of Life –Abbreviated form (WHOQOL-BREF).
At baseline, QoL was significantly lower in patients with co-morbid depressive disorder than those without. QoL improvement was significantly greater in those receiving escitalopram than those receiving placebo over the 24-week treatment period. In the 1-year follow-up, the better outcomes associated with escitalopram remained evident against both placebo and MTO.
Depression was significantly associated with worse QoL even in patients with recently developed ACS. Depression treatment was associated with QoL improvement in ACS patients in the 24-week treatment period, the effects of which extended to 1 year.
In February 2012, an outbreak of gastroenteritis was reported in school A; a successive outbreak was reported at school B. A retrospective cohort study conducted in school A showed that seasoned green seaweed with radishes (relative risk 7·9, 95% confidence interval 1·1–56·2) was significantly associated with illness. Similarly, a case-control study of students at school B showed that cases were 5·1 (95% confidence interval 1·1–24·8) times more likely to have eaten seasoned green seaweed with pears. Multiple norovirus genotypes were detected in samples from students in schools A and B. Norovirus GII.6 isolated from schools A and B were phylogenetically indistinguishable. Green seaweed was supplied by company X, and norovirus GII.4 was isolated from samples of green seaweed. Green seaweed was assumed to be linked to these outbreaks. To our knowledge, this is the first reported norovirus outbreak associated with green seaweed.
The present study investigated whether whey (WH) protein, casein (CAS) protein or a carbohydrate placebo (PLA) consumed 30 min before sleep could acutely alter appetite or cardiometabolic risk the following morning. A total of forty-four sedentary overweight and obese women (BMI: 25·7–54·6 kg/m2) completed this stratified, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (WH: n 16, age 27·4 (sd 5·0) years; CAS: n 15, age 30·3 (sd 8·1) years; PLA: n 13, age 28·5 (sd 7·2) years). The participants came to the laboratory at baseline (visit 1) and again in the morning after night-time ingestion of either protein or PLA (visit 2). Visit 2 was conducted at least 48 h after visit 1. During visits 1 and 2, the following parameters were measured: appetite (hunger, satiety and desire to eat); resting metabolism; blood lipid and glucose levels; the levels of insulin, leptin, C-reactive protein, insulin-like growth factor-1, cortisol and adiponectin. Data were analysed using repeated-measures ANOVA. No group × time interactions were observed for the measured variables; however, a main effect of time was observed for increased satiety (P= 0·03), reduced desire to eat (P= 0·006), and increased insulin levels (P= 0·004) and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance values (P= 0·01) after the consumption of either protein or PLA. The results of the present study reveal that night-time consumption of protein or carbohydrate by sedentary overweight and obese women improves their appetite measures but negatively affects insulin levels. Long-term studies are needed to evaluate the effects of chronic consumption of low-energy snacks at night on body composition and cardiometabolic risk.
The defect levels associated with Mg impurity in p-type GaN films were systematically investigated in terms of doping concentration by photocurrent spectroscopy. Mg-doped GaN samples were grown on sapphire substrate by metal organic chemical vapor deposition and annealed in nitrogen atmosphere at 850 for 10 minutes. At room temperature, PC spectra showed two peaks at 3.31 and 3.15 eV associated with acceptor levels formed at 300 and 142 meV above valence band in as grown samples. But, after the thermal annealing, PC spectra exhibited various additional peaks depending on the Mg concentration. In the GaN samples with Mg concentration around 6 7 1017 cm−3, we have observed PC peaks related to Mg at 3.31 as well as 3.02 eV and carbon acceptor at 3.17 eV. For moderately Mg doped GaN samples, i.e., the hole concentration p=3 4 1017 cm−3, additional peak was observed at around 0.9 eV which can be attributed to defects related to Ga vacancy. For relatively low Mg doped samples whose hole concentrations are 1 2 1017 cm−3, additional broad peak was observed at around 1.3 eV. This peak may be related to the yellow band luminescence. As the Mg concentration is increased, the concentration of Ga vacancies can be reduced because Mg occupies the substitutional site of Ga in GaN lattice. When the hole concentration is above 6 7 1017 cm−3, the yellow luminescence and Ga vacancy related peaks disappeared completely.
We measured the UV-optical-near-IR spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of redshift z ~ 0.3-1.5 early-type galaxies (ETGs) with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Wide Field Camera 3 (Rutkowski et al.2012). We searched for young stellar populations and morphological signatures of the mechanisms driving recent star formation (RSF) in these ETGs in order to provide observational constraints on models of galaxy evolution.
In this paper we report about combining inkjet printing technology and self-assembly as a scalable manufacturing tool for spherical, well-ordered aggregates. The aggregates consist of a high number of ordered colloidal nanospheres arranged as ball-shaped structures. Applying inkjet printing based on the principle of droplet ejection the spherical aggregates can be deposited on various surfaces in dry environment and under ambient conditions. The aggregation of the nanospheres is independent of the surface energy of the substrate leading to the assumption that the main part of the assembly and aggregation process takes place in-flight .
By applying inkjet printing with an adapted control signal, small droplets of a water-based ink formulation containing monodisperse polystyrene nanoparticles are ejected out of the inkjet nozzles. The ejected droplets serve as a confined geometry for the nanospheres in the carrier liquid during evaporation. As a result, the particles form stable ball-shaped aggregates with hexagonal order. Due to the in-flight self-assembly of the nanospheres, our approach is suitable for any solid surface in dry environment and allows the deposition of the ball-shaped aggregates in appropriate patterns.
There has been much interest in the last few years on materials reinforced with nanometer scale particles. These so-called nanocomposites can exhibit hybrid properties derived from its components. One of the most promising nanocomposites is that based on polymers reinforced with single-layered carbon sheets named graphene. The reason is that graphene can significantly improve the physical properties of the polymeric material once it is completely dispersed in the matrix. In this work nylon/graphene nanocomposites were prepared starting from the synthesis of graphite oxide (GO). Direct oxidation of graphite powder was utilized to produce GO. That is, the oxidation reaction produced graphite layers with functional groups containing oxygen. The aim was to increase the polarity of GO to enable a good dispersion in polar solvents. Then, nylon/graphene nanocomposites were prepared by reducing GO in the presence of nylon. Finally, non-woven membranes, with nanometer sized filaments, of nylon/graphene were electrospun. The morphology and microstructure of the nanocomposites was investigated via electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction.
In order to characterize the microstructure of oxide layers formed on Zircaloy-4 tubes during the breakaway transition, oxidation tests in a flowing steam environment were performed at 1000°C with a different oxidation time. It was found that breakaway oxidation occurred after the oxidation time of 3000s, and zirconium dioxide layers existed in two mixed crystallographic forms of the tetragonal and monoclinic phase in all samples. The zirconium oxide layers showed enhanced crystallinity, increase in grain size, and fine pores at the grain boundary after breakaway oxidation. We found that the initiation of breakaway-oxidation instability originated from these microstructural changes.
In May 2009, we investigated a hospital outbreak of pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) infection among healthcare personnel (HCP). Thirteen (65%) of 20 HCP with pH1N1 infection had healthcare-associated cases, which were primarily attributed to transmission among HCP. Eleven (55%) of HCP with pH1N1 infection worked for 1 day or more after the onset of illness. Personnel working with mild illness may have contributed to transmission among HCP.
Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) are an increasing infectious threat in hospitals. We investigated the clinical epidemiology of CRAB infections vs. colonization in patients, and examined the mechanisms of resistance associated with elevated minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for carbapenems. From January to June 2009, 75 CRAB strains were collected. CRAB infection was significantly associated with malignancy and a high APACHE II score. The most dominant resistance mechanism was ISAba1 preceding OXA-51, producing strains with overexpression of efflux pump. Strains carrying blaOXA-23-like enzymes had higher carbapenem MICs than those carrying blaOXA-51-like enzymes; however, the presence of multiple mechanisms did not result in increased resistance to carbapenems. There was no difference in the resistance mechanisms in strains from infected and colonized patients. The majority of strains were genetically diverse by DNA macrorestriction although there was evidence of clonal spread of four clusters of strains in patients.
A glass-bonded sodalite ceramic waste form (CWF) has been developed to immobilize electrorefiner salt wastes from electrometallurgical treatment of spent sodium-bonded reactor fuel for disposal. A degradation model is being developed to support qualification of the CWF for disposal in the federal high-level waste disposal system. The parameter values in the waste form degradation model were previously determined from the dissolution rates measured in MCC-1 tests conducted at 40, 70, and 90°C. The results of several series of tests that were conducted to confirm the applicability of the dissolution rate model and model parameters are presented in this paper: (1) Series of MCC-1 tests were conducted in five dilute buffer solutions in the pH range of 4.8 – 9.8 at 20°C with hot isostatic pressing (HIP) sodalite, HIP glass, and HIP CWF. The results show that the model adequately predicts the dissolution rate of these materials at 20°C. (2) Tests at 20 and 70°C with CWF made by pressureless-consolidation (PC) indicate that the model parameters extracted from the results of tests with HIP CWF can be applied to PC CWF. (3) The dissolution rates of a glass made with a composition corresponding to 80 wt. % glass and 20 wt. % sodalite were measured at 70°C to evaluate the sensitivity of the rate to the composition of binder glass in the CWF. The dissolution rates of the modified binder glass were indistinguishable from the rates of the binder glass.