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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.
We present a broad study of linear, clustered, noble gas puffs irradiated with the frequency doubled (527 nm) Titan laser at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Pure Ar, Kr, and Xe clustered gas puffs, as well as two mixed-gas puffs consisting of KrAr and XeKrAr gases, make up the targets. Characterization experiments to determine gas-puff density show that varying the experimental parameter gas-delay timing (the delay between gas puff initialization and laser-gas-puff interaction) provides a simple control over the gas-puff density. X-ray emission (>1.4 keV) is studied as a function of gas composition, density, and delay timing. Xe gas puffs produce the strongest peak radiation in the several keV spectral region. The emitted radiation was found to be anisotropic, with smaller X-ray flux observed in the direction perpendicular to both laser beam propagation and polarization directions. The degree of anisotropy is independent of gas target type but increases with photon energy. X-ray spectroscopic measurements estimate plasma parameters and highlight their difference with previous studies. Electron beams with energy in excess of 72 keV are present in the noble gas-puff plasmas and results indicate that Ar plays a key role in their production. A drastic increase in harder X-ray emissions (X-ray flash effect) and multi-MeV electron-beam generation from Xe gas-puff plasma occurred when the laser beam was focused on the front edge of the linear gas puff.
Sexually reproducing pathogens such as Cyclospora cayetanensis often produce genetically heterogeneous infections where the number of unique sequence types detected at any given locus varies depending on which locus is sequenced. The genotypes assigned to these infections quickly become complex when additional loci are analysed. This genetic heterogeneity confounds the utility of traditional sequence-typing and phylogenetic approaches for aiding epidemiological trace-back, and requires new methods to address this complexity. Here, we describe an ensemble of two similarity-based classification algorithms, including a Bayesian and heuristic component that infer the relatedness of C. cayetanensis infections. The ensemble requires a set of haplotypes as input and assigns arbitrary distances to specimen pairs reflecting their most likely relationships. The approach was applied to data generated from a test cohort of 88 human fecal specimens containing C. cayetanensis, including 30 from patients whose infections were associated with epidemiologically defined outbreak clusters of cyclosporiasis. The ensemble assigned specimens to plausible clusters of genetically related infections despite their complex haplotype composition. These relationships were corroborated by a significant number of epidemiological linkages (P < 0.0001) suggesting the ensemble's utility for aiding epidemiological trace-back investigations of cyclosporiasis.
Introduction: Point-of-care ultrasonography (PoCUS) is being incorporated into Canadian undergraduate medical school curricula. The purpose of this study was to evaluate novel PoCUS education sessions to determine what aspects of the sessions benefitted from hands-on training and which PoCUS skills were retained over time. Methods: Second year medical students voluntarily received three different PoCUS training sessions, each lasting three hours. Prior to the sessions, participants prepared independently with pre-circulated online learning materials. After a 15-minute lecture, experienced PoCUS providers led small group (1 instructor: 5 students), live scanning sessions. Evaluations were conducted before and after each session using expert validated multiple choice questions testing general and procedural knowledge, image recognition and interpretation. Volunteer students were evaluated via direct observation of live scanning using an objective structured assessment of technical skills (OSAT) based on the O-score and then re-evaluated at 2 months post-training to assess PoCUS skills retention. Results: 40 second year medical students participated in extended Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (eFAST), cardiac, and gallbladder PoCUS sessions. The live-training sessions significantly improved student PoCUS knowledge beyond what they learned independently for eFAST (p < 0.001), cardiac (p < 0.001), and gallbladder (p = 0.02). The largest improvement was noted in procedural knowledge test scores improving from 44.0% to 84.0% (n = 38). 16 students were evaluated after each session with a mean O-score of 2.37. 8 students returned two months later to be re-evaluated demonstrating a change in O-scores for eFAST (2.00 to 2.38, p = 0.15), cardiac (2.28 to 2.00, p = 0.32), and gallbladder (2.91 to 1.88, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Procedural PoCUS knowledge benefited the most with hands-on training. eFAST and cardiac PoCUS competency was maintained over time while gallbladder PoCUS competency degraded suggesting that targeted PoCUS skills training may be possible. Further study is required to determine the best use of PoCUS resources in undergraduate medical education.
The total soft x-ray emission of an electron-bombarded surface exhibits abrupt changes at the threshold potentials for the excitation of core levels of surface atoms. These features represent the excitation probabilities of the core states superimposed on a smoothly increasing background and can be sensitively detected by differentiating the x-ray emission with respect to sample potential. The application of this technique to the study of surface composition, chemical shifts, and band structure is discussed.
The filled states in the surface region of a solid can be probed by monochromatic x-rays. The spectral distribution of photoelectrons near the high kinetic energy limit is related to the density of valence band states. Complementary information regarding the unoccupied states is obtained from the spectral distribution of bremsstrahlung, emitted bv radiative capture of monoenergetic electrons, near the short wavelength limit. In soft x-ray appearance potential spectroscopy, the near-threshold excitation probability of a core level is a measure of the local density of unfilled states associated with a particular element. In each case the sensitivity to the surface results from the short mean free path for inelastic scattering of electrons. Unfortunatelv this has severe consequences for the interpretation of line shapes.
Early institutional rearing is associated with increased risk for subsequent peer relationship difficulties, but the underlying mechanisms have not been identified. Friendship characteristics, social behaviors with peers, normed assessments of social problems, and social cue use were assessed in 142 children (mean age = 10.06, SD = 2.02; range 7–13 years), of whom 67 were previously institutionalized (PI), and 75 were raised by their biological families. Anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, often elevated among PI children, were examined as potential mediators of PI status and baseline social functioning and longitudinal follow-ups (2 and 4 years later). Twenty-seven percent of PI children fell above the Child Behavior Checklist Social Problems cutoff. An examination of specific social behaviors with peers indicated that PI and comparison children did not differ in empathic concern or peer social approach, though parents were more likely to endorse aggression/overarousal as a reason that PI children might struggle with friendships. Comparison children outperformed PI children in computerized testing of social cue use learning. Finally, across these measures, social difficulties exhibited in the PI group were mediated by ADHD symptoms with predicted social problems assessed 4 years later. These findings show that, when PI children struggle with friendships, mechanisms involving attention and behavior regulation are likely contributors.
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.
Although many mental health care systems provide care interventions that are not related to direct health care, little is known about the interfaces between the latter and core health care. ‘Core health care’ refers to services whose explicit aim is direct clinical treatment which is usually provided by health professionals, i.e., physicians, nurses, psychologists. ‘Other care’ is typically provided by other staff and includes accommodation, training, promotion of independence, employment support and social skills. In such a definition, ‘other care’ does not necessarily mean being funded or governed differently. The aims of the study were: (1) using a standard classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services and Directories in Europe for Long Term Care, DESDE-LTC) to identify ‘core health’ and ‘other care’ services provided to adults with mental health problems; and (2) to investigate the balance of care by analysing the types and characteristics of core health and other care services.
The study was conducted in eight selected local areas in eight European countries with different mental health systems. All publicly funded mental health services, regardless of the funding agency, for people over 18 years old were identified and coded. The availability, capacity and the workforce of the local mental health services were described using their functional main activity or ‘Main Types of Care’ (MTC) as the standard for international comparison, following the DESDE-LTC system.
In these European study areas, 822 MTCs were identified as providing core health care and 448 provided other types of care. Even though one-third of mental health services in the selected study areas provided interventions that were coded as ‘other care’, significant variation was found in the typology and characteristics of these services across the eight study areas.
The functional distinction between core health and other care overcomes the traditional division between ‘health’ and ‘social’ sectors based on governance and funding. The overall balance between core health and other care services varied significantly across the European sites. Mental health systems cannot be understood or planned without taking into account the availability and capacity of all services specifically available for this target population, including those outside the health sector.
Culturally linked family influences during adolescence are important predictors of health and well-being for Latino youth, yet few studies have examined whether these familial influences are associated with indicators of typical physiological stress processes. Following a cultural neurobiology framework, we examined the role of family in the everyday lives of Latino adolescents (N = 209; Mage = 18.10; 85.1% Mexican descent; 64.4% female) by investigating familism values and perceptions of parent support as well as daily family assistance behaviors in relation to hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis diurnal patterns, indexed by salivary cortisol five times a day for 3 weekdays. Three-level growth curve analyses revealed that perceptions of parental support were associated with greater cortisol awakening responses, whereas familism values were not associated with diurnal cortisol patterns. In day-to-day analyses, assisting family during the day (compared to not assisting family) was associated with lower waking cortisol levels and flatter diurnal slopes the next day. Our findings highlight the dynamic associations and multiple time courses between cultural values and behaviors, daily experiences, and physiological stress processes for Latino adolescents. Further, we identified important cultural risk and promotive factors associated with physiological regulation in daily life and potential pathways toward health outcomes in adulthood.
Naturally time-averaged accumulations of skeletal remains—death assemblages—provide reliable, albeit temporally coarse, information on the species composition and structure of communities in diverse settings, and their mismatch with local living communities usually signals recent human-driven ecological change. Here, we present the first test of live–dead mismatch as an indicator of human stress using ostracodes. On three islands along a gradient of human population density in the Bahamas, we compared the similarity of living and death assemblages in 10 lakes with relatively low levels of human stress to live–dead similarity in 11 physically comparable lakes subject to industrial, agricultural, or other human activities currently or in the past. We find that live–dead agreement in pristine lakes is consistently excellent, boding well for using death assemblages in modern-day and paleolimnological biodiversity assessments. In most comparison of physically similar paired lakes, sample-level live–dead mismatch in both taxonomic composition and species’ rank abundance is on average significantly greater in the stressed lakes; live–dead agreement is not lower in all samples from stressed lakes, but is more variable. When samples are pooled for lake-level and island-level comparisons, stressed lakes still yield lower live–dead agreement, but the significance of the difference with pristine lakes decreases—species that occur dead-only (or alive-only) in one sample are likely to occur alive (or dead) in other samples. Interisland differences in live–dead agreement are congruent with, but not significantly correlated with, differences in human population density. This situation arises from heterogeneity in the timing and magnitudes of stresses and in the extent of poststress recovery. Live–dead mismatch in ostracode assemblages thus may be a reliable indicator of human impact at the sample level with the potential to be a widely applicable tool for identifying impacted habitats and, perhaps, monitoring the progress of their recovery.
Introduction: Carotid artery stenosis (CAS) is a common cause of stroke. Patients with severe, symptomatic CAS can have their subsequent stroke risk reduced by carotid endarterectomy or stenting when completed soon after a TIA or non-disabling stroke. Patients presenting to a peripheral ED with TIA/stroke, may require transfer to another hospital for imaging to rule-out CAS. The purpose of this study was to determine the test characteristics of carotid artery POCUS in detecting greater than 50% stenosis in patients presenting with TIA/stroke. Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study on a convenience sample of adult patients presenting to a tertiary care academic ED with TIA/stroke between June and October 2017. Carotid POCUS was performed by a trained medical student or a trained emergency physician. Our outcome measure, CAS >50% was determined by the final radiology report of CTA imaging by a trained radiologist, blinded to our study. A blinded POCUS expert reviewed the carotid POCUS scans. We calculated the sensitivity and specificity for CAS >50% using carotid POCUS versus the gold standard of CTA. Results: We enrolled 75 patients of which 5 did not meet inclusion criteria. The mean age was 70.4 years, 57% were male. 16% were diagnosed with greater than 50% CAS. 47% were stroke codes and 37% were admitted to hospital. Carotid POCUS had a sensitivity and specificity of 72% (46%-99%) and 88% (80%-96%) respectively. There were three false negatives of which two were exactly 50% ICA stenosis on CTA and the other was 100% occlusion of the distal ICA. Kappa coefficient for inter-rater reliability between standard and expert interpretation was 0.68 for moderate agreement. The scan took a mean time of 6.2 minutes to complete. Conclusion: Carotid POCUS has moderate correlation with CTA for detection of CAS greater than 50%. Carotid POCUS identified all the critical 70-99% stenosis lesions that would need urgent surgery. Further research is needed to confirm these findings.
The present study aimed to examine the correlates of fruit and vegetable intake (FVI) separately among parents and their adolescents.
Parents and adolescents completed the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) survey through the National Cancer Institute. The survey assessed daily intake frequencies of food/beverage groups, psychosocial, parenting and sociodemographic factors. Generalized linear models were run for both parents and adolescents, for a total of six models (three each): (i) sociodemographic characteristics; (ii) psychosocial factors; (iii) parent/caregiver factors.
Parent participants (n 1542) were predominantly 35–59 years old (86 %), female (73 %), non-Hispanic White (71 %) or non-Hispanic Black (17 %), with household income <$US 100 000 (79 %). Adolescents (n 805) were aged 12–14 years (50 %), non-Hispanic White (66 %) and non-Hispanic Black (15 %). Parents consumed 2·9 cups fruits and vegetables (F&V) daily, while adolescents consumed 2·2 cups daily. Educational attainment (higher education had greater FVI) and sex (men consumed more than women; all P<0·001) were significant FVI predictors. Parents with greater autonomous and controlled motivation, self-efficacy and preferences for fruit reported higher FVI (all P<0·001). Similarly, adolescents with greater autonomous and controlled motivation, self-efficacy and knowledge reported higher FVI (all P<0·001). Parenting factors of importance were co-deciding how many F&V teens should have, rules, having F&V in the home and cooking meals from scratch (all P<0·05).
Findings suggest factors that impact FVI among parents and their adolescent(s), which highlight the importance of the role of parent behaviour and can inform tailored approaches for increasing FVI in various settings.
Human bocaviruses (HBoVs) have been detected in human gastrointestinal infections worldwide. In 2005, HBoV was also discovered in infants and children with infections of the lower respiratory tract. Recently, several genotypes of this parvovirus, including HBoV genotype 2 (HBoV2), genotype 3 (HBoV3) and genotype 4 (HBoV4), were discovered and found to be closely related to HBoV. HBoV2 was first detected in stool samples from children in Pakistan, followed by detection in other countries. HBoV3 was detected in Australia and HBoV4 was identified in stool samples from Nigeria, Tunisia and the USA. Recently, HBoV infection has been on the rise throughout the world, particularly in countries neighbouring South Korea; however, there have been very few studies on Korean strains. In this study, we characterised the whole genome and determined the phylogenetic position of CUK-BC20, a new clinical HBoV strain isolated in South Korea. The CUK-BC20 genome of 5184 nucleotides (nt) contains three open-reading frames (ORFs). The genotype of CUK-BC20 is HBoV2, and 98.77% of its nt sequence is identical with those of other HBoVs, namely Rus-Nsc10-N386. Especially, the ORF3 amino acid sequences from positions 212–213 and 454 corresponding to a variable region (VR)1 and VR5, respectively, showed genotype-specific substitutions that distinguished the four HBoV genotypes. As the first whole-genome sequence analysis of HBoV in South Korea, this information will provide a valuable reference for the detection of recombination, tracking of epidemics and development of diagnosis methods for HBoV.
John Lee's, David Fedman's, and Lisa Brady's essays persuasively show the value of studying environmental issues on the Korean peninsula. Each of the essays carefully explains how drives led by individuals and entities, such as the state, engineered nature for human needs, security, and later economic growth. In so doing, they show how these drives simultaneously altered nature and remade institutions, systems, and cultures that influenced people's agency and identity and reshaped forms of consciousness. By judiciously making visible the agents and social forces behind the reconstitution of nature, the essays collectively introduce diverse approaches to the study of environmental issues in Asia and elsewhere. Most of all, they demonstrate that transnational environmental history on the Korean peninsula can no longer be overlooked when dwelling on and debating major historical and theoretical issues in Korean, Asian, and environmental studies.
Objectives: To test the hypothesis that brain arterial diameters are associated with cognitive performance, particularly in arteries supplying domain-specific territories. Methods: Stroke-free participants in the Northern Manhattan Study were invited to have a brain MRI from 2003–2008. The luminal diameters of 13 intracranial arterial segments were obtained using time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA), and then averaged and normalized into a global score and region-specific arterial diameters. Z-Scores for executive function, semantic memory, episodic memory and processing speed were obtained at MRI and during follow-up. Adjusted generalized additive models were used to assess for associations. Results: Among the 1034 participants with neurocognitive testing and brain MRI, there were non-linear relationships between left anterior (ACA) and middle cerebral artery (MCA) diameter and semantic memory Z-scores (χ2=10.00; DF=3; p=.019), and left posterior cerebral artery (PCA) and posterior communicating artery (Pcomm) mean diameter and episodic memory Z-scores (χ2=9.88; DF=3; p=.020). Among the 745 participants who returned for 2nd neuropsychological testing, on average 5.0±0.4 years after their MRI, semantic memory change was associated non-linearly with the left PCA/Pcomm mean diameter (χ2=13.09; DF=3; p=.004) and with the right MCA/ACA mean diameter (χ2=8.43; DF=3; p=.03). In both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, participants with the larger brain arterial diameters had more consistently lower Z-scores and greater decline than the rest of the participants. Conclusions: Brain arterial diameters may have downstream effects in brain function presenting as poorer cognition. Identifying the mechanisms and the directionality of such interactions may increase the understanding of the vascular contribution to cognitive impairment and dementia. (JINS, 2018, 24, 335–346)