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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.
Usutu virus (USUV) is an emerging arbovirus that was first isolated in South Africa in 1959. This Flavivirus is maintained in the environment through a typical enzootic cycle involving mosquitoes and birds. USUV has spread to a large part of the European continent over the two decades mainly leading to substantial avian mortalities with a significant recrudescence of bird infections recorded throughout Europe within the few last years. USUV infection in humans is considered to be most often asymptomatic or to cause mild clinical signs. Nonetheless, a few cases of neurological complications such as encephalitis or meningoencephalitis have been reported. USUV and West Nile virus (WNV) share many features, like a close phylogenetic relatedness and a similar ecology, with co-circulation frequently observed in nature. However, USUV has been much less studied and in-depth comparisons of the biology of these viruses are yet rare. In this review, we discuss the main body of knowledge regarding USUV and compare it with the literature on WNV, addressing in particular virological and clinical aspects, and pointing data gaps.
A better understanding of the dynamics of different particulate organic matter (OM) pools in the coastal carbon budget is a key issue for quantifying the role of the coastal ocean in the global carbon cycle. To elucidate the benthic component of this carbon cycle at the land-sea interface, we investigated the carbon isotope signatures (δ13C and ∆14C) in the sediment pore waters dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in addition to the sediment OM to constrain the origin of the OM mineralized in sediments. The study site is located at the outlet of the Rhône River (Mediterranean Sea), which was chosen because this river is one of the most nuclearized rivers in Europe and nuclear 14C can serve as a tracer to follow the fate of the OM discharged by the river to the coastal sea. The ∆14C results found in the pore waters DIC show a general offset between buried and mineralized OM following a preferential mineralization model of young and fresh particles. For example, we found that the sediment OM has values with a mean ∆14C=–33‰ at sampling stations near the river mouth whereas enriched ∆14C values around +523‰ and +667‰ respectively were found for the pore waters DIC. This indicates complete mineralization of a riverine fraction of OM enriched in 14C in the river conduit during in-stream photosynthesis. In shelf sediments, the ∆14C of pore waters DIC is slightly enriched (+57‰) with sediment OM reaching –570‰. A mixing model shows that particles mineralized near the river mouth are certainly of riverine phytoplanktonic origin whereas OM mineralized on the shelf is of marine origin. This work highlights the fact that pore waters provide additional information compared to sediments alone and it seems essential to work on both pools to study the carbon budget in river prodelta.
From 1565 to 1570, Spain established no fewer than three networks of presidios (fortified military settlements) across portions of its frontier territories in La Florida and New Spain. Juan Pardo's network of six forts, extending from the Atlantic coast over the Appalachian Mountains, was the least successful of these presidio systems, lasting only from late 1566 to early 1568. The failure of Pardo's defensive network has long been attributed to poor planning and an insufficient investment of resources. Yet recent archaeological discoveries at the Berry site in western North Carolina—the location of both the Native American town of Joara and Pardo's first garrison, Fort San Juan—warrants a reappraisal of this interpretation. While previous archaeological research at Berry concentrated on the domestic compound where Pardo's soldiers resided, the location of the fort itself remained unknown. In 2013, the remains of Fort San Juan were finally identified south of the compound, the first of Pardo's interior forts to be discovered by archaeologists. Data from excavations and geophysical surveys suggest that it was a substantial defensive construction. We attribute the failure of Pardo's network to the social geography of the Native South rather than to an insufficient investment of resources.
Objective: The human gut microbiota has been demonstrated to be associated with a number of host phenotypes, including obesity and a number of obesity-associated phenotypes. This study is aimed at further understanding and describing the relationship between the gut microbiota and obesity-associated measurements obtained from human participants. Subjects/Methods: Here, we utilize genetically informative study designs, including a four-corners design (extremes of genetic risk for BMI and of observed BMI; N = 50) and the BMI monozygotic (MZ) discordant twin pair design (N = 30), in order to help delineate the role of host genetics and the gut microbiota in the development of obesity. Results: Our results highlight a negative association between BMI and alpha diversity of the gut microbiota. The low genetic risk/high BMI group of individuals had a lower gut microbiota alpha diversity when compared to the other three groups. Although the difference in alpha diversity between the lean and heavy groups of the BMI-discordant MZ twin design did not achieve significance, this difference was observed to be in the expected direction, with the heavier participants having a lower average alpha diversity. We have also identified nine OTUs observed to be associated with either a leaner or heavier phenotype, with enrichment for OTUs classified to the Ruminococcaceae and Oxalobacteraceae taxonomic families. Conclusion: Our study presents evidence of a relationship between BMI and alpha diversity of the gut microbiota. In addition to these findings, a number of OTUs were found to be significantly associated with host BMI. These findings may highlight separate subtypes of obesity, one driven by genetic factors, the other more heavily influenced by environmental factors.
It is now well accepted that exposure to adverse environmental conditions in utero can predispose a fetus to disease later in life. Using an avian model to study the programming of disease has a unique advantage as it allows isolation of the direct effects of adverse conditions on fetal physiology, without any confounding effects via the mother or placenta. However, experiments in avian models are limited by the lack of well-established surgical protocols for the adult bird, which we have established in this study. Surgery was performed on seven young adult Bovan Brown chickens (body weight 1617±214 g, mean±s.d.) in order to instrument them with femoral arterial and venous catheters and a femoral arterial flow probe. Isoflurane and lidocaine were both found to have depressive effects on chicken cardiovascular function. Optimised methods of anaesthesia, intraoperative monitoring, surgical approach, postoperative care, and experimentation are described. Chickens recovered rapidly from surgery without significant blood gas perturbation, and basal in vivo cardiovascular studies were performed following 5 days of recovery. These techniques allow detailed investigation of avian cardiometabolic function, permitting determination of the consequences in later life of direct environmental insults to fetal physiology, isolated from additional effects on maternal physiology and/or placental endocrinology.
Low energy and protein intakes have been associated with an increased risk of malnutrition in outpatients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We aimed to assess the energy and protein intakes of hospitalised COPD patients according to nutritional risk status and requirements, and the relative contribution from meals, snacks, drinks and oral nutritional supplements (ONS), and to examine whether either energy or protein intake predicts outcomes. Subjects were COPD patients (n 99) admitted to Landspitali University Hospital in 1 year (March 2015–March 2016). Patients were screened for nutritional risk using a validated screening tool, and energy and protein intake for 3 d, 1–5 d after admission to the hospital, was estimated using a validated plate diagram sheet. The percentage of patients reaching energy and protein intake ≥75 % of requirements was on average 59 and 37 %, respectively. Malnourished patients consumed less at mealtimes and more from ONS than lower-risk patients, resulting in no difference in total energy and protein intakes between groups. No clear associations between energy or protein intake and outcomes were found, although the association between energy intake, as percentage of requirement, and mortality at 12 months of follow-up was of borderline significance (OR 0·12; 95 % CI 0·01, 1·15; P=0·066). Energy and protein intakes during hospitalisation in the study population failed to meet requirements. Further studies are needed on how to increase energy and protein intakes during hospitalisation and after discharge and to assess whether higher intake in relation to requirement of hospitalised COPD patients results in better outcomes.
In this paper, first results comparing modified Longin and ninhydrin collagen extraction methodologies are presented. The goal of this study is to investigate the bones of several species with different ages, preservation conditions, and collagen contents to determine the most suitable preparation method. Different types of samples are used such as VIRI samples, previously dated bones, and background samples. Each bone has undergone elemental analysis, infrared analysis, and 14C measurement. The results are presented and the advantages and disadvantages of each preparation method are discussed. In general, results obtained by the two methods are in accordance with the consensus value for 2σ uncertainty. For VIRI I and a mammoth bone, the ninhydrin preparation gives, respectively, 8450±70 BP and 14,870±60 BP whereas the modified Longin process gives 8365±45 BP and 14,750±100 BP in agreement with the expected values. From the experimental point of view, the modified Longin process is easier to implement than the ninhydrin protocol. From this approach, we can conclude that the modified Longin process could be preferred in most cases and particularly when the amount of bone is small and the sample is not too contaminated.
Downy brome (Bromus tectorum L. # BROTE), also known as cheatgrass, downy chess, broncograss, Mormon oats, and junegrass, was introduced into the United States from Europe, apparently during the middle of the nineteenth century (11, 21). According to Mack (23), downy brome entered British Columbia, Washington, and Utah around 1890; and by 1928 it had reached its present range, occupying much of the perennial grassland in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, and British Columbia. Today, downy brome is a widespread weed throughout most of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, except for the southeastern United States (5, 17). Some consider downy brome to be an important forage because it provides most of the early spring grazing for livestock in western United States rangeland (21). However, it is also considered a troublesome weed in rangeland (31), winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) (27), several other crops (29), and noncropland (32).
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend Australians choose mostly whole-grain and/or high-fibre varieties within the grains (cereal) foods category, with other groups specifying a whole grain Daily Target Intake of 48 g for Australians aged 9 years or above. The USA and UK report estimates of whole grain intake that are low and declining, and no comprehensive studies on whole grain intake in the Australian population are available. The present study aimed to determine national estimates of whole grain intake, compared with current recommendations.
A recently updated whole grain database was applied to the most current population dietary intake data. Single 24 h dietary recall intake data were reviewed against age group, sex, relative to energy intake and whole grain recommendations.
Australians (2–85 years) participating in the 2011–13 Australian Health Survey (n 12 153).
The median daily whole grain intake was 21 g for adults (19–85 years) and 17 g for children/adolescents (2–18 years), or 28 and 23 g/10 MJ per d, respectively. Approximately 30 % of children/adolescents consumed no whole grains on the day of the survey. Whole grain intake was lowest for the age group 14–18 years (8·7 g/d). Of all participants aged ≥9 years, 73 % did not reach the recommended Daily Target Intake of 48 g.
Whole grain intake in Australia is below recommendations in all age groups. Adolescents may be a key target for campaigns to increase whole grain consumption. This study provides the first quantification of absolute whole grain intake from all food sources in a national sample of Australians.
The main objective of this report is to present the dating process routinely applied to different types of samples at the Laboratoire de Mesure du Carbone 14 (LMC14). All the results and protocols refer to our procedures over the last 5 years. A description of the sorting and chemical pretreatments of the samples as well as the extraction and graphitization of CO2 are reported. Our last study concerning the degradation of the blank level according to the storage time of the targets between graphitization and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurement is also presented. This article also provides information on how to submit a valid laboratory sample. We give details relating to sampling procedures on site as well as contamination issues relative to the 14C dating methodology.
Evidence for a relationship between neurocognition and functional outcome in important areas of community living is robust in serious mental illness research. Dysfunctional attitudes (defeatist performance beliefs and asocial beliefs) have been identified as intervening variables in this causal chain. This study seeks to expand upon previous research by longitudinally testing the link between neurocognition and community participation (i.e. time in community-based activity) through dysfunctional attitudes and motivation.
Adult outpatients with serious mental illness (N = 175) participated, completing follow-up assessments approximately 6 months after initial assessment. Path analysis tested relationships between baseline neurocognition, emotion perception, functional skills, dysfunctional attitudes, motivation, and outcome (i.e. community participation) at baseline and follow-up.
Path models demonstrated two pathways to community participation. The first linked neurocognition and community participation through functional skills, defeatist performance beliefs, and motivation. A second pathway linked asocial beliefs and community participation, via a direct path passing through motivation. Model fit was excellent for models predicting overall community participation at baseline and, importantly, at follow-up.
The existence of multiple pathways to community participation in a longitudinal model supports the utility of multi-modal interventions for serious mental illness (i.e. treatment packages that build upon individuals’ strengths while addressing the array of obstacles to recovery) that feature dysfunctional attitudes and motivation as treatment targets.
Subarcsecond infrared and radio observations yield important information about the formation of super star clusters from their surrounding gas. We discuss the general properties of ionized and molecular gas near young, forming SSCs, as illustrated by the prototypical young, forming super star cluster nebula in the dwarf galaxy NGC 5253. This super star cluster appears to have a gravitationally bound nebula, and the lack of molecular gas suggests a very high star formation efficiency, consistent with the formation of a large, bound cluster.
We studied the imprints that feedback from Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) leaves on the intracluster plasma during the assembly history of galaxy clusters. To this purpose we used state-of-the-art cosmological hydrodynamical simulations based on an updated version of the Tree-PM SPH GADGET-3 code, comparing three sets of simulations with different prescriptions for the physics of baryons (including AGN and/or stellar feedback). We explore the effect of these different physics, in particular AGN feedback, on IntraCluster medium (ICM) properties observed via Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) effect using an extended set of galaxy clusters (~100 clusters with M500 masses above 5 × 1013M⊙/h). Some of the main findings are that the scaling relation between the integrated SZ flux and the galaxy cluster total mass is in good accordance with several observed samples, especially for massive clusters, and does not show any clear redshift evolution, with the slope of the relation close to the theoretical one in the AGN feedback case. As for the scatter of this relation, we obtain a mild dependence on the cluster dynamical state.
The polarized radio continuum emission of M51 is found to be strongest outside the optical spiral arms. The rotation measure varies double-sinusoidally with azimuthal angle which for the first time clearly shows a dominating bisymmetric spiral (BSS) structure of the large-scale magnetic field in M51. The pitch angle of the magnetic spiral is similar to that of the optical spiral arms. The lowest (axisymmetric) dynamo mode is possibly suppressed by interaction with the companion galaxy.
The radiocarbon calibration curve IntCal04 extends back to 26 cal kyr B P. While several high-resolution records exist beyond this limit, these data sets exhibit discrepancies of up to several millennia. As a result, no calibration curve for the time range 26–50 cal kyr BP can be recommended as yet, but in this paper the IntCal04 working group compares the available data sets and offers a discussion of the information that they hold.
We calibrated portions of the radiocarbon time scale with combined 230Th, 231Pa, 14C measurements of corals collected from Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu and the Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea. The new data map 14C variations ranging from the current limit of the tree-ring calibration [11,900 calendar years before present (cal BP), Kromer and Spurk 1998, now updated to 12,400 cal B P, see Kromer et al., this issue], to the 14C-dating limit of 50,000 cal BP, with detailed structure between 14 to 16 cal kyr BP and 19 to 24 cal kyr BP. Samples older than 25,000 cal BP were analyzed with high-precision 231Pa dating methods (Pickett et al. 1994; Edwards et al. 1997) as a rigorous second check on the accuracy of the 230Th ages. These are the first coral calibration data to receive this additional check, adding confidence to the age data forming the older portion of the calibration. Our results, in general, show that the offset between calibrated and 14C ages generally increases with age until about 28,000 cal BP, when the recorded 14C age is nearly 6800 yr too young. The gap between ages before this time is less; at 50,000 cal BP, the recorded 14C age is 4600 yr too young. Two major 14C-age plateaus result from a 130 drop in Δ14C between 14–15 cal kyr BP and a 700 drop in Δ14C between 22–25 cal kyr BP. In addition, a large atmospheric Δ14C excursion to values over 1000 occurs at 28 cal kyr BP. Between 20 and 10 cal kyr BP, a component of atmospheric Δ14C anti-correlates with Greenland ice δ18O, indicating that some portion of the variability in atmospheric Δ14C is related to climate change, most likely through climate-related changes in the carbon cycle. Furthermore, the 28-kyr excursion occurs at about the time of significant climate shifts. Taken as a whole, our data indicate that in addition to a terrestrial magnetic field, factors related to climate change have affected the history of atmospheric 14C.
The IntCal04 and Marine04 radiocarbon calibration curves have been updated from 12 cal kBP (cal kBP is here defined as thousands of calibrated years before AD 1950), and extended to 50 cal kBP, utilizing newly available data sets that meet the IntCal Working Group criteria for pristine corals and other carbonates and for quantification of uncertainty in both the 14C and calendar timescales as established in 2002. No change was made to the curves from 0–12 cal kBP. The curves were constructed using a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) implementation of the random walk model used for IntCal04 and Marine04. The new curves were ratified at the 20th International Radiocarbon Conference in June 2009 and are available in the Supplemental Material at www.radiocarbon.org.
High resolution Brackett line spectroscopy with the Keck Telescope reveals relatively narrow recombination lines toward the embedded young super star cluster nebula in NGC 5253. The gas within this nebula is almost certainly gravitationally bound by the massive and compact young star cluster.