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This paper concentrates on livestock production systems by introducing sustainable housing characteristics, and the type of information required to make an informed choice on environmentally sound materials and systems. It then compares energy use in two contrasting beef cattle systems, one a conventional straw-bedded court and roofed silo, with feed delivered by a side-delivery wagon, and the other a roofless woodchip corral and earth-bank silo, with feed delivered by fore-end loader. The woodchip corral system requires 70% less energy than the conventional bedded court, when the total energy inputs are analysed for preparation of the building materials, construction of the livestock accommodation with associated feed and waste storage, and manufacture and operation of machinery. However, when energy used in feed production is included this dominates the energy budget, accounting for 60% of all energy used in the conventional bedded court, and 85% of energy used in the woodchip corral system.
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.
To establish if the relatively low rate of involuntary psychiatric admission in a suburban area between 2007 and 2011 was maintained in 2014/2015, and explore key correlates of involuntary status.
We used existing hospital records and data sources to extract rates and selected potential correlates of voluntary and involuntary admission in south west Dublin (catchment area: 273 419 people) over 18 months in 2014/2015 and compared these with published national data from the census and Health Research Board.
The rate of involuntary admission in the suburban area studied between 2007 and 2011 was 33.8 involuntary admissions per 100 000 population annually, which was lower than the national rate (48.6). By 2014/2015, the rate of involuntary admission in this area had risen to 46.8 involuntary admissions per 100 000 population annually, similar to the national rate (44.9). Nevertheless, the overall (voluntary and involuntary) admission rate in the suburban area (346.7 admissions per 100 000 population annually) was still lower the national rate (387.9), owing to a lower rate of voluntary admission in the suburban area (299.9) compared to Ireland as a whole (342.9). Multi-variable testing demonstrated that diagnosis was the strongest driver of involuntary admission in the suburban area: this area had 28.5 involuntary admissions per 100 000 population annually with schizophrenia or related disorders, compared to 18.9 nationally. Schizophrenia and related disorders accounted for 60.9% of involuntary admissions in the suburban area compared to 42.1% nationally.
Schizophrenia is the strongest driver of involuntary admission in the suburban area in this study.
Chagas disease is caused by infection with the insect-transmitted protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, and is the most important parasitic infection in Latin America. The current drugs, benznidazole and nifurtimox, are characterized by limited efficacy and toxic side-effects, and treatment failures are frequently observed. The urgent need for new therapeutic approaches is being met by a combined effort from the academic and commercial sectors, together with major input from not-for-profit drug development consortia. With the disappointing outcomes of recent clinical trials against chronic Chagas disease, it has become clear that an incomplete understanding of parasite biology and disease pathogenesis is impacting negatively on the development of more effective drugs. In addition, technical issues, including difficulties in establishing parasitological cure in both human patients and animal models, have greatly complicated the assessment of drug efficacy. Here, we outline the major questions that need to be addressed and discuss technical innovations that can be exploited to accelerate the drug development pipeline.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
What are the boundaries for discussing a candidate's religion? In the 2008 and the 2012 presidential campaigns, the religious beliefs and practices of at least one of the candidates became a subject of intense scrutiny from the media and the public. To ascertain the limits of social discourse for religious out-group, we conducted a survey experiment on the 2012 CCES survey. We find strong evidence that norms of social discourse do not apply to all religions equally. Furthermore, the application of norms differs by political party because Democrats and Republicans express concerns about different religious groups. Overall, there is a large difference for Muslims when it comes to social discourse. Finally, individuals have internalized the norms because most of them are willing to sanction those who violate them, even if the norms on social discourse are not applied equally among American voters.
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.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
As human population size and demand for seafood and other marine resources increase, understanding the influence of human activities in the ocean and on land becomes increasingly critical to the management and conservation of marine resources. In order to account for human influence on marine ecosystems while making management decisions, linkages between various anthropogenic pressures and ecosystem components need to be determined. Those linkages cannot be drawn until it is known how different pressures have been changing over time. This paper identifies indicators and develops time series for 22 anthropogenic pressures acting on the USA's portion of the California Current ecosystem. Time series suggest that seven pressures have decreased and two have increased over the short term, while five pressures were above and two pressures were below long-term means. Cumulative indices of anthropogenic pressures suggest a slight decrease in pressures in the 2000s compared to the preceding few decades. Dynamic factor analysis revealed four common trends that sufficiently explained the temporal variation found among all anthropogenic pressures. This reduced set of time series will be a useful tool to determine whether links exist between individual or multiple pressures and various ecosystem components.