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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.
In this cohort of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp hospital-onset bacteremia, isolated fluoroquinolone resistance had a larger relative impact on mortality than other phenotypic resistance patterns. This finding may support stewardship efforts targeting unnecessary fluoroquinolone use and increased attention from infection prevention and control departments.
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.
An excellent laboratory for studying large scale magnetic fields is the grand design face-on spiral galaxy M51. Due to wavelength-dependent Faraday depolarization, linearly polarized synchrotron emission at different radio frequencies gives a picture of the galaxy at different depths: Observations at L-band (1 – 2 GHz) probe the halo region while at C- and X-band (4 – 8 GHz) the linearly polarized emission probe the disk region of M51. We present new observations of M51 using the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) at S-band (2 – 4 GHz), where previously no polarization observations existed, to shed new light on the transition region between the disk and the halo. We discuss a model of the depolarization of synchrotron radiation in a multilayer magneto-ionic medium and compare the model predictions to the multi-frequency polarization data of M51 between 1 – 8 GHz. The new S-band data are essential to distinguish between different models. Our study shows that the initial model parameters, i.e. the total regular and turbulent magnetic field strengths in the disk and halo of M51, need to be adjusted to successfully fit the models to the data.
Alcohol relapse is often occurring to regulate negative affect during withdrawal. On the neurobiological level, alcoholism is associated with gray matter (GM) abnormalities in regions that regulate emotional experience such as the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). However, no study to our knowledge has investigated the neurobiological unpinning of affect in alcoholism at early withdrawal and the associations of OFC volume with long-term relapse risk.
One hundred and eighty-two participants were included, 95 recently detoxified alcohol dependent patients (ADP) and 87 healthy controls (HC). We measured affective states using the positive and negative affect schedule (PANAS). We collected T1-weighted brain structural images and performed Voxel-based morphometry (VBM).
Findings revealed GM volume decrease in alcoholics in the prefrontal cortex (including medial OFC), anterior cingulate gyrus, and insula. GM volume in the medial OFC was positively associated with NA in the ADP group. Cox regression analysis predicted that risk to heavy relapse at 6 months increases with decreased GM volume in the medial OFC.
Negative affect during alcohol withdrawal was positively associated with OFC volume. What is more, increased GM volume in the OFC also moderated risk to heavy relapse at 6 months. Reduced GM in the OFC poses as risk to recovery from alcohol dependence and provides valuable insights into transient negative affect states during withdrawal that can trigger relapse. Implications exist for therapeutic interventions signifying the OFC as a neurobiological marker to relapse and could explain the inability of ADP to regulate internal negative affective states.
Patients with a first episode psychosis (FEP) have repeatedly been shown to have gray matter (GM) volume alterations. Some of these neuroanatomical abnormalities are already evident in the at-risk mental state (ARMS) for psychosis. Not only GM alterations but also neurocognitive impairments predate the onset of frank psychosis with verbal learning and memory (VLM) being among the most impaired domains. Yet, their interconnection with alterations in GM volumes remains ambiguous.
To evaluate associations of different subcortical GM volumes in the medial temporal lobe with VLM performance in ARMS and FEP patients.
Data were collected within the prospective Früherkennung von Psychosen (FePsy) study, which aims to improve the early detection of psychosis. VLM was assessed using the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) and its latent variables Attention Span (AS), Learning Efficiency (LE), Delayed Memory (DM) and Inaccurate Memory (IM). Structural images were acquired using a 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scanner.
Data from 59 ARMS and 47 FEP patients were analysed. Structural equation models revealed significant associations between the amygdala and AS, LE and IM; thalamus and LE and IM; and the caudate, hippocampus and putamen with IM. However, none of these significant results withstood correction for multiple testing.
Although VLM is among the most impaired cognitive domains in emerging psychosis, we could not find an association between low performance in this domain and reductions in subcortical GM volumes. Our results suggest that deficits in this domain may not stem from alterations in subcortical structures.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Five cases of STEC O157 phage type (PT) 21/28 reported consumption of raw cows' drinking milk (RDM) produced at a dairy farm in the South West of England. STEC O157 PT21/28 was isolated from faecal specimens from milking cows on the implicated farm. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) showed that human and cattle isolates were the same strain. Further analysis of WGS data confirmed that sequences of isolates from an additional four cases (who did not report consumption of RDM when first questioned) fell within the same five single nucleotide polymorphism cluster as the initial five cases epidemiologically linked to the consumption of RDM. These four additional cases identified by WGS were investigated further and were, ultimately, associated with the implicated farm. The RDM outbreak strain encoded stx2a, which is associated with increased pathogenicity and severity of symptoms. Further epidemiological analysis showed that 70% of isolates within a wider cluster containing the outbreak strain were from cases residing in, or linked to, the same geographical region of England. During this RDM outbreak, use of WGS improved case ascertainment and provided insights into the evolution of a highly pathogenic clade of STEC O157 PT21/28 stx2a associated with the South West of England.
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.
The development and maintenance of an alcohol addiction is a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Genetic effects seem to contribute substantially to the risk of developing an addiction, but also to its course and patients’ responses to different treatments. Recent studies identified associations between polymorphisms in the genes of glutamate and μ-opioid receptors and addiction risk. Those receptors are of special interest, because they are targets of therapeutic agents, such as acamprosate and topiramate.
Objectives and aims
Several studies were conducted, in order to further determine the effects of genetic polymorphisms in glutamate and opioid receptor genes on addictive behavior, neural response to alcohol cues and relapse risk.
Genetic effects were investigated in samples of alcohol-dependent patients using functional imaging techniques, neuropsychological tests and follow-up investigation after standard clinical treatment. Data on clinical parameters, neuronal response to alcohol cues, functional neuronal connectivity and relapse risk were collected and analyzed.
Results demonstrate effects of genetic polymorphisms in glutamate and opioid receptors on neuronal response to alcohol cues in frontal and mesolimbic brain areas, subjective craving and time to first relapse. Current findings will be discussed in the light of existing evidence on the contribution of genetic effects to treatment outcome and patient stratification.
The investigation of genetic risk factors and mechanisms by which they affect addiction related phenotypes seems to be a promising tool to identify molecular treatment targets and predictors for successful treatment strategies.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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.
We present a model for the seeding and evolution of magnetic fields in galaxies by supernovae (SN). SN explosions during galaxy assembly provide seed fields, which are subsequently amplified by compression, shear flows and random motions. Our model explains the origin of μG magnetic fields within galactic structures. We implement our model in the MHD version of the cosmological simulation code Gadget-3 and couple it with a multi-phase description of the interstellar medium. We perform simulations of Milky Way-like galactic halo formation and analyze the distribution and strength of the magnetic field. We investigate the intrinsic rotation measure (RM) evolution and find RM values exceeding 1000 rad/m2 at high redshifts and RM values around 10 rad/m2 at present-day. We compare our simulations to a limited set of observational data points and find encouraging similarities. In our model, galactic magnetic fields are a natural consequence of the very basic processes of star formation and galaxy assembly.
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.
We analyse the correlations between continuum properties and emission line equivalent widths of star-forming and narrow-line active galaxies from SDSS. We show that emission line strengths can be predicted reasonably well from PCA coefficients of the stellar continuum using local multiple linear regression. Since upcoming sky surveys will make broadband observations only, theoretical modelling of spectra will be essential to estimate physical properties of galaxies. Combined with stellar population synthesis models, our technique will help generate more accurate model spectra and mock catalogues of galaxies to be used to fit data from new surveys. We also show that, by combining PCA coefficients from the pure continuum and the emission lines, a plausible distinction can be made between weak AGNs and quiescent star-forming galaxies. Our method uses a support vector machine, and allows a more refined separation of active and star-forming galaxies than the empirical curve of Kauffmann et al. (2003).
We carried out an extensive photometric and spectroscopic investigation of the SPB binary, HD 25558 (see Fig. 1 for the time and geographic distribution of the observations). The ~2000 spectra obtained at 13 observatories during 5 observing seasons, the ground-based multi-colour light curves and the photometric data from the MOST satellite revealed that this object is a double-lined spectroscopic binary with a very long orbital period of about 9 years. We determined the physical parameters of the components, and have found that both lie within the SPB instability strip. Accordingly, both components show line-profile variations consistent with stellar pulsations. Altogether, 11 independent frequencies and one harmonic frequency were identified in the data. The observational data do not allow the inference of a reliable orbital solution, thus, disentangling cannot be performed on the spectra. Since the lines of the two components are never completely separated, the analysis is very complicated. Nevertheless, pixel-by-pixel variability analysis of the cross-correlated line profiles was successful, and we were able to attribute all the frequencies to the primary or secondary component. Spectroscopic and photometric mode-identification was also performed for several of these frequencies of both binary components. The spectroscopic mode-identification results suggest that the inclination and rotation of the two components are rather different. While the primary is a slow rotator with ~6 d rotation period, seen at ~60° inclination, the secondary rotates fast with ~1.2 d rotation period, and is seen at ~20° inclination. Our spectropolarimetric measurements revealed that the secondary component has a magnetic field with at least a few hundred Gauss strength, while no magnetic field was detected in the primary.
The detailed analysis and results of this study will be published elsewhere.
To determine the association of beverage consumption with obesity in Mexican American school-aged children.
Cross-sectional study using the baseline data from a cohort study. Mothers and children answered questions about the frequency and quantity of the child's consumption of soda, diet soda, other sugar-sweetened beverages, 100 % fruit juice, milk and water. The questions were adapted from the Youth/Adolescent FFQ. Children were weighed and measured. Data were collected on the following potential confounders: maternal BMI, household income, maternal education, maternal occupational status, maternal acculturation, child physical activity, child screen time and child fast-food consumption. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between servings (240 ml) of each beverage per week and obesity (BMI ≥ 95th percentile).
Participants were recruited from among enrolees of the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan of Northern California. Data were collected via an in-home assessment.
Mexican American children (n 319) aged 8–10 years.
Among participants, 20 % were overweight and 31 % were obese. After controlling for potential confounders, consuming more servings of soda was associated with increased odds of obesity (OR = 1·29; P < 0·001). Consuming more servings of flavoured milk per week was associated with lower odds of obesity (OR = 0·88; P = 0·004). Consumption of other beverages was not associated with obesity in the multivariate model.
Discouraging soda consumption among Mexican American children may help reduce the high obesity rates in this population.
Electron self-injection and acceleration until dephasing in the blowout regime is studied for a set of initial conditions typical of recent experiments with 100-terawatt-class lasers. Two different approaches to computationally efficient, fully explicit, 3D particle-in-cell modelling are examined. First, the Cartesian code vorpal (Nieter, C. and Cary, J. R. 2004 VORPAL: a versatile plasma simulation code. J. Comput. Phys.196, 538) using a perfect-dispersion electromagnetic solver precisely describes the laser pulse and bubble dynamics, taking advantage of coarser resolution in the propagation direction, with a proportionally larger time step. Using third-order splines for macroparticles helps suppress the sampling noise while keeping the usage of computational resources modest. The second way to reduce the simulation load is using reduced-geometry codes. In our case, the quasi-cylindrical code calder-circ (Lifschitz, A. F. et al. 2009 Particle-in-cell modelling of laser-plasma interaction using Fourier decomposition. J. Comput. Phys.228(5), 1803–1814) uses decomposition of fields and currents into a set of poloidal modes, while the macroparticles move in the Cartesian 3D space. Cylindrical symmetry of the interaction allows using just two modes, reducing the computational load to roughly that of a planar Cartesian simulation while preserving the 3D nature of the interaction. This significant economy of resources allows using fine resolution in the direction of propagation and a small time step, making numerical dispersion vanishingly small, together with a large number of particles per cell, enabling good particle statistics. Quantitative agreement of two simulations indicates that these are free of numerical artefacts. Both approaches thus retrieve the physically correct evolution of the plasma bubble, recovering the intrinsic connection of electron self-injection to the nonlinear optical evolution of the driver.