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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.
Under a California procedure, parties to litigation may agree to have their cases referred to retired judges for private trial. While the procedure affords substantial benefits in some kinds of cases, it does involve problems that will probably limit its more general use.
Lawyers have a pro bono publico obligation, arising both from the profession ‘s tradition of service before gain and from the lawyer's essential and monopolistic position in the justice system. The appropriate measure of this obligation is the reasonable capacity of the profession to provide public service, a standard that can be met only if all lawyers are involved in the effort. While volunteerism has some values that might be impaired by a mandatory system of pro bono service, only a mandatory system gives promise of involving all lawyers in the discharge of this fundamental professional obligation.
A legal service delivery system intended to facilitate the providing of services by private practitioners should, to be complete, include among its functions three that are of special importance. First, it should diagnose legal problems. Second, it should make available to a person with a legal problem the information needed for informed selection of a lawyer. And third, it should, when necessary, help the prospective client to make the initial contact with a lawyer. Lawyer advertising, specialty certification, lawyer directories, and lawyer referral services perform some of these functions, but no one mechanism performs all three adequately. A system combining the lawyer directory with an expanded lawyer referral service might do so and thus might be a more complete answer to the problem of delivery of legal services.
While the legal profession's efforts to suppress the practice of law by non-lawyers go back to colonial times, the modern unauthorized practice movement began in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Its greatest success, however, took place during the 40 years from 1920 to 1960. Recent years have seen the reversal of some of the prior successes in the field, and current challenges to unauthorized practice restrictions raise serious questions about their present validity. Do the benefits to the public from the enforcement of rules against the unauthorized practice of law justify continuation of the effort?
Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is an inexpensive, quick and non-invasive method to determine body composition. Equations used in BIA are typically derived in healthy individuals of European descent. BIA is specific to health status and ethnicity and may therefore provide inaccurate results in populations of different ethnic origin and health status. The aim of the present study was to test the validity of BIA in Ethiopian antiretroviral-naive HIV patients.
BIA was validated against the 2H dilution technique by comparing fat-free mass (FFM) measured by the two methods using paired t tests and Bland–Altman plots. BIA was based on single frequency (50 kHz) whole-body measurements. Data were obtained at three health facilities in Jimma Zone, Oromia Region, South-West Ethiopia. Data from 281 HIV-infected participants were available. Two-thirds were female and the mean age was 32·7 (sd 8·6) years. Also, 46 % were underweight with a BMI below 18·5 kg/m2. There were no differences in FFM between the methods. Overall, BIA slightly underestimated FFM by 0·1 kg (−0·1, 95 % CI −0·3, 0·2 kg). The Bland–Altman plot indicated acceptable agreement with an upper limit of agreement of 4·5 kg and a lower limit of agreement of −4·6 kg, but with a small correlation between the mean difference and the average FFM. BIA slightly overestimated FFM at low values compared with the 2H dilution technique, while it slightly underestimated FFM at high values. In conclusion, BIA proved to be valid in this population and may therefore be useful for measuring body composition in routine practice in HIV-infected African individuals.
Fluid–structure interactions are ubiquitous in nature and technology. However, the systems are often so complex that numerical simulations or ad hoc assumptions must be used to gain insight into the details of the complex interactions between the fluid and solid mechanics. In this paper, we present experiments and theory on viscous flow in a simple bioinspired soft valve which illustrate essential features of interactions between hydrodynamic and elastic forces at low Reynolds numbers. The set-up comprises a sphere connected to a spring located inside a tapering cylindrical channel. The spring is aligned with the central axis of the channel and a pressure drop is applied across the sphere, thus forcing the liquid through the narrow gap between the sphere and the channel walls. The sphere’s equilibrium position is determined by a balance between spring and hydrodynamic forces. Since the gap thickness changes with the sphere’s position, the system has a pressure-dependent hydraulic resistance. This leads to a nonlinear relation between applied pressure and flow rate: flow initially increases with pressure, but decreases when the pressure exceeds a certain critical value as the gap closes. To rationalize these observations, we propose a mathematical model that reduced the complexity of the flow to a two-dimensional lubrication approximation. A closed-form expression for the pressure drop/flow rate is obtained which reveals that the flow rate
depends on the pressure drop
, sphere radius
, gap thickness
, and viscosity
, where the critical pressure
scales with the spring constant
. These predictions compared favourably to the results of our experiments with no free parameters.
A proposal has been made to use the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) as an orbiting element for a very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) demonstration. The TDRSS is a satellite system designed to coherently track and relay data between other satellites and the central ground station. This system could also be used to coherently observe a celestial radio source. A ground-based frequency standard would be used to coherently drive the spacecraft receiver local oscillator and transmitter. The data will be telemetered to a ground station, where it will be recorded on a Mark III terminal.
An antenna in geostationary orbit was used for VLBI observations at 2.3 GHz, in combination with ground antennas in Australia and Japan. 23 of the 25 observed sources were detected on orbiter-ground baselines, with baseline lengths as large as 2.15 earth diameters. Brightness temperatures between 1012 K and 4 × 1012 K were measured for 10 sources.
The mean, trend and variability of net snow accumulation in firn cores are often used to validate model output, develop remote-sensing algorithms and quantify ice-sheet surface mass balance. Thus, accurately defining uncertainties associated with these in situ measurements is critical. In this study, we apply statistical simulation methods to quantify the uncertainty in firn-core accumulation data due to the uncertainty in depth–age scales. The methods are applied to a suite of firn cores from central West Antarctica. The results show that uncertainty in depth–age scales can give rise to spurious trends in accumulation that are the same order of magnitude as accumulation trends reported in West Antarctica. The depth–age scale uncertainties also significantly increase the apparent interannual accumulation variability, so these uncertainties must first be accounted for before using firn-core data to assess such processes as small-spatial-scale variability. Better quantification of error in accumulation will improve our ability to meaningfully compare firn-core data across different regions of the ice sheet, and provide appropriate targets for calibration and/or validation of model output and remote-sensing data.
Model simulations of the Greenland ice sheet contribution to 21st-century sea-level rise are performed with a state-of-the-art ice-sheet model (Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM)). The climate-forcing fields are obtained from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme project ice2sea, in which three regional climate models are used to dynamically downscale two scenarios (A1B and E1) from two general circulation models (ECHAM5 and HadCM3). To assess the sensitivity of the projections to the model initial state, four initialization methods are applied. In these experiments, the simulated contribution to sea-level rise by 2100 ranges from an equivalent of 0.2 to 6.8 cm. The largest uncertainties arise from different formulations of the regional climate models (0.8–3.9 cm) and applied scenarios (0.65–1.9 cm), but an important source of uncertainty is the initialization method (0.1–0.8 cm). These model simulations do not account for the recently observed acceleration of ice streams and consequent thinning rates, the changing ice discharge that may result from the spatial and temporal variability of ocean forcing, or the feedback occurring between ice-sheet elevation changes and climate forcing. Thus the results should be considered the lower limit of Greenland ice sheet contributions to sea-level rise, until such processes have been integrated into large-scale ice-sheet models.
High-precision abundances of elements have been derived from HARPS-N spectra of F and G main-sequence stars having ages determined from oscillation frequencies delivered by the Kepler mission. The tight relations between abundance ratios of refractory elements, e.g., [Mg/Fe] and [Y/Mg], and stellar age previously found for solar twin stars are confirmed. These relations provide new information on nucleosynthesis and Galactic evolution. Abundance ratios between volatile and refractory elements, e.g., [C/Fe] and [O/Fe], show on the other hand a significant scatter at a given age, which may be related to planet-star interactions. This is a potential problem for chemical tagging studies.
The healthy Nordic diet has been previously shown to have health beneficial effects among subjects at risk of CVD. However, the extent of food changes needed to achieve these effects is less explored. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of exchanging a few commercially available, regularly consumed key food items (e.g. spread on bread, fat for cooking, cheese, bread and cereals) with improved fat quality on total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and inflammatory markers in a double-blind randomised, controlled trial. In total, 115 moderately hypercholesterolaemic, non-statin-treated adults (25–70 years) were randomly assigned to an experimental diet group (Ex-diet group) or control diet group (C-diet group) for 8 weeks with commercially available food items with different fatty acid composition (replacing SFA with mostly n-6 PUFA). In the Ex-diet group, serum total cholesterol (P<0·001) and LDL-cholesterol (P<0·001) were reduced after 8 weeks, compared with the C-diet group. The difference in change between the two groups at the end of the study was −9 and −11 % in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, respectively. No difference in change in plasma levels of inflammatory markers (high-sensitive C-reactive protein, IL-6, soluble TNF receptor 1 and interferon-γ) was observed between the groups. In conclusion, exchanging a few regularly consumed food items with improved fat quality reduces total cholesterol, with no negative effect on levels of inflammatory markers. This shows that an exchange of a few commercially available food items was easy and manageable and led to clinically relevant cholesterol reduction, potentially affecting future CVD risk.
The European Union Network ANTENA started to work in October 1993. During these last three years, several collaborative projects have been undertaken. ANTENA has offered a very good opportunity for most of the European people doing asteroseismology to work together. The asteroseismological networks STEPHI and STACC have run within the framework of the project, obtaining fairly good results. New instrumentation has also been developed, such as the Four-Channel Stellar Photometer.
This paper is an interim report of our inferences about the hydrostatic structure of the Sun, following the first report of the GONG team in Science (Gough et al., 1996). That work confirms that the spherically averaged structure of the Sun is more or less in agreement with current standard solar models. However, there remain some significant deviations which we regard as important clues to the existence of dynamical phenomena which are not taken into account in standard solar modelling.
Helioseismic measurements with the MDI instrument aboard SOHO, and complementary measurements from the GONG network, are revealing changes deep within the Sun as the solar cycle progresses. We present results based on recent data from both experiments, including variations in the rotation rate deep inside the convection zone.
Spectroscopic observations of the δ Scuti star V480 Tau, obtained during the MUSICOS 1996 campaign (Hao et al., 2001), detected a large number of modes. In order to assess the information available from such data, we compare the observed spectrum of frequencies with the theoretical predictions obtained for models computed by including the effect of fast rotation on global oscillations.