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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.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) commonly co-occurs with clinically significant levels of anxiety. However, anxiety symptoms are varied and have been inconsistently associated with clinical, functional, and antidepressant treatment outcomes. We aimed to identify and characterise dimensions of anxiety in people with MDD and their use in predicting antidepressant treatment outcome.
1008 adults with a current diagnosis of single-episode or recurrent, nonpsychotic, MDD were assessed at baseline on clinical features and cognitive/physiological functioning. Participants were then randomised to one of three commonly prescribed antidepressants and reassessed at 8 weeks regarding symptom change, as well as remission and response, on the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale Depression (HRSD17) and the 16-item Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (QIDS-SR16). Exploratory factor analysis was used on items from scales assessing anxiety symptoms, and resulting factors were assessed against clinical features and cognitive/physiological functioning. Factors were also assessed on their ability to predict treatment outcome.
Three factors emerged relating to stress, cognitive anxiety, and somatic anxiety. All factors showed high internal consistency, minimal cross-loadings, and unique clinical and functional profiles. Furthermore, only higher somatic anxiety was associated with poorer QIDS-SR16 remission, even after adjusting for covariates and multiple comparisons.
Anxiety symptoms in people with MDD can be separated onto distinct factors that differentially respond to treatment outcome. Furthermore, these factors do not align with subscales of established measures of anxiety. Future research should consider cognitive and somatic symptoms of anxiety separately when assessing anxiety in MDD and their use in predicting treatment outcome.
Over the past 25 years, numerous studies utilizing both X-ray diffraction (XRE) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) have been reported In the literature. Generally, conventional high-temperature X-ray data identifies solid-state transitions, then attempts to correlate them with thermal events observed by the calorimeter. Since changes occur in the sample during studies such as these, separate portions of the sample must be used for XRD and DSC experiments. When comparing results of the two experiments, questions arise concerning sample homogeniety as well as temperature and environmental differences. In fact, no conventional high-temperature X-ray diffraction instrument can give the precise control over temperature and heating rate available with a DSC, The problems of sample inhomogeneltles and Instrumental differences could be avoided if X-ray diffraction and DSC could be performed simultaneously on one sample.
This replication study examined protective effects of positive childhood memories with caregivers (“angels in the nursery”) against lifespan and intergenerational transmission of trauma. More positive, elaborated angel memories were hypothesized to buffer associations between mothers’ childhood maltreatment and their adulthood posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression symptoms, comorbid psychopathology, and children's trauma exposure. Participants were 185 mothers (M age = 30.67 years, SD = 6.44, range = 17–46 years, 54.6% Latina, 17.8% White, 10.3% African American, 17.3% other; 24% Spanish speaking) and children (M age = 42.51 months; SD = 15.95, range = 3–72 months; 51.4% male). Mothers completed the Angels in the Nursery Interview (Van Horn, Lieberman, & Harris, 2008), and assessments of childhood maltreatment, adulthood psychopathology, children's trauma exposure, and demographics. Angel memories significantly moderated associations between maltreatment and PTSD (but not depression) symptoms, comorbid psychopathology, and children's trauma exposure. For mothers with less positive, elaborated angel memories, higher levels of maltreatment predicted higher levels of psychopathology and children's trauma exposure. For mothers with more positive, elaborated memories, however, predictive associations were not significant, reflecting protective effects. Furthermore, protective effects against children's trauma exposure were significant only for female children, suggesting that angel memories may specifically buffer against intergenerational trauma from mothers to daughters.
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.
Cognitive deficits are a core feature of schizophrenia, and impairments in most domains are thought to be stable over the course of the illness. However, cross-sectional evidence indicates that some areas of cognition, such as visuospatial associative memory, may be preserved in the early stages of psychosis, but become impaired in later established illness stages. This longitudinal study investigated change in visuospatial and verbal associative memory following psychosis onset.
In total 95 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients and 63 healthy controls (HC) were assessed on neuropsychological tests at baseline, with 38 FEP and 22 HCs returning for follow-up assessment at 5–11 years. Visuospatial associative memory was assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery Visuospatial Paired-Associate Learning task, and verbal associative memory was assessed using Verbal Paired Associates subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale - Revised.
Visuospatial and verbal associative memory at baseline did not differ significantly between FEP patients and HCs. However, over follow-up, visuospatial associative memory deteriorated significantly for the FEP group, relative to healthy individuals. Conversely, verbal associative memory improved to a similar degree observed in HCs. In the FEP cohort, visuospatial (but not verbal) associative memory ability at baseline was associated with functional outcome at follow-up.
Areas of cognition that develop prior to psychosis onset, such as visuospatial and verbal associative memory, may be preserved early in the illness. Later deterioration in visuospatial memory ability may relate to progressive structural and functional brain abnormalities that occurs following psychosis onset.
The period covered by this report, 1984 July to 1987 June, was of extraordinary importance for the progress of cometary physics. For the first time in the history, special space probes were launched to comets. Vega 1, Vega 2 and Giotto encountered P/Halley, providing us with the first close-up pictures of a cometary nucleus, its surface features, and with the first in situ measurements of the matter escaping from it. ICE, Suisei and Sakigake carried out measurements relevant to P/Giacobini-Zinner and P/Halley in interplanetary space. Unprecedented worldwide campaigns of ground-based observations, with the participation of about 1000 professional and 2000 amateur astronomers, were coordinated in 8 sections of the International Halley Watch. Additional measurements were made from artificial satellites, sounding rockets, and highflying airplanes. The wealth of data collected in this way, to a major extent thanks to an excellent international cooperation, represents a milestone in cometary astronomy. Another important step was the progress in processing the extensive 1983 IRAS observations of minor planets and comets, including the discovery of asteroid dust bands and cometary dust trails.
We compare the preservation (taphonomic grade) and age of Chione (bivalve) and foraminifera from modern siliciclastic tidal flat sediments of Bahia la Choya, Sonora, Mexico (northern Gulf of California). Disarticulated shells of Chione collected from the sediment-water interface of Choya Bay exhibit a substantial range in taphonomic grade and age, several hundred years to ∼80–125 ka based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometer 14C dates and D-Alloisoleucine/L-Isoleucine values. There is not, however, a one-to-one correspondence between age and taphonomic alteration of Chione: old (or young) valves may be highly altered or they may be relatively pristine. In contrast to Chione, most foraminiferal tests at Choya Bay are quite pristine, which suggests a quite young age, but tests are surprisingly old (up to ∼2,000 calendar years based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometer 14C dates).
We suggest that following seasonal pulses in reproduction, some foraminiferal tests are rapidly incorporated into a subsurface shell layer by “Conveyor Belt” deposit feeders and preserved there, while the rest of the reproductive pulse rapidly dissolves. Ultimately, some of these buried tests, along with Chione, are transported back to the surface by biological activity and storms. The much greater range of taphonomic grades and ages among Chione shells suggests that they, unlike foraminifera, are sufficiently large and preservable (low surface/volume ratio and chemical reactivity) to undergo many cycles of degradation, burial, and exhumation before complete destruction. The age of foraminiferal tests indicates that time-averaging of microfossil assemblages at Choya Bay is much more insidious than would be expected considering the relatively pristine state of the tests alone.
Based on our studies, the lower limit of temporal resolution of shallow shelf microfossil assemblages appears to be ∼1000 years. We caution, however, that each depositional setting (taphofacies) should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis before gross generalizations are made. Indeed, the discrepancy between age and taphonomic grade of fossil assemblages at Choya Bay suggests that neither hardpart size or taphonomic grade are infallible indicators of test preservability or likely temporal resolution of the host assemblage, and that the dynamics of hardpart input and loss must also be evaluated.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
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.
Optical components such as lenses, glass windows, and prisms are subject to Fresnel reflection due to the mismatch between the refractive indices of the air and glass. An optical interface layer, i.e., antireflection (AR) layer, is needed to eliminate this unwanted reflection at the air/glass interface. Nanostructured broadband and wide-angle AR structures have been developed using a scalable self-assembly process. Ultra-high performance of the nanostructured AR coatings has been demonstrated on various substrates such as quartz, sapphire, polymer, and other materials typically employed in optical lenses. AR coatings on polycarbonate lead to optical transmittance enhancement from approximately 90% to almost 100% for the entire visible, and part of the near-infrared (NIR), band. The AR coatings have also been demonstrated on curved surfaces. AR coatings on n-BK7 lenses enable ultra-high light transmittance for the entire visible, and most of the NIR, spectrum. Nanostructured oxide layers with step-graded index profiles, deposited onto the optical elements of an optical system, can significantly increase sensitivity, and hence improve the overall performance of the system.
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.
Nitride-Arsenide materials were grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) using a radio frequency (rf) nitrogen plasma. The plasma conditions that maximize the amount of atomic nitrogen versus molecular nitrogen were determined using the emission spectrum of the plasma. Under constant plasma source conditions and varying group III flux, the nitrogen concentration in the film is inversely proportional to the group III flux (i. e. the nitrogen sticking coefficient is unity). The relationship between nitrogen concentration in the film and lattice parameter of the film is not linear for nitrogen concentrations above 2.9 mole % GaN, indicating that some nitrogen is incorporated on other locations than the group V lattice sites. For films with these higher nitrogen concentrations, XPS indicates that the nitrogen exists in two configurations: a Gallium-Nitrogen bond and another type of nitrogen complex in which nitrogen is less strongly bonded to Gallium atoms. Annealing removes this nitrogen complex and allows some of the nitrogen to diffuse out of the film. Annealing also improves the crystal quality of GaAsN quantum wells.
Vaccination is a feasible strategy for controlling the haematophagous poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae. A cDNA library enriched for genes upregulated after feeding was created to identify potential vaccine antigens. From this library, a gene (Dg-CatD-1) encoding a 383 amino acid protein (Dg-CatD-1) with homology to cathepsin D lysosomal aspartyl proteinases was identified as a potential vaccine candidate. A second gene (Dg-CatL-1) encoding a 341 amino acid protein (Dg-CatL-1) with homology to cathepsin L cysteine proteinases was also selected for further study. IgY obtained from naturally infested hens failed to detect Dg-CatD-1 suggesting that it is a concealed antigen. Conversely, Dg-CatL-1 was detected by IgY derived from natural-infestation, indicating that infested hens are exposed to Dg-CatL-1. Mortality rates 120 h after mites had been fed anti-Dg-CatD-1 were significantly higher than those fed control IgY (PF<0·01). In a survival analysis, fitting a proportional hazards model to the time of death of mites, anti-Dg-CatD-1 and anti-Dg-CatL-1 IgY had 4·42 and 2·13 times higher risks of dying compared with controls (PF<0·05). Dg-CatD-1 and L-1 both have potential as vaccine antigens as part of a multi-component vaccine and have the potential to be improved as vaccine antigens using alternative expression systems.