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The Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research (MCTFR) comprises multiple longitudinal, community-representative investigations of twin and adoptive families that focus on psychological adjustment, personality, cognitive ability and brain function, with a special emphasis on substance use and related psychopathology. The MCTFR includes the Minnesota Twin Registry (MTR), a cohort of twins who have completed assessments in middle and older adulthood; the Minnesota Twin Family Study (MTFS) of twins assessed from childhood and adolescence into middle adulthood; the Enrichment Study (ES) of twins oversampled for high risk for substance-use disorders assessed from childhood into young adulthood; the Adolescent Brain (AdBrain) study, a neuroimaging study of adolescent twins; and the Siblings Interaction and Behavior Study (SIBS), a study of adoptive and nonadoptive families assessed from adolescence into young adulthood. Here we provide a brief overview of key features of these established studies and describe new MCTFR investigations that follow up and expand upon existing studies or recruit and assess new samples, including the MTR Study of Relationships, Personality, and Health (MTR-RPH); the Colorado-Minnesota (COMN) Marijuana Study; the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study; the Colorado Online Twins (CoTwins) study and the Children of Twins (CoT) study.
Online self-reported 24-h dietary recall systems promise increased feasibility of dietary assessment. Comparison against interviewer-led recalls established their convergent validity; however, reliability and criterion-validity information is lacking. The validity of energy intakes (EI) reported using Intake24, an online 24-h recall system, was assessed against concurrent measurement of total energy expenditure (TEE) using doubly labelled water in ninety-eight UK adults (40–65 years). Accuracy and precision of EI were assessed using correlation and Bland–Altman analysis. Test–retest reliability of energy and nutrient intakes was assessed using data from three further UK studies where participants (11–88 years) completed Intake24 at least four times; reliability was assessed using intra-class correlations (ICC). Compared with TEE, participants under-reported EI by 25 % (95 % limits of agreement −73 % to +68 %) in the first recall, 22 % (−61 % to +41 %) for average of first two, and 25 % (−60 % to +28 %) for first three recalls. Correlations between EI and TEE were 0·31 (first), 0·47 (first two) and 0·39 (first three recalls), respectively. ICC for a single recall was 0·35 for EI and ranged from 0·31 for Fe to 0·43 for non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES). Considering pairs of recalls (first two v. third and fourth recalls), ICC was 0·52 for EI and ranged from 0·37 for fat to 0·63 for NMES. EI reported with Intake24 was moderately correlated with objectively measured TEE and underestimated on average to the same extent as seen with interviewer-led 24-h recalls and estimated weight food diaries. Online 24-h recall systems may offer low-cost, low-burden alternatives for collecting dietary information.
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.
Introduction: Individualizing risk for stroke following a transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a topic of intense research, as existing scores are context-dependent or have not been well validated. The Canadian TIA Score stratifies risk of subsequent stroke into low, moderate and high risk. Our objective was to prospectively validate the Canadian TIA Score in a new cohort of emergency department (ED) patients. Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study in 14 Canadian EDs over 4 years. We enrolled consecutive adult patients with an ED visit for TIA or nondisabling stroke. Treating physicians recorded standardized clinical variables onto data collection forms. Given the ability of prompt emergency carotid endarterectomy (CEA) to prevent stroke (NNT = 3) in high risk patients, our primary outcome was the composite of subsequent stroke or CEA ≤7 days. We conducted telephone follow-up using the validated Questionnaire for Verifying Stroke Free Status at 7 and 90 days. Outcomes were adjudicated by panels of 3 local stroke experts, blinded to the index ED data collection form. Based on prior work, we estimated a sample size of 5,004 patients including 93 subsequent strokes, would yield 95% confidence bands of +/− 10% for sensitivity and likelihood ratio (LR). Our analyses assessed interval LRs (iLR) with 95% CIs. Results: We prospectively enrolled 7,569 patients with mean 68.4 +/−14.7 years and 52.4% female, of whom 107 (1.4%) had a subsequent stroke and 74 (1.0%) CEA ≤7 days (total outcomes = 181). We enrolled 81.2% of eligible patients; missed patients were similar to enrolled. The Canadian TIA Score stratified the stroke/CEA ≤7days risk as: Low (probability <0.2%, iLR 0.20 [95%CI 0.091-0.44]; Moderate (probability 1.3%, iLR 0.79 [0.68-0.92]; High (probability 2.6%, iLR 2.2 [1.9-2.6]. Sensitivity analysis for just stroke ≤7 days yielded similar results: Low iLR 0.17 [95%CI 0.056-0.52], Medium iLR 0.89 [0.75-1.1], High iLR 2.0 [1.6-2.4]. Conclusion: The Canadian TIA Score accurately identifies TIA patients risk for stroke/CEA ≤7 days. Patients classified as low risk can be safely discharged following a careful ED assessment with elective follow-up. Patients at moderate risk can undergo additional testing in the ED, have antithrombotic therapy optimized, and be offered early stroke specialist follow-up. Patients at high risk should in most cases be fully investigated and managed ideally in consultation with a stroke specialist during their index ED visit.
Resonant optical dipole antennas, consisting either of two arms coupled by a small gap or of a single, uncoupled arm only, are fabricated by the application of electron beam lithography and gold evaporation. Using dark-field microscopy, scattering spectra of structures with varied antenna arm length and varied gap size are obtained. The results show not only a spectral redshift for coupled structures compared to single arm structures, but also that the far-field scattering intensity is significantly higher for two arm structures with gap. In addition to the dipole structures, first fabrication results on quadrupole antennas and split-ring antennas are presented, offering novel pathways for an enhancement of the optical response function.
Infrared absorption spectroscopy is a powerful tool for structural and functional studies of biomolecules. The technique enables direct access to the vibrational fingerprints of molecular bonds in the mid-infrared spectral region (3-20μm). Although intrinsic absorption cross-sections are nearly ten orders of magnitude greater than corresponding Raman cross-sections, they are still small in comparison with those of fluorescent molecules. Sensitivity improvements are therefore required for the method to be applicable to single molecule / molecular layer studies. In this work, we demonstrate the use of lithographically patterned arrays of nanoantennas to enhance the absorption signature of the protein amide-I and II backbone vibrations. Strong absorption signals from monolayer thickness films are obtained. By arranging ensembles of tailored antennas in specific lattices, higher quality factor resonances and increased near-field intensities are possible. These features are leveraged to obtain 104-105 fold signal enhancements and the direct measurement of vibrational spectra of proteins at zepto-mole sensitivity levels.
A cost-effective fabrication method to engineer metamaterial structures with micrometersize features and novel mechanical properties, which are suitable for terahertz applications, is reported herein. The effective metamaterial parameter extraction procedure is employed with the Kramers-Kronig relation to analyze the effective parameters of single- and multilayer metamaterial structures.
Electromagnetic radiation beyond the diffraction limit with a particular polarization emerges as a need for plasmonic applications. One of these applications is all-optical magnetic recording, which requires circularly-polarized electromagnetic radiation. In this study, a plasmonic cross-dipole nano-antenna is illuminated with diffraction-limited linearly polarized radiation. An optimal configuration for the nano-antenna and the polarization angle of the incident light is identified to obtain linearly, circularly, and elliptically polarized optical spots beyond the diffraction limit. The Poincaré sphere representation is utilized to visually present calculated Stokes parameters for optical spots with linear, circular, and elliptical polarizations from specific antenna geometries.
The second order nonlinear optical (NLO) properties of two different ionic selfassembled multilayer (ISAM) films combined with Ag nanoparticles have been investigated. The plasmon resonances in the Ag particles concentrate the incident light, markedly increasing in the NLO efficiencies of the films. We find that the efficiency enhancement is significantly larger in conventional ISAM films compared to films made using a hybrid covalent ISAM technique (HCISAM), even though the intrinsic bulk second order non-linear susceptibility (χ(2)) is much larger for HCISAM films. We attribute this to the interfaces in HCISAM films being much easier to disrupt by external perturbations such as the metal deposition by which the nanoparticles are fabricated. We conclude that because the plasmon decay length is very short, the plasmonic enhancement of NLO effects primarily occurs at and near the film-particle interface. To discern the importance of the interfaces, we surrounded thin ISAM and HCISAM films with NLOinactive buffer layers, which confirmed this hypothesis, particularly in the case of HCISAM films.
The surface plasmon enhanced transmission of light though a plasmonic crystal provides a novel approach for fabricating an optical modulator. The extraordinary transmission passing though these patterned metallic films is very sensitive to the surface dielectric environment. In this study, hexagonal lattice plasmonic crystals were fabricated with a self-assembly technique. Arrays of gold nano-holes or bumps with 500/600 nm periodicity were used to test the sensitivity of plasmon resonance wavelength for liquids and polymers with different dielectric constants. A nonlinear optical polymer P3HT coated onto the plasmonic crystal and pumped with 475 nm laser was found to modulate the transmission of a normally incident red light at 670 nm.
Three antidot arrays with FeNi alloy thickness of 20, 50 and 100 nm have been patterned using magnetron sputtering followed by the electron-beam lithography and lift-off technique. Ferromagnetic resonance technique was used to study dynamic properties of the antidot arrays. These results were compared with the measurements of continuous films with the same composition and thickness. Two distinct resonant fields have been observed for the bias field aligned with the edges of the square holes. Resonance peaks shifted towards each other and eventually merged when the in-plane bias field was rotated towards diagonal of the squares. This dependence has been explained in terms of magnetostatic energy associated with the square holes. The magnitude of this effect was decreasing for the arrays with the reduced thickness. The perpendicular and lateral quantized standing spin wave modes were detected in the reference films and the antidot arrays due to the perpendicular and lateral dimensional confinements.
We have developed a novel strategy for elaborating composite plasmonic nanomaterials in a well controlled manner. Combining several techniques commonly used in microelectronic engineering, namely sputtering deposition, thermal oxidation, ultra low energy ion implantation, focused ion beam lithography, thermal or laser annealing, we have obtained 3D patterned optical layers. Their spatial and spectral responses take benefit of optical interference, plasmonic resonance effects and coupling between excitations in both near and far field regime. Moreover these structures show high level of uniformity, reproducibility and stability, and they preserve flat and chemically uniform surfaces.
Localized Surface Plasmon Resonances (LSPR) in rod-shaped Gold (Au) nanoparticles patterned with Electron Beam Lithography (EBL) technique are observed via reflectance measurements. Resonance peaks corresponding to the principal axes of the nano-rods are shown to be affected by each other. Excitation of one of the peaks is found to result in a decrease in the peak intensity of the resonance through the other axis. Arrays of Au nanoparticles with constant width and thickness but increasing length are examined for further understanding of the effect. As the particle length increased from 70 nm to 300 nm, resonance peak wavelength shifted from 650 nm to 1200 nm. Total reflectance intensities of samples with varying principal axis dimensions obtained through the spectral region of interest are also examined to see the relation between contributing electrons and total amount of reflected intensity. Results corresponding to both polarized and unpolarized illumination of samples are presented together to gain better understanding of lowered reflectance peak intensities obtained from the latter case. Based on the results obtained so far, nano-sized metal rods are promising tools for optically switched intensity modulation in the visible and near-IR region.
A layer of silver nanoparticles created by thermal annealing of evaporated silver films can increase the photocurrents in silicon-on-insulator (SOI) devices by fivefold or more, but significant enhancements have been restricted to wavelengths greater than 800 nm. Here we report a significant enhancement of photoconductance at shorter wavelengths (500-750 nm) by using a monolayer of silver nanoparticles transferred from a colloidal suspension. Photocurrents on SOI increased in the 500-750 nm spectral range with the addition of silver nanoparticles, with enhancements more than two times; enhancements at longer wavelengths were small, in contrast to results with annealed silver films. We prepared similar colloidal silver nanoparticle monolayers layers on nanocrystalline silicon solar cells with conducting oxide top layers. There is an overall decrease in the quantum efficiency of these cells with the deposition of silver nanoparticles. We attribute these effects to the substantial substrate-mediated changes in the localized surface plasmon resonance frequencies of the differing nanoparticle configurations.
We develop experimentally and theoretically plasmonic and photonic crystals for enhancing thin film silicon solar cells. Thin film amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells suffer from decreased absorption of red and near-infrared photons, where the photon absorption length is large. Simulations predict maximal light absorption for a pitch of 700-800 nm for photonic crystal hole arrays in silver or ZnO/Ag back reflectors, with absorption increases of ~12%. The photonic crystal improves over the ideal randomly roughened back reflector (or the ‘4n2 limit’) at wavelengths near the band edge. We fabricated metallic photonic crystal back-reflectors using photolithography and reactive-ion etching. We conformally deposited a-Si:H solar cells on triangular lattice hole arrays of pitch 760 nm on silver back-reflectors. Electron microscopy demonstrates excellent long range periodicity and conformal a-Si:H growth. The measured quantum efficiency increases by 7-8 %, relative to a flat reflector reference device, with enhancement factors exceeding 6 at near-infrared wavelengths. The photonic crystal back reflector strongly diffracts light and increases optical path lengths of solar photons.
We observed pediatric S. aureus hospitalizations decreased 36% from 26.3 to 16.8 infections per 1,000 admissions from 2009 to 2016, with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) decreasing by 52% and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus decreasing by 17%, among 39 pediatric hospitals. Similar decreases were observed for days of therapy of anti-MRSA antibiotics.
Due to concerns over increasing fluoroquinolone (FQ) resistance among gram-negative organisms, our stewardship program implemented a preauthorization use policy. The goal of this study was to assess the relationship between hospital FQ use and antibiotic resistance.
Large academic medical center.
We performed a retrospective analysis of FQ susceptibility of hospital isolates for 5 common gram-negative bacteria: Acinetobacter spp., Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Primary endpoint was the change of FQ susceptibility. A Poisson regression model was used to calculate the rate of change between the preintervention period (1998–2005) and the postimplementation period (2006–2016).
Large rates of decline of FQ susceptibility began in 1998, particularly among P. aeruginosa, Acinetobacter spp., and E. cloacae. Our FQ restriction policy improved FQ use from 173 days of therapy (DOT) per 1,000 patient days to <60 DOT per 1,000 patient days. Fluoroquinolone susceptibility increased for Acinetobacter spp. (rate ratio [RR], 1.038; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.005–1.072), E. cloacae (RR, 1.028; 95% CI, 1.013–1.044), and P. aeruginosa (RR, 1.013; 95% CI, 1.006–1.020). No significant change in susceptibility was detected for K. pneumoniae (RR, 1.002; 95% CI, 0.996–1.008), and the susceptibility for E. coli continued to decline, although the decline was not as steep (RR, 0.981; 95% CI, 0.975–0.987).
A stewardship-driven FQ restriction program stopped overall declining FQ susceptibility rates for all species except E. coli. For 3 species (ie, Acinetobacter spp, E. cloacae, and P. aeruginosa), susceptibility rates improved after implementation, and this improvement has been sustained over a 10-year period.
Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infections remain highly prevalent. CT reinfection occurs frequently within months after treatment, likely contributing to sustaining the high CT infection prevalence. Sparse studies have suggested CT reinfection is associated with a lower organism load, but it is unclear whether CT load at the time of treatment influences CT reinfection risk. In this study, women presenting for treatment of a positive CT screening test were enrolled, treated and returned for 3- and 6-month follow-up visits. CT organism loads were quantified at each visit. We evaluated for an association of CT bacterial load at initial infection with reinfection risk and investigated factors influencing the CT load at baseline and follow-up in those with CT reinfection. We found no association of initial CT load with reinfection risk. We found a significant decrease in the median log10 CT load from baseline to follow-up in those with reinfection (5.6 CT/ml vs. 4.5 CT/ml; P = 0.015). Upon stratification of reinfected subjects based upon presence or absence of a history of CT infections prior to their infection at the baseline visit, we found a significant decline in the CT load from baseline to follow-up (5.7 CT/ml vs. 4.3 CT/ml; P = 0.021) exclusively in patients with a history of CT infections prior to our study. Our findings suggest repeated CT infections may lead to possible development of partial immunity against CT.