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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.
Black and White dual-purpose cattle (DSN) are kept in diverse production systems, but the same set of genetic parameters is used for official national genetic evaluations, neglecting the herd or production system characteristics. The aim of the present study was to infer genetic (co)variance components within and across defined herd descriptor groups or clusters, considering only herds keeping the local and endangered DSN breed. The study considered 3659 DSN and 2324 Holstein Friesian (HF) cows from parities one to three. The 46 herds always kept DSN cows, but in most cases, herds were ‘mixed’ herds (Mixed), including both genetic lines HF and DSN. In order to study environmental sensitivity, we had a focus on the naturally occurring negative energy balance in the early lactation period. In consequence, traits were records from the 1st official test-day after calving for milk yield (Milk-kg), somatic cell score (SCS) and fat-to-protein ratio (FPR). Genetic parameters were estimated in bivariate runs (separate runs for the three genetic lines Mixed, HF and DSN), defining the same trait from different herd groups or clusters as different traits. Additive-genetic variances and heritabilities were larger in herd groups that indicated superior herd management, implying that cow records from these herds allow a better genetic differentiation. Superior herd management included larger herds, low calving age, high herd production levels and low intra-herd somatic cell count. Herd descriptor group differences in additive-genetic variances for Milk-kg were stronger in HF than in DSN, indicating environmental sensitivity for DSN. Similar variance components and heritabilities across groups, clusters and genetic lines were found for data stratification according to geographical descriptors altitude and latitude. Considering 72 bivariate herd group runs, 29 genetic correlations were very close to 1 (mostly for Milk-kg). Somatic cell score was the trait showing the smallest genetic correlations, especially in the DSN analyses, and when stratifying herds according to genetic line compositions (rg=0.11), or according to the percentage of natural service sires (rg=0.08). For estimations based on the results of a cluster analysis considering several herd descriptors simultaneously, indications for genotype × environment interactions could be found for SCS, but genetic correlations were larger than 0.80 for Milk-kg and FPR. In conclusion, we suggest multiple-trait animal model applications in genetic evaluations, in order to select the best sires for specific herd environments or herd clusters.
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.
Through two rounds of land contracting, rural households have been allocated a bundle of rights in land. We observe significant differences across villages in the amount of land to which villagers retain a claim and the institutional mechanisms governing the exchange of land rights. This study reveals the perpetuation and expansion of non-market mechanisms accruing to the benefit of village cadres and state officials and only limited emergence of market mechanisms in which households are primary beneficiaries. It identifies factors in economic, political and legal domains that incentivize and enable state officials and local cadres to capture returns from use of land. Relatedly, the study finds differences in conflict over property-rights regimes. Drawing on a pilot survey carried out by the authors in November of 2011 in Shaanxi and Jiangsu provinces (192 households in 24 villages), this paper seeks to explain heterogeneity and change in property-rights regimes over time and across space.
To determine the length and position of a thyroidectomy scar that is cosmetically most appealing to naïve raters.
Images of thyroidectomy scars were reproduced on male and female necks using digital imaging software. Surgical variables studied were scar position and length. Fifteen raters were presented with 56 scar pairings and asked to identify which was preferred cosmetically. Twenty duplicate pairings were included to assess rater reliability. Analysis of variance was used to determine preference.
Raters preferred low, short scars, followed by high, short scars, with long scars in either position being less desirable (p < 0.05). Twelve of 15 raters had acceptable intra-rater and inter-rater reliability.
Naïve raters preferred low, short scars over the alternatives. High, short scars were the next most favourably rated. If other factors influencing incision choice are considered equal, surgeons should consider these preferences in scar position and length when planning their thyroidectomy approach.
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.
We derive zphot for sources in the entire (~0.4 deg2) H-HDF-N field with the EAzY code, based on PSF-matched broad-band (U band to IRAC 4.5 μm) photometry. Our catalog consists of a total of 131,678 sources. We find σNMAD = 0.029 for non-X-ray sources. We also classify each object as a star or galaxy through SED fitting. Furthermore, we match our catalog with the 2 Ms CDF-N main X-ray catalog. For the 462 matched non-stellar X-ray sources, we improve their zphot quality (σNMAD = 0.035) by adding three additional AGN templates. We make our photometry and zphot catalog publicly available.
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.
Antarctic and Southern Ocean science is vital to understanding natural variability, the processes that govern global change and the role of humans in the Earth and climate system. The potential for new knowledge to be gained from future Antarctic science is substantial. Therefore, the international Antarctic community came together to ‘scan the horizon’ to identify the highest priority scientific questions that researchers should aspire to answer in the next two decades and beyond. Wide consultation was a fundamental principle for the development of a collective, international view of the most important future directions in Antarctic science. From the many possibilities, the horizon scan identified 80 key scientific questions through structured debate, discussion, revision and voting. Questions were clustered into seven topics: i) Antarctic atmosphere and global connections, ii) Southern Ocean and sea ice in a warming world, iii) ice sheet and sea level, iv) the dynamic Earth, v) life on the precipice, vi) near-Earth space and beyond, and vii) human presence in Antarctica. Answering the questions identified by the horizon scan will require innovative experimental designs, novel applications of technology, invention of next-generation field and laboratory approaches, and expanded observing systems and networks. Unbiased, non-contaminating procedures will be required to retrieve the requisite air, biota, sediment, rock, ice and water samples. Sustained year-round access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will be essential to increase winter-time measurements. Improved models are needed that represent Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Earth System, and provide predictions at spatial and temporal resolutions useful for decision making. A co-ordinated portfolio of cross-disciplinary science, based on new models of international collaboration, will be essential as no scientist, programme or nation can realize these aspirations alone.
Paratuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) causes economic losses and is present in dairy herds worldwide. Different studies used different diagnostic tests to detect infection status and are the basis of genome-wide association (GWA) studies with inconsistent results. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify and compare genomic regions associated with MAP susceptibility in the same cohort of cattle using different diagnostic tests. The GWA study was performed in German Holsteins within a case-control assay using 305 cows tested for MAP by fecal culture and additional with four different commercial ELISA-tests. Genotyping was performed with the Illumina Bovine SNP50 BeadChip. The results using fecal culture or ELISA test led to the identification of different genetic loci. Two single-nucleotide polymorphisms showed significant association with the ELISA-status. However, no significant association for MAP infection could be confirmed. Our results show that the definition of the MAP-phenotype has an important impact on the outcome of GWA studies for paratuberculosis.
The objectives of this study were to analyze whether dry matter intake (DMI), water intake (WI) and BW were influenced by estrus. A second objective was to determine whether correlations exist among these traits in non-estrous days. Data collection included 34 Holstein-Friesian cows from the research farm ‘Haus Riswick’ of the Agricultural Chamber North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. On an individual basis, daily DMI and daily WI were measured automatically by a scale in the feeding trough and a WI monitoring system, respectively. BW was determined by a walk-through scale fitted with two gates – one in front and one behind the scale floor. Data were analyzed around cow’s estrus with day 0 (the day of artificial insemination leading to conception). Means during the reference period, defined as days −3 to −1 and 1 to 3, were compared with the means during estrus (day 0). DMI, WI and BW were affected by estrus. Of all cows, 85.3% and 66.7% had reduced DMI and WI, respectively, on day 0 compared with the reference period. Lower BW was detected in 69.2% of all cows relative to the reference period. During the reference period, average DMI, WI and BW were 23.0, 86.6 and 654.8 kg. A minimum DMI of 20.4 kg and a minimum BW of 644.2 kg were detected on the day of estrus, whereas the minimum WI occurred on the day before estrus. After estrus, DMI, WI and BW returned to baseline values. Intake of concentrated feed did not seem to be influenced by estrus. Positive correlations existed between daily DMI and daily WI (r=0.63) as well as between cows’ daily BW and daily WI (r=0.23). The results warrant further investigations to determine whether monitoring of DMI, WI and BW may assist in predicting estrus.
Paratuberculosis impairs productivity of infected dairy cows because of reduced milk production and fertility and enhanced risk of culling. The magnitude of the milk yield depression in individual cows is influenced by factors such as parity, the stage of the disease and the choice of test used. The objectives of this case–control study were to substantiate the influence of the different levels of the within-herd prevalence (WHP) on individual milk yield of fecal culture (FC)-positive cows (FC+) compared with FC-negative herd-mates (FC−), and to estimate the magnitude of the deviation of the milk yield, milk components and somatic cell count (SCC) in an FC-based study. Of a total of 31 420 cows from 26 Thuringian dairy herds tested for paratuberculosis by FC, a subset of 1382 FC+ and 3245 FC− with milk recording data were selected as cases and controls, respectively. The FC− cows were matched for the same number and stage of lactation (±10 days in milk) as one FC+ from the same herd. Within a mixed model analysis using the fixed effects of Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) status, lactation number, days in milk, prevalence class of farm and the random effect of farm on milk yield per day (kg), the amount of fat and protein (mg/dl) and lactose (mg/dl) as well as the SCC (1000/ml) were measured. On the basis of least square means, FC+ cows had a lower test-day milk yield (27.7±0.6 kg) compared with FC− (29.0±0.6 kg), as well as a lower milk protein content and a slightly diminished lactose concentration. FC status was not associated with milk fat percentage or milk SCC. In FC+ cows, reduction in milk yield increased with increasing WHP. An interaction of FC status and farm was found for the test-day milk yield, and milk protein percentage, respectively. We conclude that the reduction in milk yield of FC+ cows compared with FC− herd-mates is significantly influenced by farm effects and depends on WHP class. Owners of MAP-positive dairy herds may benefit from the reduction in WHP not only by reducing number of infected individuals but also by diminishing the individual losses in milk production per infected cow, and therefore should establish control measures.
The Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) is the UV/optical telescope of UFFO-pathfinder. The
SMT optical system is a Ritchey-Chrétien (RC) telescope of 100 mm diameter pointed by
means of a gimbal-mounted flat mirror in front of the telescope. The RC telescope has a
17 × 17arcmin2 in Field of View and 4.3 arcsec resolution (full width half
maximum of the point spread function) The beam-steering mirror enables the SMT to access a
35 × 35degree region and point and settle within 1 sec. All mirrors were fabricated to
about 0.02 wavelengths RMS in wave front error (WFE) and 84.7% average reflectivity over
200 nm ~ 650 nm. The RC telescope was aligned to 0.05 wavelengths RMS in WFE (test
wavelength 632.8 nm). In this paper, the technical details of the RC telescope and slewing
mirror system assembly, integration, and testing are given shortly, and performance tests
of the full SMT optical system are reported.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) is a space observatory for optical follow-ups of
gamma ray bursts (GRBs), aiming to explore the first 60 seconds of GRBs optical emission.
UFFO is utilized to catch early optical emissions from GRBs within few sec after trigger
using a Gimbal mirror which redirects the optical path rather than slewing entire
spacecraft. We have developed a 15 cm two-axis Gimbal mirror stage for the UFFO-Pathfinder
which is going to be on board the Lomonosov satellite which is to be launched in 2013. The
stage is designed for fast and accurate motion with given budgets of 3 kg of mass and 3
Watt of power. By employing stepping motors, the slewing mirror can rotate faster than 15
deg/sec so that objects in the UFFO coverage (60 deg × 60 deg) can be targeted in
~1 sec. The obtained targeting resolution is better 2 arcmin using a close-loop
control with high precision rotary encoder. In this presentation, we will discuss details
of design, manufacturing, space qualification tests, as well as performance tests.
The UFFO (Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory) is a GRB detector on board the Lomonosov
satellite, to be launched in 2013. The GRB trigger is provided by an X-ray detector,
called UBAT (UFFO Burst Alarm & Trigger Telescope), which detects X-rays from the GRB
and then triggers to determine the direction of the GRB and then alerts the Slewing Mirror
Telescope (SMT) to turn in the direction of the GRB and record the optical photon fluxes.
This report details the calibration of the two components: the MAPMTs and the YSO crystals
and simulations of the UBAT. The results shows that this design can observe a GRB within a
field of view of ±35° and can trigger in a time scale as short as 0.2 – 1.0 s
after the appearance of a GRB X-ray spike.