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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.
We have assembled a new sample of some of the most FIR-luminous galaxies in the Universe and have imaged them in 1.1 mm dust emission and measured their redshifts 1 < z < 4 via CO emission lines using the 32-m Large Millimeter Telescope / Gran Telescopio Milimétrico (LMT/GTM). Our sample of 31 submm galaxies (SMGs), culled from the Planck and Herschel all-sky surveys, includes 14 of the 21 most luminous galaxies known, with LFIR > 1014L⊙ and SFR > 104M⊙/yr. These extreme inferred luminosities – and multiple / extended 1.1 mm images – imply that most or all are strongly gravitationally lensed, with typical magnification μ ~ 10 × . The gravitational lensing provides two significant benefits: (1) it boosts the S/N, and (2) it allows investigation of star formation and gas processes on sub-kpc scales.
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 have conducted 1.1 mm ALMA observations of a contiguous 105” × 50” or 1.5 arcmin2 window in the SXDF-UDS-CANDELS. We achieved a 5σ sensitivity of 0.28 mJy, giving a flat sensus of dusty star-forming galaxies with LIR ~6×1011L⊙ (if Tdust=40K) up to z ~ 10 thanks to the negative K-correction at this wavelength. We detected 5 brightest sources (S/N>6) and 18 low-significant sources (5>S/N>4; they may contain spurious detections, though). One of the 5 brightest ALMA sources (S1.1mm = 0.84 ± 0.09 mJy) is extremely faint in the WFC3 and VLT/HAWK-I images, demonstrating that a contiguous ALMA imaging survey uncovers a faint dust-obscured population invisible in the deep optical/near-infrared surveys. We find a possible [CII]-line emitter at z=5.955 or a low-z CO emitting galaxy within the field, allowing us to constrain the [CII] and/or CO luminosity functions across the history of the universe.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, highly heritable psychiatric disorder. Additionally, environmental factors such as perinatal stress and early adversities contribute to the occurrence and severity of ADHD. Recently, DNA methylation has emerged as a mechanism that potentially mediates gene–environmental interaction effects in the aetiology and phenomenology of psychiatric disorders. Here, we investigated whether serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) methylation patterns were associated with clinical characteristics and regional cortical thickness in children with ADHD.
In 102 children with ADHD (age 6–15 years), the methylation status of the SLC6A4 promoter was measured. Brain magnetic resonance imaging was obtained and ADHD symptoms were evaluated.
A higher methylation status of the SLC6A4 promoter was significantly associated with worse clinical presentations (more hyperactive-impulsive symptoms and more commission errors). Additionally, a negative correlation was observed between SLC6A4 methylation levels and cortical thickness values in the right occipito-temproral regions.
Our results suggest that the SLC6A4 methylation status may be associated with certain symptoms of ADHD, such as behavioural disinhibition, and related brain changes. Future studies that use a larger sample size and a control group are required to corroborate these results.
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.
Previous studies have implicated the relationship between environmental phthalate exposure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms of childhood, but no studies have been conducted in children who have a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD obtained through meticulous diagnostic testing. We aimed to determine whether phthalate metabolites in urine would be higher in children with ADHD than in those without ADHD and would correlate with symptom severity and cortical thickness in ADHD children.
A cross-sectional examination of urine phthalate metabolite concentrations was performed; scores for ADHD symptoms, externalizing problems, and continuous performance tests were obtained from 180 children with ADHD, and brain-imaging data were obtained from 115 participants. For the control group, children without ADHD (N = 438) were recruited. Correlations between phthalate metabolite concentrations and clinical measures and brain cortical thickness were investigated.
Concentrations of phthalate metabolites, particularly the di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) metabolite, were significantly higher in boys with ADHD than in boys without ADHD. Concentrations of the di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) metabolite were significantly higher in the combined or hyperactive-impulsive subtypes compared to the inattentive subtype, and the metabolite was positively correlated with the severity of externalizing symptoms. Concentrations of the DEHP metabolite were negatively correlated with cortical thickness in the right middle and superior temporal gyri.
The results of this study suggest an association between phthalate concentrations and both the diagnosis and symptom severity of ADHD. Imaging findings suggest a negative impact of phthalates on regional cortical maturation in children with ADHD.
We previously developed and validated an index of socioeconomic status (SES) termed HOUSES (housing-based index of socioeconomic status) based on real property data. In this study, we assessed whether HOUSES overcomes the absence of SES measures in medical records and is associated with risk of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in children. We conducted a population-based case-control study of children in Olmsted County, MN, diagnosed with IPD (1995–2005). Each case was age- and gender-matched to two controls. HOUSES was derived using a previously reported algorithm from publicly available housing attributes (the higher HOUSES, the higher the SES). HOUSES was available for 92·3% (n = 97) and maternal education level for 43% (n = 45). HOUSES was inversely associated with risk of IPD in unmatched analysis [odds ratio (OR) 0·22, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·05–0·89, P = 0·034], whereas maternal education was not (OR 0·77, 95% CI 0·50–1·19, P = 0·24). HOUSES may be useful for overcoming a paucity of conventional SES measures in commonly used datasets in epidemiological research.
We present new, wide, and deep images in the AzTEC/ASTE 1.1 mm continuum and the 12 CO (J = 1–0) emission toward the northern part of the Orion-A GMC. We have found evidence for interactions between molecular clouds and the external forces that may trigger star formation. Two types of possible triggers were revealed: (1) Collisions of the diffuse gas on the cloud surface, particularly at the eastern side of the OMC-2/3 region, and (2) Irradiation of UV on the pre-existing filaments and dense molecular cloud cores. Our wide-field and high-sensitivity imaging has provided the first comprehensive view of the potential sites of triggered star formation in the Orion-A GMC.
Semiconductor nitrides grown on substrates with a large lattice mismatch typically contain extended and point defects that prevent the full potential of this material system from being attained. Among allthe substrate options explored so far, freestanding GaN templates appear ideal for homoepitaxial growth of GaN films. To this end, hydride vapor-phase epitaxial (HVPE) grown GaN templates with a thickness of more than 200 μm were thermally lifted off from the sapphire substrate and mechanically polished. The defect densityof such a template is expected to be non-uniform in the growth direction, especially near the back surface which was in close vicinity of the sapphire substrate. We, therefore, studied the transport properties of this template before and after the removal of a 30 μm region from the back-side. For as-prepared GaN, Hall mobilities of 1100 cm2/V-s and 6800 cm2/V-s were obtained at 295 K and 50 K, respectively. A simultaneous fitting of mobility and carrier concentration was used to quantify the contribution ofdifferent scattering mechanisms. When the backside was etched by ∼30 μm, Hall mobilities improved to 1200 cm2/V-s at 295 K and 7385 cmsup2/V-s at 48 K, respectively. A numerical solution of the Boltzmann transport equation (BTE) that deals with the inelastic nature of electron scattering by polar optical mode was employed to determine the acceptor concentration. Raman spectroscopy was employed to obtain LO and TO phonon energies, which were then used in the above-mentioned calculations. The best fittings of the mobility and carrier concentration data yield an average acceptor concentration of 4.9×1015 cm-3 and a donor concentration of 2.1×1016 cm-3 for the as-prepared GaN. The average acceptor concentration decreased to 2.4×1015 cm-3 after etching of the backside, which confirms that the etched-away region contained higher density of defects. The donor activation energy is derived to be 25.2 meV. Our analysis demonstrated high quality of the freestanding GaN substrate with the highest reported electron mobility for wurtzite GaN.
We compared photoluminescence (PL) and cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) characteristics of GaN samples with Ga and N polarities grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) on sapphire substrates. Ga-polar films grown at low temperature typically have very smooth surfaces, which are extremely difficult to etch with acids or bases. In contrast, the N-polar films have rougher surfaces and can be easily etched in hot H3PO4 or KOH. The quality of the X-ray diffraction spectra is also much better in case of Ga-polar films. Surprisingly, PL efficiency is always much higher in the N-polar GaN, yet the features and shape of the PL spectra are comparable for both polarities. We concluded that, despite the excellent quality of the surface, MBE-grown Ga-polar GaN layers contain higher concentration of nonradiative defects. From the analyses of cross-sectional TEM investigations, we have found that Ga-polar films have high density of threading dislocations (5x109 cm-2) and low density of inversion domains (1x107 cm-2). For N-polar GaN the situation is the reverse: the density of dislocations and inversion domains are 5x108 and ~1x1011 cm-2, respectively. One of the important conclusions derived from the combined PL and TEM study is that inversion domains do not seem to affect the radiative efficiency very adversly, whereas dislocations reduce it significantly.
We analyzed the photoluminescence (PL) spectra of undoped GaN films grown by molecular beam epitaxy on sapphire substrates. While the PL spectra from high-quality samples contain free and bound exciton peaks only, the spectra from some samples involve sharp unidentified peaks in the energy range of 3.0 – 3.45 eV, specifically at 3.21, 3.32, 3.36, and 3.42 eV. We attribute these peaks to excitons bound to defects because of the linear and sometimes superlinear increase in their intensity with excitation density without saturation up to 100 W/cm2. With increasing temperature these peaks quench in a well-known fashion similar to that for excitons. In order to relate the observed peaks to the structural defects, we etched selected samples in hot H3PO4 acid or, alternatively, with photo-electrochemical (PEC) etching at room temperature in the presence of UV-illumination in a dilute KOH solution. In the former case the dislocations were etched leaving etched pits on the surface, while in the latter case the dislocations remained unetched due to a deficit of photogenerated holes at dislocation sites. We found that the 3.42 eV peak disappeared after both hot wet and PEC etching suggesting that the associated defect is at the GaN surface. Peaks at 3.21 and 3.36 eV could be enhanced greatly by PEC etching, which were correlated to bulk dislocations.
Photoenhanced electro-chemical (PEC) wet etching has been shown to be suitable for dislocation-density estimation in n-GaN films as well as for GaN-based device fabrication. We report on PEC etching of n-GaN samples grown by MBE and HVPE methods in unstirred aqueous KOH solution under He-Cd laser illumination. Characterization of the etched samples was carried out using atomic force microscopy (AFM) in both cross-sectional and plan-view configurations and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). At moderate illumination densities, the SEM and AFM analyses reveal sub-100 nm scale threading vertical wires on the etched surfaces. The calculated density (∼1×10 9cm−2) is in agreement with dislocation density found by transmission electron microscopy. Using cross-sectional AFM, we find that these vertical wires are ∼1[.proportional]m high and are perpendicular to the sapphire surface. Applying a higher illumination density or an external voltage, we obtain a higher etch rate with a smooth free-feature etched surface. Some highly resistive samples that cannot be etched under normal conditions because the band bending is too small to confine the holes to the surface for them to participate in the PEC process, can be etched with the application of a voltage to the sample. In this case, the etch rate depends on both the polarity and the magnitude of the voltage applied. In an MBE-grown sample with an AlN/GaN superstructure inside, we report on high selectivity between AlN and GaN (AlN is an etch stop); the selectivity is due to the etching mechanism of the PEC process.
We are studying the effects of etch conditions on the surface morphology, chemistry, and luminescent properties of porous silicon (PS) films. Luminescent silicon films are produced by chemical etching using solutions of HNO3 in HF and by anodic etching using aqueous HF electrolytes. Films produced by both methods are analyzed and compared using photoluminescence (PL), vibrational, and X-ray photoelectron (XPS) spectroscopies. The initial characterization of PS is performed immediately following the etching process, resulting in oxide-free films (as confirmed by XPS). In chemically etched PS films, the luminescent intensity decreases as the vol. % HNO3 in etch solution increases. Spectral features evolve in the PL spectrum of chemically etched films as the result of aging under ambient conditions and when the films are cooled under illumination. Moreover, we have also found that increased electrolyte convection results in a decrease in photoluminescence intensity of PS films formed anodically. The role of electrolyte flow in modifying the luminescent properties of PS is being evaluated in an etch cell with well-characterized hydrodynamics.
High quality ZnS epilayers were grown on GaAs and GaP substrates by hot wall epitaxy. The optimum temperature conditions for high quality ZnS epilayer were found. The photoluminescence(PL) spectrum of high quality ZnS epilayers showed sharp and narrow exciton peaks and no self-activated peaks. The room temperature energy gap of ZnS/GaAs was found to be 3.729 eV from the experimentally observed free exciton PL peaks. The temperature dependence of the PL intensity showed a two step quenching process and the temperature dependence of the PL linewidth broadening was tried to analyze in terms of exciton scattering process. From the splitting of the heavy hole and the light hole exciton peaks, the strain was identified.
High-temperature colloidal synthesis of InAs/InP and InAs/CdSe core/shell nanocrystal quantum dots is reported. InP and CdSe shells with several thicknesses were grown on InAs cores ranging in diameter between 20 to 50 Å. Optical spectra, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were used to analyze the core/shell quantum dots and determine their chemical composition, average size, size distributions, and structures. The experimental results indicate that shell growth is uniform, expitaxial, and controllable. For both InP and CdSe shells, growth is accompanied by a red shift of the band gap energy as a result of the extension of the electron wavefunction into the shell region. An increase of the room temperature photoluminescence quantum yield by a factor of∼4 is observed with CdSe shell growth on InAs Cores. The growth of InP shells, however, quenches the photoluminescence quantum yield. The difference is assigned to outer surface effects in core/shell nanocrystals.
We report the growth of GaN films by RF-MBE on SiC, ZnO, and LiGaO2 substrates, without buffer layers. Structural and optical properties of the films were probed by AFM for surface morphology, XRD for crystalline structure, and PL for optical properties. The dependence of GaN layer quality on the substrates and their surface pre-treatment prior to growth was studied within a similar MBE growth parameter matrix for all samples.
Photoconductive Semiconductor Switches (PCSS) were fabricated in planar structures on high resistivity 4H-SiC and conductive 6H-SiC and tested at DC Bias voltages up to 1000 V. The gap spacing between the electrodes is 1 mm. The average on-state resistance and the ratio of on-state to off-state currents were about 20 Ω and 3×1011 for 4H-SiC, and 60 Ω and 6.6×103 for 6H-SiC, respectively. The typical maximum switch current at 1000 V is about 49 A for 4H-SiC. Photoconductivity pulse widths for all applied voltages were 8-10 ns. The observed performance is due in part to the removal of the surface damage by high temperature H2 etching and surface preparation. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) images revealed that very good surface morphology, atomic layer flatness and large step widths were achieved with this surface treatment and these atomically smooth surfaces likely contributed to the excellent switching performance of these devices.
We summarize structural properties of thick HVPE GaN templates from the point of view of their application as substrates for growth of nitride layers. This is followed by the results of optical and structural studies, mostly transmission electron microscopy, of nitride layers grown by MOCVD on top of the HVPE substrates. The results indicate high structural quality of these layers with a low density of threading dislocations (in the range of 106 cm-2). Convergent beam electron diffraction studies showed that the MOCVD GaN films have Ga-polarity, the same polarity as the HVPE GaN substrates. Structural studies of an InGaN layer grown on top of the MOCVD GaN film showed the presence of two layers, which differed in lattice parameter and composition. The upper layer, on the top of the structure had a clattice parameter about 2 % larger than that of GaN and contained 10.3 ± 0.8 % of In. Values measured for the thinner, intermediate layer adjacent to the GaN layer were about 2.5 times lower.