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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.
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.
Maintenance plays a critical role in reducing operating cost and maximizing reliability of a complex engineering system. This paper proposes a novel maintenance-focused, system-level design framework that attempts to capture the interactions between maintenance strategies and system-level design parameters overlooked in current modeling approaches. The goal of this maintenance-focused approach is to help designers better understand the interconnectedness of system architecture, choice of maintenance strategy, and uncertainties in a design. Application of the proposed design framework is demonstrated through a case example of a power plant condenser system. Results show that using an integrated approach can reveal the many nonobvious interactions between subsystems, and produce system designs that have lower life-cycle cost compared to traditional sequential design approaches.
Mapping observations of nearby large-extended clusters of galaxies (Coma, Perseus, Virgo, etc.) are being performed with ASCA. Such clusters allow us to map physical parameters of hot gas in the clusters, such as temperature, metal abundance, and X-ray surface brightness. To determine such parameters at each part of a cluster, one should take careful care of X-ray contamination from outside of a pointed field, which is mainly due to “stray-light” X-rays (Honda et al. 1997). For this reason, the only way to obtain the distribution of hot gas parameter is to process the whole cluster data in a self-consistent way. For this purpose, we are developing the new analysis system called TERRA.
The Coma cluster has been recognized as an archetype of rich and relaxed clusters, until recent ROSAT observations reveal that the intracluster medium (ICM) has a complex distribution (Briel et al. 1992; White et al. 1993). The X-ray surface brightness distribution shows a secondary peak around the galaxy NGC 4839, at 40' SW from the cluster center.
The red variables whose amplitude is larger than 1.3 mag in the MOA database are studied for the LMC. Among 3 196 such stars, 532 stars are likely to be Miras or red semiregular variables. The period–colour relation of these stars is shown.
More than 4000 stars observed in both MOA and DENIS projects showing periodic or quasi-periodic light curves are studied. Almost all Mira stars are located on the classical period-luminosity relation, and the multiplicity of the period-luminosity relation is confirmed for small-amplitude stars. The colour-magnitude diagrams based on the MOA red band, Rm, and Ks constructed for the sequences, form a single strip with small successive shifts.
A large database of CCD photometry for 1.4 million stars towards both the LMC and the SMC, which has been established by the MOA project, is a useful resource to study variable stars. In our preliminary study, variables identified as β Lyrae type stars and Herbig Ae/Be stars have been found amongst blue stars.
A review of the MOA (Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics) project is presented. MOA is a collaboration of approximately 30 astronomers from New Zealand and Japan established with the aim of finding and detecting microlensing events towards the Magellanic Clouds and the Galactic bulge, which may be indicative of either dark matter or of planetary companions. The observing program commenced in 1995, using very wide band blue and red filters and a nine-chip mosaic CCD camera.
As a by-product of these observations a large database of CCD photometry for 1.4 million stars towards both LMC and SMC has been established. In one preliminary analysis 576 bright variable stars were confirmed, nearly half of them being Cepheids. Another analysis has identified large numbers of blue variables, and 205 eclipsing binaries are included in this sample. In addition 351 red variables (AGB stars) have been found. Light curves have been obtained for all these stars. The observations are carried out on a 61-cm f/6.25 telescope at Mt John University Observatory where a new larger CCD camera was installed in 1998 July. From this latitude (44° S) the Magellanic Clouds can be monitored throughout the year.
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.
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.
We have estimated the characteristic temperature T0 of GaN-based vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers. The density matrix theory including intraband relaxation broadening has been taken into account. The estimated T0 is about 300 K, which suggests a good temperature characteristic in GaN-based lasers.
We have prepared 2% Al doped ZnO (AZO) thin films on SrTiO3 and Al2O3 substrates by Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) technique at various deposition temperatures (Tdep = 300 °C – 600 °C). Transport and thermoelectric properties of AZO thin films were studied in low temperature range (300 K - 600 K). AZO/STO films present superior performance respect to AZO/Al2O3 films deposited at the same temperature, except for films deposited at 400 °C. Best film is the fully c-axis oriented AZO/STO deposited at 300 °C, with electrical conductivity 310 S/cm, Seebeck coefficient -65 μV/K and power factor 0.13 × 10-3 Wm-1K-2 at 300 K. Its performance increases with temperature. For instance, power factor is enhanced up to × 10-3 Wm-1K-2 at 600 K, surpassing the best AZO film previously reported in literature.
We carried out an extensive photometric and spectroscopic investigation of the SPB binary, HD 25558 (see Fig. 1 for the time and geographic distribution of the observations). The ~2000 spectra obtained at 13 observatories during 5 observing seasons, the ground-based multi-colour light curves and the photometric data from the MOST satellite revealed that this object is a double-lined spectroscopic binary with a very long orbital period of about 9 years. We determined the physical parameters of the components, and have found that both lie within the SPB instability strip. Accordingly, both components show line-profile variations consistent with stellar pulsations. Altogether, 11 independent frequencies and one harmonic frequency were identified in the data. The observational data do not allow the inference of a reliable orbital solution, thus, disentangling cannot be performed on the spectra. Since the lines of the two components are never completely separated, the analysis is very complicated. Nevertheless, pixel-by-pixel variability analysis of the cross-correlated line profiles was successful, and we were able to attribute all the frequencies to the primary or secondary component. Spectroscopic and photometric mode-identification was also performed for several of these frequencies of both binary components. The spectroscopic mode-identification results suggest that the inclination and rotation of the two components are rather different. While the primary is a slow rotator with ~6 d rotation period, seen at ~60° inclination, the secondary rotates fast with ~1.2 d rotation period, and is seen at ~20° inclination. Our spectropolarimetric measurements revealed that the secondary component has a magnetic field with at least a few hundred Gauss strength, while no magnetic field was detected in the primary.
The detailed analysis and results of this study will be published elsewhere.
To develop higher density FRAM requires reducing cell size. Therefore, the size effects resulting from device processing and the material's physical properties must be measured. Therefore, analyzing the electric characteristics of a single bit cell capacitor has become important. Two known characteristics of ferroelectric material are that the Vc increases at low temperatures, and the Pr falls at high temperatures. To further evaluate the impact of temperature on ferroelectrics, we constructed a new evaluation system based on a scanning probe microscope, that can measure the electric characteristics of a single bit cell capacitor. This system can be used in the temperature range from −120 degrees to 300 degrees C. We accomplished this by circulating liquid nitrogen around a SPM stage and by using an electrical heater. We measured the electrical properties of ferroelectric microcapacitors by using a sample with IrOx/PZT/Pt structure. Our measurements revealed that 2Pr really increases at low temperatures, and Pr decreases at high temperatures. That is, we have shown that Vc increases 30% at low temperatures and Pr decreases 10% also in an actual FRAM single bit cell capacitor.
Strongyloides ratti (Nagoya strain) is unique in that a portion of adults parasitizing the small intestine withstands ‘worm expulsion’, which starts at around day 8 post-infection (p.i.) by host immunity, and establishes in the large intestine after day 19 p.i. To investigate the mechanism, adults obtained from the small intestine at day 7 or 19 p.i. were transplanted into the colon of infection-primed immune rats. Adults obtained at day 7 p.i. were rejected quickly, whereas those obtained at day 19 p.i. could establish infection. Moreover, the body length and the number of intrauterine eggs increased in the large intestine. In a separate experiment, large intestinal parasitism was abolished by the treatment of host rats with an anti-oxidant, butylated hydroxyanisole. These results indicate that small intestinal adults between days 7 and 19 p.i. acquired the ability to parasitize the large intestine of immune rats, and that free radicals produced by the host may have played a significant role in the process.
Influence of the linear energy-momentum relationship in graphene on conductance and magnetoresistance (MR) in ferromagnetic metal (FM)/graphene/FM lateral junctions is studied in a numerical simulation formulated using the Kubo formula and recursive Green’s function method in a tight-binding model. It is shown that the contribution of electron tunneling through graphene should be considered in the electronic transport in metal/graphene/metal junctions, and that the Dirac point (DP) is effectively shifted by the band mixing between graphene and metal electrodes. It is shown that MR appears due to spin-dependent shift of DP or spin-dependent change in the electronic states at DPs. It is shown that the MR ratio caused by the latter mechanism can be very high when certain transition metal alloys are used for electrodes. These results do not essentially depend on the shape of the junction structure. However, to obtain high MR ratios, the effects of roughness should be small.
Piezoresponse measurements using scanning probe microscopy (SPM) were performed for island structures at the initial growth stage of Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT) (Zr/Ti=0/100, 24/76 and 74/26) thin films prepared by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition(MOCVD). Deposition times were varied from 5s to 7min to control the size of PZT islands. When deposition times were shorter than 3min, (111)-oriented triangular-shaped PZT islands were observed before forming a continuous film. The width and height of PZT islands deposited at 3min were 160 and 70nm for Zr/Ti = 0/100, 100 and 30nm for Zr/Ti = 24/76, and 80 and 20nm for Zr/Ti = 74/26, respectively. The size of islands decreased with increasing the Zr composition. Hysteresis loops due to polarization switching were observed in the phase difference and displacement of piezoresponse measured using scanning probe microscopy (SPM). This result proves that nano-size PZT islands have weak ferroelectricity. The minimum width and height of PZT islands which showed ferroelectricity were 70 and 30nm for Zr/Ti=24/76.
The vacuum evaporation of GaN thin films using GaN powder (5N) for GaN-based electroluminescence devices (ELDs) is reported. The crystal structures of the evaporated GaN layers were amorphous, which was confirmed from reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) patterns. Auger electron spectra revealed that the layers have excess Ga metal. Bluish-white light emission was observed from the GaN-based ELD under AC operation at RT. Although the emission intensity was weak, the electroluminescence spectra started from the band edge of h-GaN.