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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.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
We have studied the effects of epitaxial strains on structural phase transition behavior of fully-commensurate single crystal thin films of SrRuO3 using in situ temperature-dependent reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) and ex situ temperature-dependent x-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements. From RHEED measurements on compressively-strained (110) SrRuO3 grown on (001) SrTiO3 substrate, it was found that the surface of SrRuO3 showed no orthorhombic distortion even at room temperature (25°C) below the thickness of 10 monolayers (MLs). The orthorhombic transition temperature (TC) was determined to be 90°C at the thickness of 13 ML;s and then systematically increased up to 238°C at 35 ML. More interestingly, however, tensilely-strained SrRuO3 films grown on (110) DyScO3 and (110) GdScO3 substrates have simple cubic perovskite structure at room temperature irrespectively of SrRuO3 thicknesses. The shift of TC is very dramatic, considering that the orthorhombic transition temperature of SrRuO3 is known to be 547°C in bulk form. These unique transition behaviors were also confirmed by temperature-dependent four-circle x-ray diffraction measurements. TC of 35 ML thick SrRuO3 on SrTiO3 were determined to be 250°C and which was consistent with that determined from RHEED measurements.
This study evaluated tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukins 10 and 12, and interferon-γ levels, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and clusters of differentiation 17c and 86 expression in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
Twenty-four patients with unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss, and 24 individuals with normal hearing and no history of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (who were attending the clinic for other problems), were enrolled. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and clusters of differentiation 11c and 86 were isolated and analysed. Plasma and supernatant levels of tumour necrosis factor-α, interferon-γ, and interleukins 10 and 12 were measured.
There were no significant differences with respect to age and gender. Monocyte population, mean tumour necrosis factor-α level and cluster of differentiation 86 expression were significantly increased in the study group compared to the control group. However, interferon-γ and interleukin 12 levels were significantly decreased. The difference in mean interleukin 10 level was not significant.
Increases in tumour necrosis factor-α level and monocyte population might play critical roles in sudden sensorineural hearing loss. This warrants detailed investigation and further studies on the role of dendritic cells in sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
The present study aimed to compare the anti-biofilm activities of four commonly available antiseptic eardrops against biofilms from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and quinolone-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa in vitro.
The anti-biofilm activities of 50 per cent Burow's solution, vinegar with water (1:1), 2 per cent acetic acid solution, and 4 per cent boric acid solution were evaluated using biofilm assays. Additionally, the anti-biofilm activities of the four antiseptic solutions against tympanostomy tube biofilms were compared using a scanning electron microscope.
The inhibition of biofilm formation from methicillin-resistant S aureus and quinolone-resistant P aeruginosa occurred after treatment with 4 per cent boric acid solution, 2 per cent acetic acid solution, and vinegar with water (1:1). However, 50 per cent Burow's solution did not exhibit effective anti-biofilm activity.
The results indicate that 4 per cent boric acid solution and vinegar with water (1:1) are potent inhibitors of biofilms from methicillin-resistant S aureus and quinolone-resistant P aeruginosa, and provide safe pH levels for avoiding ototoxicity.
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.
Information is lacking on the integrated evaluation of mortality rates in healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Our aim was to differentiate the risk factors responsible for the incidence from those for the case-fatality rates in association with HAIs. We therefore examined the time trends of both incidence and case-fatality rates over a 20-year period at a tertiary-care teaching medical centre in Taiwan and the mortality rate was expressed as the product of the incidence rate and the case-fatality rate. During the study period the overall mortality rate fell from 0·46 to 0·32 deaths/1000 patient-days and the incidence rate fell from 3·41 to 2·31/1000 patient-days, but the case-fatality rate increased marginally from 13·5% to 14·0%. The independent risk factors associated with incidence of HAIs were age, gender, infection site, admission type, and department of hospitalization. Significant prognostic factors for HAI case-fatality were age, infection site, intensive care, and clinical department. We conclude that the decreasing trend for the HAI mortality rate was accompanied by a significant decline in the incidence rate and this was offset by a slightly increasing trend in the case-fatality rate. This deconstruction approach could provide further insights into the underlying complex causes of mortality for HAIs.
In this paper, human viscosity perception in haptic teleoperation systems is thoroughly analyzed. An accurate perception of viscoelastic environmental properties such as viscosity is a critical ability in several contexts, such as telesurgery, telerehabilitation, telemedicine, and soft-tissue interaction. We study and compare the ability to perceive viscosity from the standpoint of detection and discrimination using several relevant control methods for the teleoperator. The perception-based method, which was proposed by the authors to enhance the operator's kinesthetic perception, is compared with the conventional transparency-based control method for the teleoperation system. The fidelity-based method, which is a primary method among perception-centered control schemes in teleoperation, is also studied. We also examine the necessity and impact of the remote-site force information for each of the methods. The comparison is based on a series of psychophysical experiments measuring absolute threshold and just noticeable difference for all conditions. The results clearly show that the perception-based method enhances both detection and discrimination abilities compare with other control methods. The results further show that the fidelity-based method confers a better discrimination ability than the transparency-based method, although this is not true with respect to detection ability. In addition, we show that force information improves viscosity detection for all control methods, as predicted from previous theoretical analysis, but improves the discrimination threshold only for the perception-based method.
Dynamin proteins are involved in vesicle generation, providing mechanical force to excise newly formed vesicles from membranes of cellular compartments. In the brain, dynamin-1, dynamin-2, and dynamin-3 have been well studied; however, their function in the retina remains elusive. A retina-specific splice variant of dynamin-1 interacts with the photoreceptor-specific protein Tubby-like protein 1 (Tulp1), which when mutated causes an early onset form of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa. Here, we investigated the role of the dynamins in the retina, using immunohistochemistry to localize dynamin-1, dynamin-2, and dynamin-3 and immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometry to explore dynamin-1 interacting proteins in mouse retina. Dynamin-2 is primarily confined to the inner segment compartment of photoreceptors, suggesting a role in outer segment protein transport. Dynamin-3 is present in the terminals of photoreceptors and dendrites of second-order neurons but is most pronounced in the inner plexiform layer where second-order neurons relay signals from photoreceptors. Dynamin-1 appears to be the dominant isoform in the retina and is present throughout the retina and in multiple compartments of the photoreceptor cell. This suggests that it may function in multiple cellular pathways. Surprisingly, dynamin-1 expression and localization did not appear to be disrupted in tulp1−/− mice. Immunoprecipitation experiments reveal that dynamin-1 associates primarily with proteins involved in cytoskeletal-based membrane dynamics. This finding is confirmed by western blot analysis. Results further implicate dynamin-1 in vesicular protein transport processes relevant to synaptic and post-Golgi pathways and indicate a possible role in photoreceptor stability.
Cu thin films with a thickness around 850 Å were prepared on Ti45N55/Ti/Si(100) substrates at room temperature by partially ionized beam deposition (PIBD) with an ion energy of 3 keV at pressure of 8×10−7-1 x 10−6 Torr. The Cu/Ti45N55/Ti/Si samples were annealed at 8×10−6-1 × 10−5 Torr with annealing temperature of 500 to 700 °C for 30 min.. Thermal stability of the PIB-Cu films was investigated with Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The as deposited Cu films had a (111) texture and there was no change of phase in annealed Cu films regardless of annealing temperature. Grain size of the annealed Cu films increased with annealing temperature. SEM studies show no hillock and no voiding on the Cu film surface up to annealing temperature of 700 °C. For PIB-Cu/Ti45N55/Ti/Si samples, all the layers were intact and there was no indication of interdiffusion by conventional depth profiling techniques (RBS, AES) up to 700 °C in vacuum for 30 minutes.
Copper films on Si(100) were prepared by partially ionized beam at 0 kV and 3 kV acceleration voltages in order to investigate effects of ion energy on electrical property with thickness. X-ray diffraction(XRD) pattern analysis was used to investigate crystallinity of the copper films, microstructure by Scanning electron microscope(SEM) and surface roughness by atomic force microscopy(AFM). The crystallinity of the copper films grown at the 3 kV was more (111) textured than that at the 0 kW. The copper films grown at the both condiitions had nearly same grain size below a thickness of 1000 Å. The 1800 Å Cu film grown at the 3 kV was 3 times rough than that at the 0 kV. The resistivity of copper films increased due to surface and grain boundary scattering, and the change of resistivity was discussed in terms of surface roughness, grain size and film density assisted by average depositing energy.
Two-step surface-treatment is introduced to obtain low resistance Pt contacts to ptype GaN. The first step is performed after the mesa etching process using buffered oxide etch (BOE) and ammonium sulfide [(NH4)2Sx]. This is followed by the second step using BOE. The Pt contact, which was treated sequentially using ultrasonically boiled BOE (10 min) and boiled (NH4)2Sx (10 min), produces a specific contact resistance of 3.0 (±3.8)×10-5 Ωcm2. However, the contact, that was simply BOE-treated, yields 3.1 (±1.1)×10-2 Ωcm2. This indicates that the two-step surface treatment is promising technique for obtaining high quality ohmic contacts to p-GaN. Investigation of the electronic transport mechanisms using current-voltage-temperature (I-V-T) data indicates that thermionic field emission is dominant in the surface-treated Pt contacts.
Propeller crashback is an off-design operating condition where a propeller rotates in the reverse direction. Experiments (Bridges 2004, Tech Rep. MSSU-ASE-04-1, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Mississippi State University) have shown that the presence of an upstream hull significantly increases the side force on a propeller in crashback below an advance ratio of . Large-eddy simulation (LES) is performed for a propeller with and without a hull at two advance ratios, and . LES reproduces the experimentally observed behaviour and shows good quantitative agreement. Time-averaged flow fields are investigated for a qualitative understanding of the complex flow resulting from the interaction of the upstream hull with the propeller blades. At , two noticeable flow features are found for the case with the hull – a recirculation zone upstream in the vicinity of the propeller and a vortex ring much closer to the propeller. In contrast, at , there is a much smaller recirculation zone which is further upstream due to the increased reverse flow. As a result, the hull does not make much difference in the immediate vicinity of the propeller at . For both advance ratios, side force is mainly generated from the leading-edge separation on the suction side. However, high levels of side force are also generated from trailing-edge separation on the suction side at .
We report high-efficiency phosphorescent blue OLEDs with an organic three stacked structure. Using a high-triplet-energy-hole transporting material of TAPC and a high-triplet-energy-electron transporting material of TmPyPB, the organic three stacked structure has been realized with three new narrow band-gap blue host materials. These host materials have bipolar characteristics and high triplet energy of >2.8 eV. Very low onset voltages of 2.8~3.0 V and driving voltages of 4.2~4.6 V to obtain a brightness of 1000 cd/m2 are achieved in this three stacked device configuration. Maximum external quantum efficiency above 20% is reported.
We demonstrate the highly reflective broadband a-Si distributed Bragg reflector fabricated by oblique angle deposition. By tuning the refractive index of a-Si film, the high index contrast material system was achieved. The broadband reflective characteristics of a-Si distributed Bragg reflector were investigated by calculation and fabrication. The broad stop band (Δλ/λ=33.7%, R>99%) with only a five-pair a-Si distributed Bragg reflector was achieved experimentally at center wavelength of 650, 980, and 1550 nm. The size-, feature- and substrate-independent method for highly reflective Bragg reflectors was realized by simple oblique angle evaporation.