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Dopamine and norepinephrine are implicated in the characterization of personality traits. Dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DBH) is the enzyme responsible for conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine. Previous studies have shown that the -1021C/T polymorphism of the DBH gene promoter influences plasma DBH activity. Few studies investigated the association between this polymorphism and personality traits.
To examine the association between the -1021C/T DBH polymorphism and personality traits in healthy volunteers.
The participants were 627 Japanese unrelated volunteers. The subjects with present psychiatric disorders or past history of psychiatric disorders according to the DSM-IV were excluded. The DBH genotypes were identified by a PCR-RFLP method, and personality traits were assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Yamagata University School of Medicine, and all subjects provided written informed consent to participate.
In the two-factor analysis of covariance with the DBH genotype and sex as factors and with age as a covariate, there was no main effect of the DBH genotype on any TCI score, while the interaction between the factors was significant in harm avoidance. In the post-hoc analysis, the group with the T allele predictive of lower DBH activity had higher scores of harm avoidance than that without the T allele in females (p=0.006), but not in males.
The present study suggests that the -1021C/T DBH polymorphism affects the personality trait of harm avoidance in healthy females.
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.
Schizophrenia is associated with robust hippocampal volume deficits but subregion volume deficits, their associations with cognition, and contributing genes remain to be determined.
Hippocampal formation (HF) subregion volumes were obtained using FreeSurfer 6.0 from individuals with schizophrenia (n = 176, mean age ± s.d. = 39.0 ± 11.5, 132 males) and healthy volunteers (n = 173, mean age ± s.d. = 37.6 ± 11.3, 123 males) with similar mean age, gender, handedness, and race distributions. Relationships between the HF subregion volume with the largest between group difference, neuropsychological performance, and single-nucleotide polymorphisms were assessed.
This study found a significant group by region interaction on hippocampal subregion volumes. Compared to healthy volunteers, individuals with schizophrenia had significantly smaller dentate gyrus (DG) (Cohen's d = −0.57), Cornu Ammonis (CA) 4, molecular layer of the hippocampus, hippocampal tail, and CA 1 volumes, when statistically controlling for intracranial volume; DG (d = −0.43) and CA 4 volumes remained significantly smaller when statistically controlling for mean hippocampal volume. DG volume showed the largest between group difference and significant positive associations with visual memory and speed of processing in the overall sample. Genome-wide association analysis with DG volume as the quantitative phenotype identified rs56055643 (β = 10.8, p < 5 × 10−8, 95% CI 7.0–14.5) on chromosome 3 in high linkage disequilibrium with MOBP. Gene-based analyses identified associations between SLC25A38 and RPSA and DG volume.
This study suggests that DG dysfunction is fundamentally involved in schizophrenia pathophysiology, that it may contribute to cognitive abnormalities in schizophrenia, and that underlying biological mechanisms may involve contributions from MOBP, SLC25A38, and RPSA.
An epitaxial NdFeAs(O,F) thin film of 90 nm thickness grown by molecular beam epitaxy on MgO single crystal with Tc = 44.2 K has been investigated regarding a possible vortex glass–liquid transition. The voltage–current characteristics show excellent scalability according to the vortex-glass model with a static critical exponent ν of around 1.35 and a temperature-dependent dynamic exponent z increasing from 7.8 to 9.0 for the investigated temperature range. The large and non-constant z values are discussed in the frame of 3D vortex glass, thermally activated flux motion, and inhomogeneity broadening.
We investigate the two-photon absorption characteristics of hemicyanine dyes that exhibit a one-photon absorption at around 500 nm. The dyes exhibited two-photon-induced fluorescence upon irradiation with an Yb-doped femtosecond fiber laser operating at 1030 nm. Among the dyes, 4-[4-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]-1,3-butadienyl]-1-ethyl-pyridinium perchlorate exhibited the most efficient two-photon-induced fluorescence at 1030 nm. Since these dyes possess cationic moiety, the dyes accumulated in the mitochondria of a living cell. Two-photon images of mitochondria were obtained by staining living HEK293 cells with these dyes. When 4-[4-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]-1,3-butadienyl]-1-ethyl-pyridinium perchlorate was employed, a two-photon-induced fluorescence image could be obtained even when a 3 mW fiber laser beam was used as the excitation source.
Blazar OJ287 exhibits large thermal flares at least twice every 12 years. The times of these flares have been predicted successfully using the model of a quasi-Keplerian eccentric black hole binary where the secondary impacts the accretion disk of the primary, creating the thermal flares. New measurements of the historical light curve have been combined with the observations of the 2015 November/December flare to identify the impact record since year 1886, and to constrain the orbit of the binary. The orbital solution shows that the binary period, now 12.062 years, is decreasing at the rate of 36 days per century. This corresponds to an energy loss to gravitational waves that is 6.5 ± 4 % less than the rate predicted by the standard quadrupolar gravitational wave (GW) emission. We show that the difference is due to higher order gravitational radiation reaction terms that include the dominant order tail contributions.
Experimental Echinococcus multilocularis infection and deworming was repeated three or five times in nine dogs at various re-infection schedules. The mean number of worms decreased more than 91% in dogs with repeated infection, compared to first infection controls (n= 6). The copro-antigen assay and the egg count in the faeces suggested that the worm burden gradually decreased each time the dogs were re-infected. To examine whether such worm exclusion was a non-specific response, five dogs were sequentially infected with the parasite four times and subsequently fed freely for 6 months. Even after the 6-month interval, the five dogs that were infected five times with the parasite were still able largely to exclude the adult worms. The results suggested that the ability of worm exclusion in dogs that developed a resistance did not become rapidly extinct. Observation of the condition of faeces and the excretion of hooks in the faeces of repeatedly infected dogs revealed that the exclusion of worms started at the first week after the re-infection, and it continued during the patent period. Serum antibodies specific to the parasite antigen increased gradually until the third infection and significantly decreased during the 6-month interval. There was little enhancement of serum antibodies after the fifth infection in most dogs, although no clear correlation was observed between the antibody response and the worm burden. These findings suggested the possibility of developing a vaccine.
The mode of onset and the course of schizophrenia illness exhibit substantial individual variations. Previous studies have pointed out that the mode of onset affects the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and clinical outcomes, such as cognitive and social functioning. This study attempted to clarify the association between the DUP and clinical features, taking the different modes of onset into consideration, in a prospective longitudinal study examining patients with first-episode schizophrenia.
This study was conducted in six areas of Japan. Patients with first-episode schizophrenia were followed for over 18 months. Cognitive function, psychopathology, and social functioning were assessed at baseline and at 6, 12, and 18-month follow-up points.
We identified 168 patients and sufficient information was available to determine the DUP and the mode of onset for 156 patients (92.9%): 79 had an acute onset, and 77 had an insidious onset. The DUP was significantly associated with quality of life (QOL), social functioning, and cognitive function at most of the follow-up points in the insidious-onset group. The DUP and negative symptoms at baseline were significant predictors of cognitive function at the 18-month follow-up in the insidious-onset group.
The present results further support the hypothesis that the DUP affects QOL, social functioning, and cognitive function over the course of illness, especially in patients with an insidious onset. Effective strategies for detecting and caring for individuals with insidious onset early during the course of schizophrenia will be essential for achieving a full patient recovery.
The superbubble (SB) 30 Dor C with the strong non-thermal X-ray emission is one of the best targets for study of the cosmic-ray (CR) acceleration. We investigated X-ray spectral properties of the SB with a high spatial resolution of ~10 pc. Consequently, the spectra in the east regions can be described with a combination of absorbed thermal and non-thermal models while the spectra in the west regions can be fitted with an absorbed non-thermal model. We found that the observed photon index and intensity in 2-10 keV show variations of 2.0-3.5 and (0.6-8.0) × 10−7 erg s−1 cm−2 str−1, respectively. The results are possibly caused by the spatial variation of the CR acceleration efficiency and/or the circumstellar environment.
We carried out large–scale (4 × 2 degree) CO multi–line observations toward the central molecular zone (CMZ) in the Galactic center (GC) with the NANTEN2 4m telescope and mapped several diffuse molecular features located at relatively high Galactic latitudes above 0°.6. These high–latitude features are composed of diffuse molecular halo gas and molecular filaments according to their morphological aspects. Their high velocities and high intensity ratios between 12CO J = (2−1) and J = (1−0) clearly indicate their location in the GC, and their total mass amount to ∼10% of that of the CMZ. We discuss that magnetic field is a possible mechanism of these high–latitude molecular features lifting up toward high galactic latitude.
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.
Intake of marine-based n-3 fatty acids (EPA, docosapentaenoic acid and DHA) is recommended to prevent CHD. Stearidonic acid (SDA), a plant-based n-3 fatty acid, is a precursor of EPA and may be more readily converted to EPA than α-linolenic acid (ALA). While transgenic soyabeans might supply SDA at low cost, it is unclear whether SDA is associated with CHD risk. Furthermore, associations of other n-3 fatty acids with CHD risk remain inconsistent. The present ancillary study examined the association of erythrocyte SDA as well as other n-3 fatty acids with the risk of CHD. In a prospective nested case–control study of the Physicians' Health Study, we randomly selected 1000 pairs of incident CHD with matching controls. Erythrocyte fatty acids were measured using GC. We used conditional logistic regression to estimate relative risks. Mean age was 68·7 (sd 8·7) years. In a multivariable model controlling for matching factors and established CHD risk factors, OR for CHD for each standard deviation increase of log-SDA was 1·03 (95 % CI 0·90, 1·18). Corresponding values for log-ALA and log-marine n-3 fatty acids were 1·04 (95 % CI 0·94, 1·16) and 0·97 (95 % CI 0·88, 1·07), respectively. In conclusion, the present data did not show an association among erythrocyte SDA, ALA or marine n-3 fatty acids and the risk of CHD in male physicians.