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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.
Background: We have previously shown that low-intensity ultrasound (LIUS), a noninvasive mechanical stimulus, inhibits brain edema formation induced by oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) or treatment with glutamate, a mediator of OGD-induced edema, in acute rat hippocampal slice model in vitro. Methods: In this study, we treated the rat hippocampal slices with N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) or (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) to determine whether these different glutamate receptor agonists induce edema. The hippocampal slices were then either sonicated with LIUS or treated with N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR) antagonists, namely, MK-801 and ketamine, and observed their effects on edema formation. Results: We observed that treatment with NMDA, an agonist of ionotropic glutamate receptors, induced brain edema at similar degrees compared with that induced by OGD. However, treatment with DHPG, an agonist of metabotropic glutamate receptors, did not significantly induce brain edema. Treatment with the NMDAR antagonists MK-801 or ketamine efficiently prevented brain edema formation by both OGD and NMDA in a concentration-dependent manner. N-Methyl-d-aspartic acid-induced brain edema was alleviated by LIUS in an intensity-dependent manner when ultrasound was administered at 30, 50, or 100 mW/cm2 for 20 minutes before the induction of the edema. Furthermore, LIUS reduced OGD- and NMDA-induced phosphorylation of NMDARs at Y1325. Conclusion: These results suggest that LIUS can inhibit OGD- or NMDA-induced NMDAR activation by preventing NMDAR phosphorylation, thereby reducing a subsequent brain edema formation. The mechanisms by which LIUS inhibits NMDAR phosphorylation need further investigation.
Human bocaviruses (HBoVs) have been detected in human gastrointestinal infections worldwide. In 2005, HBoV was also discovered in infants and children with infections of the lower respiratory tract. Recently, several genotypes of this parvovirus, including HBoV genotype 2 (HBoV2), genotype 3 (HBoV3) and genotype 4 (HBoV4), were discovered and found to be closely related to HBoV. HBoV2 was first detected in stool samples from children in Pakistan, followed by detection in other countries. HBoV3 was detected in Australia and HBoV4 was identified in stool samples from Nigeria, Tunisia and the USA. Recently, HBoV infection has been on the rise throughout the world, particularly in countries neighbouring South Korea; however, there have been very few studies on Korean strains. In this study, we characterised the whole genome and determined the phylogenetic position of CUK-BC20, a new clinical HBoV strain isolated in South Korea. The CUK-BC20 genome of 5184 nucleotides (nt) contains three open-reading frames (ORFs). The genotype of CUK-BC20 is HBoV2, and 98.77% of its nt sequence is identical with those of other HBoVs, namely Rus-Nsc10-N386. Especially, the ORF3 amino acid sequences from positions 212–213 and 454 corresponding to a variable region (VR)1 and VR5, respectively, showed genotype-specific substitutions that distinguished the four HBoV genotypes. As the first whole-genome sequence analysis of HBoV in South Korea, this information will provide a valuable reference for the detection of recombination, tracking of epidemics and development of diagnosis methods for HBoV.
This study evaluated the annual prevalence of anogenital warts (AGW) caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and analysed the trend in annual per cent changes (APC) by using national claims data from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment of Korea, 2007–2015. We also estimated the socio-economic burden and co-morbidities of AGW. All analyses were performed based on data for primary A63.0, the specific diagnosis code for AGW. The socio-economic cost of AGW was calculated based on the direct medical cost, direct non-medical cost and indirect cost. The overall AGW prevalence and socio-economic burden has increased during the last 9 years. However, the prevalence of AGW differed significantly by sex. The female prevalence increased until 2012, and decreased thereafter (APC + 3·6%). It would fall after the introduction of routine HPV vaccination, principally for females, in Korea. The male prevalence increased continuously over time (APC + 11·6%), especially in those aged 20–49 years. Referring to the increasing AGW prevalence and its disease burden, active HPV infection control surveillance and prevention in males are worth consideration.
Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production has been very rare in serotype K1 Klebsiella pneumoniae ST23 strains, which are well-known invasive community strains. Among 92 ESBL-producing strains identified in 218 isolates from nine Asian countries, serotype K1 K. pneumoniae strains were screened. Two ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates from Singapore and Indonesia were determined to be serotype K1 and ST23. Their plasmids, which contain CTX-M-15 genes, are transferable rendering the effective transfer of ESBL resistance plasmids to other organisms.
Sparganosis is one of the top three tissue-dwelling heterologous helminthic diseases, along with cysticercosis and paragonimiasis, in Korea. Due to a lack of effective early diagnosis and treatment methods, this parasitic disease is regarded as a public health threat. This study evaluated reactivity, against sparganum extracts, of sera from inhabitants of Cheorwon-gun, Goseong-gun and Ongjin-gun in Korea. The sera from 836 subjects were subjected to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblot analysis. The sera from 18 (5.8%) and 15 (5.1%) inhabitants in Cheorwon-gun (n = 312) and Goseong-gun (n = 294), respectively, exhibited highly positive reactions to the sparganum antigen, whereas only two (0.9%) inhabitants in Ongjin-gun (n = 230) showed positivity. We sought antigenic proteins for serodiagnosis of positive sera by immunoproteomic approaches. Total sparganum lysates were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis and then subjected to immunoblot analysis with mixed sparganosis-positive sera. We found seven antigenic spots and identified paramyosin as an antigenic protein by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. By two-dimensional (2D)-based mass analysis and immunoblotting against sparganosis-positive sera, paramyosin was identified as a candidate antigen for serodiagnosis of sparganosis.
To characterize meal patterns across ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) calibration study.
Cross-sectional study utilizing dietary data collected through a standardized 24 h diet recall during 1995–2000. Eleven predefined intake occasions across a 24 h period were assessed during the interview. In the present descriptive report, meal patterns were analysed in terms of daily number of intake occasions, the proportion reporting each intake occasion and the energy contributions from each intake occasion.
Twenty-seven centres across ten European countries.
Women (64 %) and men (36 %) aged 35–74 years (n 36 020).
Pronounced differences in meal patterns emerged both across centres within the same country and across different countries, with a trend for fewer intake occasions per day in Mediterranean countries compared with central and northern Europe. Differences were also found for daily energy intake provided by lunch, with 38–43 % for women and 41–45 % for men within Mediterranean countries compared with 16–27 % for women and 20–26 % for men in central and northern European countries. Likewise, a south–north gradient was found for daily energy intake from snacks, with 13–20 % (women) and 10–17 % (men) in Mediterranean countries compared with 24–34 % (women) and 23–35 % (men) in central/northern Europe.
We found distinct differences in meal patterns with marked diversity for intake frequency and lunch and snack consumption between Mediterranean and central/northern European countries. Monitoring of meal patterns across various cultures and populations could provide critical context to the research efforts to characterize relationships between dietary intake and health.
Influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 became the predominant circulating strain in the United States during the 2013–2014 influenza season. Little is known about the epidemiology of severe influenza during this season.
A retrospective cohort study of severely ill patients with influenza infection in intensive care units in 33 US hospitals from September 1, 2013, through April 1, 2014, was conducted to determine risk factors for mortality present on intensive care unit admission and to describe patient characteristics, spectrum of disease, management, and outcomes.
A total of 444 adults and 63 children were admitted to an intensive care unit in a study hospital; 93 adults (20.9%) and 4 children (6.3%) died. By logistic regression analysis, the following factors were significantly associated with mortality among adult patients: older age (>65 years, odds ratio, 3.1 [95% CI, 1.4–6.9], P=.006 and 50–64 years, 2.5 [1.3–4.9], P=.007; reference age 18–49 years), male sex (1.9 [1.1–3.3], P=.031), history of malignant tumor with chemotherapy administered within the prior 6 months (12.1 [3.9–37.0], P<.001), and a higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score (for each increase by 1 in score, 1.3 [1.2–1.4], P<.001).
Risk factors for death among US patients with severe influenza during the 2013–2014 season, when influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 was the predominant circulating strain type, shifted in the first postpandemic season in which it predominated toward those of a more typical epidemic influenza season.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1251–1260
A single-grained Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT) was successfully grown for the gate dielectric of polycrystalline-silicon (poly-Si) thin-film transistor (TFT). The total structure was MoW/PZT/HfO2/poly-Si/glass. The giant single-grained PZT was obtained by controlling the artificial nucleation formed by Pt dots in a desirable location and enlarging the nucleated seed until it covers the poly-Si channel. The single-grained diameter size was 40 μm with a (100) dominated texture. The poly-Si memory device with single-grained PZT showed an excellent ferroelectric, electrical and reliability properties comparing with poly-Si memory device with poly-grained PZT. Moreover, eliminating the grain boundary in PZT film showed the fatigue and retention characteristics with only 1.1 % after 1013 cycles and 22 % after 1 month, respectively.
We review an optofluidic waveguiding lab-on-a-chip used to sense bioparticles. The sensor uses a liquid filled Anti-Resonant Reflecting Optical Waveguide (ARROW) that is interfaced with standard ridge waveguides. The ridge waveguides are coupled to off-chip lasers and detectors via optical fiber. A perpendicular intersection between the ARROW and a ridge waveguide is especially useful for detecting fluorescently tagged particles. Light coupled into the ridge waveguide can fluorescently excite these particles within a very small volume. Fluorescent signal can then be guided within the ARROW and subsequently off chip to a detector.
We also discuss how such devices are fabricated. Both the ARROW and ridge waveguides are made using alternating thin films of tantalum oxide and silicon dioxide on silicon substrates. These thin films are deposited by either sputtering or plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). The waveguides are patterned using a combination of standard photolithographic processes, reactive ion etching, and sacrificial etching. Low-loss optical guiding is very dependent on both the waveguide structure and the materials used. The latest processes for maximizing detection sensitivity are reviewed.
We also present results using the optofluidic waveguiding sensor for detecting a variety of different types of particles such as fluorescently labeled nanobeads, viruses, ribosomes, and RNA.
A solid-state nanopore was integrated into an optofluidic sensor chip, liquid-core anti-resonant reflecting optical waveguide (ARROW). The solid-state nanopore worked as a smart gate, which simultaneously provided characteristic electrical signals and controlled the entry of single nanoparticles into the liquid-core channel. The subsequent fluorescence detection further identified the nanoparticles by providing optical signals within a specific wavelength range. In this work, correlated electrical and optical detection of single nanoparticles, H1N1 viruses, and λ-DNA molecules was demonstrated. Different types of particles in a mixture were successfully discriminated. Moreover, the flow velocity in the liquid-core channel was extracted with the help of combined analysis of electrical and optical signals. Enhanced electrical sensitivity using a solid-state nanopore with a thin limiting aperture sculpted by SiO2 deposition was also shown.
After an outbreak of pandemic influenza A/H1N1 (pH1N1) virus, we had previously reported the emergence of a recombinant canine influenza virus (CIV) between the pH1N1 virus and the classic H3N2 CIV. Our ongoing routine surveillance isolated another reassortant H3N2 CIV carrying the matrix gene of the pH1N1 virus from 2012. The infection dynamics of this H3N2 CIV variant (CIV/H3N2mv) were investigated in dogs and ferrets via experimental infection and transmission. The CIV/H3N2mv-infected dogs and ferrets produced typical symptoms of respiratory disease, virus shedding, seroconversion, and direct-contact transmissions. Although indirect exposure was not presented for ferrets, CIV/H3N2mv presented higher viral replication in MDCK cells and more efficient transmission was observed in ferrets compared to classic CIV H3N2. This study demonstrates the effect of reassortment of the M gene of pH1N1 in CIV H3N2.
In February 2012, an outbreak of gastroenteritis was reported in school A; a successive outbreak was reported at school B. A retrospective cohort study conducted in school A showed that seasoned green seaweed with radishes (relative risk 7·9, 95% confidence interval 1·1–56·2) was significantly associated with illness. Similarly, a case-control study of students at school B showed that cases were 5·1 (95% confidence interval 1·1–24·8) times more likely to have eaten seasoned green seaweed with pears. Multiple norovirus genotypes were detected in samples from students in schools A and B. Norovirus GII.6 isolated from schools A and B were phylogenetically indistinguishable. Green seaweed was supplied by company X, and norovirus GII.4 was isolated from samples of green seaweed. Green seaweed was assumed to be linked to these outbreaks. To our knowledge, this is the first reported norovirus outbreak associated with green seaweed.
In this paper, synthesis of Cu2ZnSnSe4 (CZTSe) materials by using simple and cost-effective solid state reaction method from the elemental Cu, ZnO, SnO and elemental Se powders are carried out. The SEM images show spherical, non-uniform size with aggregation of nanopowders. The phase separation and thermal analysis of the milled powders suggested that most of the starting powders reacted because of a mechanical alloying effect during milling process. After the solid state reaction at above 500 °C, the nanopowders crystallized into stannite single phase, which are confirm by XRD spectra. The thermoelectric properties of synthesized powder are under study.