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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.
To characterise the dissemination patterns of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) in a community, we conducted a study utilising molecular and fundamental descriptive epidemiology. The subjects, consisted of women having community-acquired acute urinary tract infection (UTI), were enrolled in the study from 2011 to 2012. UPEC isolates were subjected to antibacterial-susceptibility testing, O serogrouping, phylotyping, multilocus-sequence typing with phylogenetic-tree analysis and pulsed-field-gel electrophoresis (PFGE). From the 209 unique positive urinary samples 166 UPEC were isolated, of which 129 were fully susceptible to the tested antibiotics. Of the 53 sequence types (STs), the four most prevalent STs (ST95, ST131, ST73 and ST357) accounted for 60% of all UPEC strains. Antimicrobial resistance was less frequently observed for ST95 and ST73 than for the others. A majority of rare STs and a few common STs constituted the diversity pattern within the population structure, which was composed of the two phylogenetically distinct clades. Eleven genetically closely related groups were determined by PFGE, which accounted for 42 of the 166 UPEC isolates, without overt geo-temporal clustering. Our results indicate that a few major lineages of UPEC, selected by unidentified factors, are disseminated in this community and contribute to a large fraction of acute UTIs.
Diet, obesity and adipokines play important roles in diabetes and CVD; yet, limited studies have assessed the relationship between diet and multiple adipokines. This cross-sectional study assessed associations between diet, adiposity and adipokines in Mexican Americans. The cohort included 1128 participants (age 34·7±8·2 years, BMI 29·5±5·9 kg/m2, 73·2 % female). Dietary intake was assessed by 12-month food frequency questionnaire. Adiposity was measured by BMI, total percentage body fat and percentage trunk fat using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Adiponectin, apelin, C-reactive protein (CRP), dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-IV), IL-1β, IL-1ra, IL-6, IL-18, leptin, lipocalin, monocyte chemo-attractant protein-1 (MCP-1), resistin, secreted frizzled protein 4 (SFRP-4), SFRP-5, TNF-α and visfatin were assayed with multiplex kits or ELISA. Joint multivariate associations between diet, adiposity and adipokines were analysed using canonical correlations adjusted for age, sex, energy intake and kinship. The median (interquartile range) energy intake was 9514 (7314, 11912) kJ/d. Overall, 55 % of total intake was accounted for by carbohydrates (24 % from sugar). A total of 66 % of the shared variation between diet and adiposity, and 34 % of diet and adipokines were explained by the top canonical correlation. The diet component was most represented by sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), fruit and vegetables. Participants consuming a diet high in SSB and low in fruits and vegetables had higher adiposity, CRP, leptin, and MCP-1, but lower SFRP-5 than participants with high fruit and vegetable and low SSB intake. In Mexican Americans, diets high in SSB but low in fruits and vegetables contribute to adiposity and a pro-inflammatory adipokine profile.
Hyperbolic polariton modes are highly appealing for a broad range of applications in nanophotonics, including surfaced enhanced sensing, sub-diffractional imaging, and reconfigurable metasurfaces. Here we show that attenuated total reflectance (ATR) micro-spectroscopy using standard spectroscopic tools can launch hyperbolic polaritons in a Kretschmann–Raether configuration. We measure multiple hyperbolic and dielectric modes within the naturally hyperbolic material hexagonal boron nitride as a function of different isotopic enrichments and flake thickness. This overcomes the technical challenges of measurement approaches based on nanostructuring, or scattering scanning near-field optical microscopy. Ultimately, our ATR approach allows us to compare the optical properties of small-scale materials prepared by different techniques systematically.
An outbreak of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157 occurred in multiple prefectures of Japan in November 2009. We conducted two case–control studies with trace-back and trace-forward investigations to determine the source. The case definition was met by 21 individuals; 14 (66.7%) were hospitalised, but no haemolytic uraemic syndrome, acute encephalopathy or deaths occurred. Median age was 23 (range 12–48) years and 14 cases were male (66.7%). No significant associations with food were found in a case–control study by local public health centres, but our matched case–control study using Internet surveys found that beef hanging tender (or hanger steak), derived from the diaphragm of the cattle, was significantly associated with illness (odds ratio = 15.77; 95% confidence interval, 2.00–124.11). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis of isolates from patients and the suspected food showed five different patterns: two in faecal and food samples, and another three in patient faecal samples only, although there were epidemiological links to the meat consumed at the restaurants. Trace-back investigation implicated a common food processing company from outside Japan. Examination of the logistics of the meat processing company suggested that contamination did not occur in Japan. We concluded that the source of the outbreak was imported hanging tender. This investigation revealed that Internet surveys could be useful for outbreak investigations.
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.
An X-ray transmission method has been developed to obtain a continuous profile of bulk densities of ice cores. Intensities of X-rays transmitted through an ice-core sample were continuously measured by an X-ray detector during translation of the sample across the X-ray beam. A thick section of an ice core with a constant thickness was prepared by band-sawing followed by microtome planing. The X-ray intensity profile obtained was converted to a density profile using a calibration curve for X-ray absorption vs ice thickness. Using this method, spatial resolution of the density profile was down to 1 mm. X-ray radiographs were also taken on a two-dimensional detector imaging plate, in order to observe layer structures of the ice cores.
The method was applied to Dome Fuji (Antarctica) ice cores from the surface to 110 m depth. From the density profile obtained we calculated the power spectrum of the density variation by the discrete Fourier transform, and obtained several peaks at different frequencies. The center period in the spectrum was close to the annual accumulation thickness at the drill site.
A deep ice core drilled to 2503 m depth at Dome Fuji, Antarctica, contains 25 visible tephra layers during the past 340 ka. The thickness of tephra layers is in the range 1-24 mm. The thickness and duration at deposition, determined by a simple ice-flow model, suggests that a violent volcanic eruption caused ash to fall onto the Antarctic ice sheet for ~5 years and to form a ~100 mm thick tephra layer at 117 ka BE Two tephra layers at depths of 573 and 2202 m probably originated from volcanoes in the South Sandwich Islands, Southern Ocean, given the size of tephra shards, >20μm in diameter, and their major chemical composition. Only eight of the 25 tephra layers can also be recognized in the Vostok (Antarctica) ice core, but all correspond to the Vostok tephras if we consider cloudy bands to be volcanic.
A comprehensive study of ice-crystal fabrics and textures was conducted on the Dome F (Antarctica) ice core. Crystal ,-axis orientations, crystal sizes and crystal shape were measured on thin sections with an automatic ice-fabric analyzer. The general feature of textural and fabric development through a 2500 m long core was obtained by a 20 m interval study. Crystal size steadily increases with depth except for depths of about 500,1800, 2000, 2200 and 2300 m, at which depths crystal size decreases suddenly. There is a clear correlation between crystal-size and ´18O values. Crystals tend to elongate horizontally with depth, and the aspect ratio (long axis vs short axis of a grain) increases twofold at 1600 m depth and fluctuates below that depth. The .-axis orientation fabrics gradually change with depth from a random orientation pattern near the surface to a strong vertical single maximum at 2500 m. These are very similar to those from the GRIP (Greenland) core The observations of crystal shape and the fabric measurements indicate that nucleation-recrystallization does not take place at Dome F.
An updated compilation of published and new data of major-ion (Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Na, NO3, SO4) and methylsulfonate (MS) concentrations in snow from 520 Antarctic sites is provided by the national ITASE (International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition) programmes of Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and the national Antarctic programme of Finland. The comparison shows that snow chemistry concentrations vary by up to four orders of magnitude across Antarctica and exhibit distinct geographical patterns. The Antarctic-wide comparison of glaciochemical records provides a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the fundamental factors that ultimately control the chemistry of snow or ice samples. This paper aims to initiate data compilation and administration in order to provide a framework for facilitation of Antarctic-wide snow chemistry discussions across all ITASE nations and other contributing groups. The data are made available through the ITASE web page (http://www2.umaine.edu/itase/content/syngroups/snowchem.html) and will be updated with new data as they are provided. In addition, recommendations for future research efforts are summarized.
This study determined the occurrence of legionellae in private houses for which there were no available data on aquatic environments other than the water supply system. From June 2013 to November 2014, we collected 138 water and 90 swab samples from aquatic environments in 19 houses. Legionella DNA was detected via a loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay in 66 (47·8%) water and 17 (18·9%) swab samples. High Legionella DNA detection rates were observed in water samples from washing machines and aquariums. Legionella spp. was isolated from 9 (6·5%) water and 3 (3·3%) swab samples. Legionella pneumophila SG 1 was detected from the outlet water of a bathtub spout and a bath sponge. Use of amoebic co-culture effectively increased legionellae and Legionella DNA detection rates from all sample types. A logistic regression analysis revealed that the heterotrophic plate count was significantly related to Legionella contamination. Our findings indicate that there is a risk of legionellosis from exposure to Legionella spp. in a variety of aquatic environments in residential houses. Control measures for legionellae in houses should include frequent cleaning and disinfecting to reduce heterotrophic bacteria in water and, where possible, preventing aerosolization from aquatic environments.
Topographic sketch mapping of the whole ablation area of the Khumbu Glacier, East Nepal Himalaya, is performed, using a simple, stereo-photogrammetric method. This map shows that the surface morphology can be classified into 11 morphologic characteristics. Depending on their distribution and combination, the ablation area can be divided into four morphologic areas. Detailed maps, on a scale of 1:1000–2500, of these four areas indicate that the distribution and combination of these 11 morphologic characteristics result from thickness of the debris cover, supraglacial streams and ponds, and glacier dynamics. The irregularity in the ablation area of the Khumbu Glacier can be considered to be a consequence of the mass balance between rate of ice charge from upstream and irregular distribution of ablation rate, depending on debris-cover characteristics in situ.
In 1987 an ice core to the bedrock at a depth of 85.6 m was drilled at the top of Høghetta ice dome in northern Spitsbergen. Chronology of the ice core was examined by tritium and 14C methods showing time gap at about 50 m depth. The age of three bottom ice samples was determined as 4150–5670 year B.P. by 14C method done for frozen bacteria colonies and a frozen petal. This chronology and negative bottom temperature of −9.4°C suggest that glaciers in Spitsbergen shrank considerably during the hypsithermal. The pH of melt-water samples lower than 5.0 corresponds well to large northern hemispheric volcanic eruptions during the last 300 years. Increase of acidity from 30 m depth to the surface may reflect the spread of air pollution to the Arctic during the past 200 years. On the basis of ice-core analyses on electrical conductivity, pH, chemical composition and air bubble pattern, climate and environment in Spitsbergen during the last 6000 years are discussed.
Horizontal and vertical distributions of melt features (ice layers) were examined using two ice cores (206.6 and 101.5 m deep, 1 m apart) from Site J (66°51.9′ N, 46°15.9′W, 2030 m a.s.l.). The temperature at 10 m was −16.3°C. We observed 2804 melt features, with a total thickness of 30.32 m, in the 206.6 m core, corresponding to 16.4% by volume of the ice-equivalent core length. Horizontal distribution of melt features was examined by correlating melt-feature thicknesses in the two cores. The correlation coefficient was 0.71 (n = 514) for each melt feature in the two cores. It was maximum for data passed through 5 and 40 year low-pass filters. A significant relationship (P = 0.005, n = 36) was obtained for the vertical distribution of melt features and the June temperature on the west coast of Greenland (Jakobshavn). Using this, June temperatures at Jakobshavn since 1550 were estimated. There are three periods (1685-1705, 1835-70 and 1933-45) during which mean June temperatures clearly decreased, when they were estimated to he 0.1°, 0.4° and 0.2°C lower than the average for the whole period (1550-1989). The first two “cold” periods have been identified in melt features of the Dye 3 and Devon Island ice cores and in a tree-ring profile from Yukon Territory, Canada. Melt-feature percentages in the Site J ice core have increased since about 1945, probably reflecting summer-temperature warming on the ice sheet.
The Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) has set up automatic weather stations at six sites on a 1000 km long traverse route between Syowa station (21 ma.s.l..) and Dome Fuji station (3810 ma.s.l.) since 1993. Large temperature rises in winter were observed several times in this area. There were two patterns of time delay of the temperature rises. One was that the temperature rise at Mizuho station preceded that at other stations, and the other was that the temperature rise at Dome Fuji station preceded the others. The former occurred when a disturbance came from the coast between east Enderby Land and the Amery Ice Shelf and strong winds destroyed the stable inversion layer. The latter occurred when the low-pressure center was near the coast of west Wilkes Land. in this case, temperature rise was caused by adveclion of warm air. The atmospheric pressure at Dome Fuji station and Relay Point oscillated with a period of 0.5 year and amplitude of about 15hPa. The pressure was higher in July and December, and was accompanied by a temperature rise. Fluctuations of hourly air temperature at Dome Fuji station were approximately twice as large as fluctuations at the other sites. The lapse rale of the annual mean temperature increased with elevation, while the monthly lapse rate was largest in April.
Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) are the incretin hormones secreted from the intestine in response to enteral feeding to stimulate insulin secretion. We investigated the relationship serum GIP and GLP-1 levels with gestational age, and insulin secretion in preterm infants. Serum GIP and GLP-1 levels were measured at birth and at 1, 2 and 4 weeks after birth in 30 infants, including 12 born before 30th week of gestation (early group) and 18 born after 30th week of gestation (late group). Blood glucose and serum insulin levels were measured, and the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI) was also calculated. The levels of GLP-1 at 2 and 4 weeks were significantly higher in the early group than those in the late group. The levels of GIP were not significantly different between two groups. At 4 weeks, serum insulin level was significantly higher and QUICKI was significantly lower in the early group. Furthermore, GLP-1 levels were significantly correlated with QUICKI and the serum insulin levels in all infants at 4 weeks. In preterm infants, enteral feeding to premature intestine may be associated with GLP-1 secretion. GLP-1 is also related to stimulated insulin secretion in early postnatal period.
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.