Book chapters will be unavailable on Saturday 24th August between 8am-12pm BST. This is for essential maintenance which will provide improved performance going forwards. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
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.
Research suggests intergenerational links between childhood abuse and neglect and subsequent parenting quality, but little is known about the potential mechanisms underlying intergenerational continuities in parenting. Adult romantic functioning may be one plausible mechanism, given its documented associations with both adverse caregiving in childhood and parenting quality in adulthood. The present study used data from the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation to (a) investigate prospective associations between childhood experiences of abuse and neglect and multiple parenting outcomes in adulthood, and (b) evaluate the degree to which adult romantic functioning mediates those associations. Information regarding childhood abuse and neglect was gathered prospectively from birth through age 17.5 years. Multimethod assessments of romantic functioning were collected repeatedly through early adulthood (ages 20 to 32 years), and parenting quality was assessed as participants assumed a parenting role (ages 21 to 38 years). As expected, childhood abuse and neglect experiences predicted less supportive parenting (observed and interview rated) and higher likelihood of self-reported Child Protective Services involvement. The association with interview-rated supportive parenting was partially mediated by lower romantic competence, whereas the association with Child Protective Services involvement was partially mediated by more relational violence in adult romantic relationships. Implications of these novel prospective findings for research and clinical intervention are discussed.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is doing research and development in the field of megawatt-class radio frequency (RF) sources (gyrotrons) for the Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating (ECRH) systems of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) and the DEMOnstration Fusion Power Plant that will follow ITER. In the focus is the development and verification of the European coaxial-cavity gyrotron technology which shall lead to gyrotrons operating at an RF output power significantly larger than 1 MW CW and at an operating frequency above 200 GHz. A major step into that direction is the final verification of the European 170 GHz 2 MW coaxial-cavity pre-prototype at longer pulses up to 1 s. It bases on the upgrade of an already existing highly modular short-pulse (ms-range) pre-prototype. That pre-prototype has shown a world record output power of 2.2 MW already. This paper summarizes briefly the already achieved experimental results using the short-pulse pre-prototype and discusses in detail the design and manufacturing process of the upgrade of the pre-prototype toward longer pulses up to 1 s.
Up to now, genetic selection in cattle has been directed in favour of muscle growth, which changes muscle characteristics, and hence meat quality. One key concern, that now needs examination, is to understand the relationships between muscle growth and muscle characteristics related to meat quality. To achieve such a goal, muscles of divergently selected animals were analysed by three complementary approaches: (i) determination of muscle biochemical characteristics, (ii) identification of differentially expressed genes using transcriptomic and proteomic tools, (iii) identification of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) within candidate genes.
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.
The present report used data from the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation to investigate the factor structure and childhood abuse and/or neglect related antecedents of adults’ attachment states of mind in a high-risk sample. Adult Attachment Interviews (AAIs) were collected when participants were age 26 years (N = 164) and Current Relationship Interviews (CRIs) were collected from participants (N = 116) and their romantic partners when target participants were between ages 20 and 28 years (M = 25.3 years). For both the AAI and the CRI, exploratory factor analyses revealed that (a) attachment state of mind scales loaded on two weakly correlated dimensions reflecting dismissing and preoccupied states of mind and (b) ratings of unresolved discourse loaded on the same factor as indicators of preoccupied states of mind. Experiencing any subtype of abuse and/or neglect, especially during multiple developmental periods, and experiencing multiple subtypes of abuse and/or neglect during childhood were associated with risk for preoccupied (but not dismissing) AAI states of mind regarding childhood relationships with caregivers. Analyses focused on the particular subtypes, and perpetrators indicated that the predictive significance of childhood abuse/neglect for adult's AAI preoccupied states of mind was specific to experiences of abuse (but not neglect) perpetrated by primary caregivers. In addition, experiencing chronic or multiple subtypes of childhood abuse and/or neglect increased risk for dismissing (but not preoccupied) CRI states of mind regarding adult romantic partners.
In autumn 2014, enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) cases presenting with severe respiratory or neurological disease were described in countries worldwide. To describe the epidemiology and virological characteristics of EV-D68 in England, we collected clinical information on laboratory-confirmed EV-D68 cases detected in secondary care (hospitals), between September 2014 and January 2015. In primary care (general practitioners), respiratory swabs collected (September 2013–January 2015) from patients presenting with influenza-like illness were tested for EV-D68. In secondary care 55 EV-D68 cases were detected. Among those, 45 cases had clinical information available and 89% (40/45) presented with severe respiratory symptoms. Detection of EV-D68 among patients in primary care increased from 0.4% (4/1074; 95% CI 0.1–1.0) (September 2013–January 2014) to 0.8% (11/1359; 95% CI 0.4–1.5) (September 2014–January 2015). Characterization of EV-D68 strains circulating in England since 2012 and up to winter 2014/2015 indicated that those strains were genetically similar to those detected in 2014 in USA. We recommend reinforcing enterovirus surveillance through screening respiratory samples of suspected cases.
Limiting the post-weaning intake of the young rabbit is known to improve its resistance to digestive disorders, whereas a degradation of its housing hygiene is assumed to have a negative impact on its health. This study aims at providing insights into the mechanism of digestive health preservation regarding both host (growth and immune response) and its symbiotic digestive microbiota. A 2×2 factorial design from weaning (day 28) to day 64 was set up: ad libitum intake or restricted intake at 70% of ad libitum, and high v. low hygiene of housing (n=105 per group). At day 36 and day 45, 15 animals/group were subcutaneously immunized with ovalbumin (OVA) to assess their specific immune response. Blood was sampled at 36, 45, 57 and 64 days of age to determine total and anti-OVA immunoglobulin type G (IgG) and haptoglobin levels. The cecal bacterial community was explored (18 per group) by 454 pyrosequencing of genes coding for the 16S ribosomal RNA, whereas cecal pH, NH3 and volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations were measured to characterize fermentative activity. A 30% reduction in feed intake reduced the growth by only 17% (P<0.001), and improved the feed conversion ratio by 15% (P<0.001), whereas the degradation of hygiene conditions slightly decreased the feed intake in ad libitum fed rabbits (−3.5%, P<0.02). As poor hygiene conditions did not affect weight gain, feed conversion was improved from day 42 (P<0.05). Restricted feeding led to a lower mortality between day 28 and day 40 (P=0.047), whereas degraded hygiene conditions decreased overall morbidity (7.8% v. 16.6%; P<0.01). Both a reduced intake and low hygiene conditions of housing affected microbiota composition and especially dominant genera belonging to the Ruminococcaceae family (P<0.01). Moreover, low hygiene was associated with a higher Ruminococcaceae/Lachnospiraceae ratio (3.7 v. 2.4; P<0.05). Cecal total VFA and pH were increased (+19%; P<0.001) and decreased (−0.1 pH unit; P<0.05), respectively, in feed-restricted rabbits. Neither specific anti-OVA IgG nor haptoglobin was affected by treatments. Total IgG concentrations were the highest in animals raised in poor hygiene conditions after 8 days of restriction, but decreased after 19 days of restriction in high hygiene conditions (−2.15%; P<0.05). In conclusion, the degradation of hygiene conditions failed to induce a systematic specific and inflammatory response in rabbit, but reduced morbidity instead. Our results suggest that the microbiota composition would be a helpful source of biomarkers of digestive health.
The structure of a series of lanthanide iron cobalt perovskite oxides, R(Fe0.5Co0.5)O3 (R = Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, and Gd), have been investigated. The space group of these compounds was confirmed to be orthorhombic Pnma (No. 62), Z = 4. From Pr to Gd, the lattice parameter a varies from 5.466 35(13) Å to 5.507 10(13) Å, b from 7.7018(2) to 7.561 75(13) Å, c from 5.443 38(10) to 5.292 00(8) Å, and unit-cell volume V from 229.170(9) Å3 to 220.376(9) Å3, respectively. While the trend of V follows the trend of the lanthanide contraction, the lattice parameter “a” increases as the ionic radius r(R3+) decreases. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy confirm that Fe and Co are disordered over the octahedral sites. The structure distortion of these compounds is evidenced in the tilt angles θ, ϕ, and ω, which represent rotations of an octahedron about the pseudocubic perovskite p, p, and p axes. All three tilt angles increase across the lanthanide series (for R = Pr to R = Gd: θ increases from 12.3° to 15.2°, ϕ from 7.5° to 15.8°, and ω from 14.4° to 21.7°), indicating a greater octahedral distortion as r(R3+) decreases. The bond valence sum for the sixfold (Fe/Co) site and the eightfold R site of R(Fe0.5Co0.5)O3 reveal no significant bond strain. Density Functional Theory calculations for Pr(Fe0.5Co0.5)O3 support the disorder of Fe and Co and suggest that this compound to be a narrow band gap semiconductor. XRD patterns of the R(Fe0.5Co0.5)O3 samples were submitted to the Powder Diffraction File.
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) is the major insect pest of cabbage crops in Togo and Benin. For control, farmers very often resort to spraying chemical insecticides at high dosages with frequent applications. Bioassays were carried out on three populations of P. xylostella, two from Togo (Kara and Dapaong) and one from Benin (Cotonou), to assess their level of susceptibility to currently used insecticides. A reference strain of P. xylostella from Matuu in Kenya was used as a control. In the laboratory, three insecticide representatives of different chemical families (deltamethrin, chlorpyrifos ethyl and spinosad) were assayed against third instar larvae of P. xylostella. Results revealed that P. xylostella populations from Dapaong, Kara and Cotonou were more resistant to deltamethrin (13 to 59-fold at LC50 level, 149 to 1772-fold at LC90 level) and chlorpyrifos ethyl (5 to 15-fold at LC50 level, 9 to 885-fold at LC90 level) than the reference strain. Spinosad was more toxic to P. xylostella populations than the other insecticides with LC50 and LC90 values less than 1 µg/ml and 15 µg/ml, respectively. However, the population from Cotonou appeared significantly more resistant to spinosad compared to the reference strain. These results are discussed in the light of developing an integrated pest management strategy for reducing the selection pressure of spinosad.
We describe an X-ray polarimeter which will be flown on the SPECTRUM-X-Gamma mission. The instrument exploits three distinct physical processes to measure polarization: Bragg reflection from a graphite crystal, Thomson scattering from a metallic lithium target, and photoemission from a Cesium Iodide photocathode. These three processes allow polarization measurements over an energy band of 0.3 keV to 12 keV. The polarimeter will make possible sensitive measurements of several hundred known X-ray sources. X-ray polarization measurements will allow us to constrain the geometry of gas flow in X-ray binaries, identify nonthermal emission in supernova remnants, test current models for X-ray emission in radio pulsars, determine the radiation mechanisms in active galactic nuclei, and search for inertial frame dragging (Lense-Thirring effect) around the putative black hole in Cygnus X-1.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
The contribution of ‘environment’ has been investigated across diverse and multiple domains related to health. However, in the context of large-scale genomic studies the focus has been on obtaining individual-level endophenotypes with environment left for future decomposition. Geo-social research has indicated that environment-level variables can be reduced, and these composites can then be used with other variables as intuitive, precise representations of environment in research.
Using a large community sample (N = 9498) from the Philadelphia area, participant addresses were linked to 2010 census and crime data. These were then factor analyzed (exploratory factor analysis; EFA) to arrive at social and criminal dimensions of participants' environments. These were used to calculate environment-level scores, which were merged with individual-level variables. We estimated an exploratory multilevel structural equation model (MSEM) exploring associations among environment- and individual-level variables in diverse communities.
The EFAs revealed that census data was best represented by two factors, one socioeconomic status and one household/language. Crime data was best represented by a single crime factor. The MSEM variables had good fit (e.g. comparative fit index = 0.98), and revealed that environment had the largest association with neurocognitive performance (β = 0.41, p < 0.0005), followed by parent education (β = 0.23, p < 0.0005).
Environment-level variables can be combined to create factor scores or composites for use in larger statistical models. Our results are consistent with literature indicating that individual-level socio-demographic characteristics (e.g. race and gender) and aspects of familial social capital (e.g. parental education) have statistical relationships with neurocognitive performance.
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.
Some lipid hydrolysis products such as medium-chained NEFA (MC-NEFA), sphingosine and monoacylglycerols (MAG) possess antibacterial activity, while others, including oleic acid, are essential for the optimal growth of Lactobacillus species. Thus, changes in the concentrations of NEFA and MAG in the distal ileum and colon can potentially selectively modulate the composition of the gut microbiota, especially in early life when lipid absorption efficacy is reduced. As medium-chained fatty acids are enriched in mothers' milk, such effects may be highly relevant during gut colonisation. In the present study, we examined the effect of selected NEFA, MAG and sphingosine on the composition of faecal microbial communities derived from infants aged 2–5 months during a 24 h anaerobic in vitro fermentation. We tested lipid mixtures in the concentration range of 0–200 μm, either based on MC-NEFA (10 : 0 to 14 : 0 and MAG 12 : 0) or long-chained NEFA (LC-NEFA; 16 : 0 to 18 : 1 and MAG 16 : 0) with and without sphingosine, representing lipid hydrolysis products characteristic for intestinal hydrolysis of breast milk lipids. Ion Torrent sequencing of the bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA gene revealed that the relative abundance of lactic acid-producing genera, including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, was generally increased in the presence of 50 μm or higher concentrations of MC-NEFA. For Bifidobacterium, the same effect was also observed in the presence of a mixture containing LC-NEFA with sphingosine. On the contrary, the relative abundance of Enterobacteriaceae was significantly decreased in the presence of both lipid mixtures. Our findings suggest that the high concentration of medium-chained fatty acids in breast milk might have functional effects on the establishment of the gut microbiota in early life.
The Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) co-ordinates the activities of the six Australian research institutions and a group of industrial partners in the Australia-US Institute for Advanced Photovoltaics (AUSIAPV) to develop the next generations of photovoltaic device technology and to provide a pipeline of opportunities for performance increase and cost reduction. AUSIAPV links ACAP with US-based partners. These national and international research collaborations provide a pathway for highly visible, structured photovoltaic research collaboration between Australian and US researchers, institutes and agencies with significant joint programs based on the clear synergies between the participating organizations. The research program is organized in five collaborative Program Packages (PPs). PP1 deals with silicon wafer-based cells, focusing on three main areas: cells from solar grade silicon, rear contact and silicon-based tandem cells. PP2 involves research into a range of organic solar cells, organic/inorganic hybrid cells, "earth abundant" thin-film materials and "third generation" approaches. PP3 is concerned with optics and characterization. PP4 will deliver a substantiated methodology for assessing manufacturing costs of the different technologies and PP5 involves education, training and outreach. The main research topics, results and plans for the future are presented.