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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.
Diarrhea is a common cause of morbidity and mortality and the incidence of diarrhea in the world has changed little over the past four decades. To assess the prevalence of and healthcare practices for diarrhea, a cross-sectional study was conducted in Pudong, Shanghai, China. In October 2014, a total of 5324 community residents were interviewed. Respondents were asked if they had experienced diarrhea (defined as ⩾3 passages of watery, loose, bloody, or mucoid stools within a 24-h period) in the previous month prior to the interview. The monthly prevalence of diarrhea was 4·1% (95% CI: 3·3–4·8), corresponding to an incidence rate of 0·54 episodes per person-year. The proportion of individuals with diarrhea who sought healthcare was 21·2% (95% CI: 13·4–29·0). Diarrhea continues to impose a considerable burden on the community and healthcare system in Pudong. Young age and travel were identified as predictors of increased diarrhea occurrence.
The unique phenotypic and genetic aspects of obsessive-compulsive (OCD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among individuals with Tourette syndrome (TS) are not well characterized. Here, we examine symptom patterns and heritability of OCD and ADHD in TS families.
OCD and ADHD symptom patterns were examined in TS patients and their family members (N = 3494) using exploratory factor analyses (EFA) for OCD and ADHD symptoms separately, followed by latent class analyses (LCA) of the resulting OCD and ADHD factor sum scores jointly; heritability and clinical relevance of the resulting factors and classes were assessed.
EFA yielded a 2-factor model for ADHD and an 8-factor model for OCD. Both ADHD factors (inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms) were genetically related to TS, ADHD, and OCD. The doubts, contamination, need for sameness, and superstitions factors were genetically related to OCD, but not ADHD or TS; symmetry/exactness and fear-of-harm were associated with TS and OCD while hoarding was associated with ADHD and OCD. In contrast, aggressive urges were genetically associated with TS, OCD, and ADHD. LCA revealed a three-class solution: few OCD/ADHD symptoms (LC1), OCD & ADHD symptoms (LC2), and symmetry/exactness, hoarding, and ADHD symptoms (LC3). LC2 had the highest psychiatric comorbidity rates (⩾50% for all disorders).
Symmetry/exactness, aggressive urges, fear-of-harm, and hoarding show complex genetic relationships with TS, OCD, and ADHD, and, rather than being specific subtypes of OCD, transcend traditional diagnostic boundaries, perhaps representing an underlying vulnerability (e.g. failure of top-down cognitive control) common to all three disorders.
Worldwide 350 million people suffer from major depression, with the majority of cases occurring in low- and middle-income countries. We examined the patterns, correlates and care-seeking behaviour of adults suffering from major depressive episode (MDE) in China.
A nationwide study recruited 512 891 adults aged 30–79 years from 10 provinces across China during 2004–2008. The 12-month prevalence of MDE was assessed by the Modified Composite International Diagnostic Interview-short form. Logistic regression yielded adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of MDE associated with socio-economic, lifestyle and health-related factors and major stressful life events.
Overall, 0.7% of participants had MDE and a further 2.4% had major depressive symptoms. Stressful life events were strongly associated with MDE [adjusted OR 14.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 13.7–15.7], with a dose–response relationship with the number of such events experienced. Family conflict had the highest OR for MDE (18.9, 95% CI 16.8–21.2) among the 10 stressful life events. The risk of MDE was also positively associated with rural residency (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.4–1.7), low income (OR 2.3, 95% CI 2.1–2.4), living alone (OR 2.6, 95% CI 2.3–3.0), smoking (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.3–1.6) and certain other mental disorders (e.g. anxiety, phobia). Similar, albeit weaker, associations were observed with depressive symptoms. Among those with MDE, about 15% sought medical help or took psychiatric medication, 15% reported having suicidal ideation and 6% reported attempting suicide.
Among Chinese adults, the patterns and correlates of MDE were generally consistent with those observed in the West. The low rates of seeking professional help and treatment highlight the great gap in mental health services in China.
The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
EVA foams, like all other polymers, also exhibit strain-rate effects and hysteresis. However, currently available approaches for predicting the mechanical response of polymeric foam subjected to an arbitrarily imposed loading history and strain-rate effect are highly limited. Especially, the strain rates in the intermediate rate domain (between 100 and 102 s–1) are extremely difficult to study. The use of data generated through the drop tower technique for implementation in constitutive equations or numerical models has not been considered in past studies. In this study, an experiment including a quasi-static compression test and drop impact tests with a high speed camera was conducted. An inverse analysis technique combined with a finite element model for material parameter identification was developed to determine the stress–strain behavior of foam at different specific strain rates. It was used in this study to simulate multiple loading and unloading cycles on foam specimens, and the results were compared with experimental measurements.
In the past triennium members of the Commission 20 have been very active in studying positions and motions of minor planets, comets and satellites including rings by observational and theoretical investigations, as it is described in this report In fact observers have been producing tremendous amount of astrometric data, much more than we could imagine twenty years ago, when we heard many complains and appeals to observers for needs of more observations, particularly, for minor planets and satellites. Technically, several new devices to detect faint objects and to measure their positions more effectively, have been developed. Theoreticians have faced many interesting and important problems to explain observational facts with several powerful methods developed recently.
Interest in minor planets and comets continued to grow during the triennium, sparked in part by the highly successful 1983 mission of the Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) as well as by activities associated with the return of P/Halley and the first spacecraft missions to comets. A trial of the Astrometry Network of the International Halley Watch (IHW) on P/Crommelin was quite successful. Yet with an increasing need for precise ephemerides, there continued to be concern for acquisition and timely reporting of astrometric observations of even the best known comets.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
Limitations in sample size, overly inclusive antibiotic classes, lack of adjustment of key risk variables, and inadequate assessment of cases contribute to widely ranging estimates of risk factors for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
To incorporate all key CDI risk factors in addition to 27 antibiotic classes into a single comprehensive model.
Retrospective cohort study.
Kaiser Permanente Southern California.
Members of Kaiser Permanente Southern California at least 18 years old admitted to any of its 14 hospitals from January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2012.
Hospital-acquired CDI cases were identified by polymerase chain reaction assay. Exposure to major outpatient antibiotics (10 classes) and those administered during inpatient stays (27 classes) was assessed. Age, sex, self-identified race/ethnicity, Charlson Comorbidity Score, previous hospitalization, transfer from a skilled nursing facility, number of different antibiotic classes, statin use, and proton pump inhibitor use were also assessed. Poisson regression estimated adjusted risk of CDI.
A total of 401,234 patients with 2,638 cases of incident CDI (0.7%) were detected. The final model demonstrated highest CDI risk associated with increasing age, exposure to multiple antibiotic classes, and skilled nursing facility transfer. Factors conferring the most reduced CDI risk were inpatient exposure to tetracyclines and first-generation cephalosporins, and outpatient macrolides.
Although type and aggregate antibiotic exposure are important, the factors that increase the likelihood of environmental spore acquisition should not be underestimated. Operationally, our findings have implications for antibiotic stewardship efforts and can inform empirical and culture-driven treatment approaches.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(12):1409–1416
This study aimed to characterise the geometry of the human bilateral spiral cochlea by measuring curvature and length.
Eight subjects were recruited in this study. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to visualise the right and left cochlea. Visualisation of the cochlear spiral was enhanced by T2 weighting and further processing of the raw images. The spirals were divided into three segments: the basal turn, the middle turn and the apex turn. The length and curvature of each segment were non-invasively measured.
The mean left and right cochlear lengths were 3.11 cm and 3.95 cm, respectively. The measured lengths of the cochlear spiral are consistent with data in the literature derived from anatomical dissections. Overall, the apex turn segment of the cochlea had the greatest degree of curvature (p < 0.05). The mean apex turn segment curvatures for left and right cochleae were 9.65 cm−1 and 10.09 cm−1, respectively.
A detailed description of the cochlear spiral is provided, using measurements of curvature and length. These data will provide a valuable reference in the development of cochlear implantation procedures for minimising the potential damage during implantation.
Neurological soft signs (NSS) have long been considered potential endophenotypes for schizophrenia. However, few studies have investigated the heritability and familiality of NSS. The present study examined the heritability and familiality of NSS in healthy twins and patient–relative pairs.
The abridged version of the Cambridge Neurological Inventory was administered to 267 pairs of monozygotic twins, 124 pairs of dizygotic twins, and 75 pairs of patients with schizophrenia and their non-psychotic first-degree relatives.
NSS were found to have moderate but significant heritability in the healthy twin sample. Moreover, patients with schizophrenia correlated closely with their first-degree relatives on NSS.
Taken together, the findings provide evidence on the heritability and familiality of NSS in the Han Chinese population.
This paper presents experimental results on rapid freezing of water droplets injected into a low temperature environment. A heat balance method was applied to determine the ratio of the water droplets frozen at the collection after the airborne time. The experimental results show that rapid freezing of water droplets could be achieved within three seconds of airborne time. Droplet size distribution of the frozen water droplets after collection was estimated. Heat transfer during the airborne time was calculated with consideration of the droplet size distribution. At attempt was taken to compare the heat transfer obtained with some previous studies on heat transfer of spherical objects in air. The research results show that droplet size distribution is important for the prediction of heat transfer of water droplets traveling in air. The results presented in this study contribute to the understanding of heat transfer of water droplets injected into a low temperature air.
We made dynamical black hole mass measurements from nineteen Seyfert 2 galaxies which host sub-parsec H2O maser disks using the H2O megamaser technique. The nearly perfect Keplerian rotation curves in many of these maser systems guarantee the high accuracy and precision of the black hole mass measurements. With the stellar velocity dispersion (σ∗) of the galaxy bulges measured with the Dupont 2.5 m telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in the South and the Apache Point Observatory (APO) 3.5m telescope in the North, we found that H2O maser galaxies, most of which host pseudo bulges rather than classical bulges, do not all follow the MBH–σ∗ relation shown in the literature. This result is well consistent with the latest findings by Kormendy & Ho (2013) that only early type galaxies and galaxies with classical bulges follow a tight MBH–σ∗ relation. Such a tight correlation may not exist in pseudo bulge galaxies.
Fatty acid synthase (FASN) is known as a crucial enzyme of cellular de novo fatty acid synthesis in mammary gland which has been proved as the main source of short and medium-chain fatty acids of milk. However, the regulatory role of FASN in goat-specific milk fatty acids composition remains unclear. We cloned and analyzed the full-length of FASN gene from the mammary gland of Capra hircus (Xinong Saanen dairy goat) (DQ 915966). Comparative gene expression analysis suggested that FASN is predominantly expressed in fat, small intestine and mammary gland tissues, and expresses higher level at lactation period. Inhibition of FASN activity by different concentrations (0, 5, 15, 25 and 35 μM) of orlistat, a natural inhibitor of FASN, resulted in decreased expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase α (ACCα), lipoprotein lipase and heart-type fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP) in a concentration-dependent manner in goat mammary gland epithelial cells (GMEC). Similar results were also obtained by silencing of FASN. Additionally, reduction of FASN expression also led to apparent decline of the relative content of decanoic acid (C10:0) and lauric acid (C12:0) in GMEC. Our study provides a direct evidence for inhibition of FASN reduces cellular medium-chain fatty acids synthesis in GMEC.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.