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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.
Depression is common after acute coronary syndrome (ACS) with adverse effects on prognosis. There is little evidence on whether depression treatment improves quality of life (QoL) in ACS patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of co-morbid depression and its treatment on QoL in ACS.
In total, 1152 patients were recruited at baseline, 2–14 weeks after a confirmed ACS episode, and 828 were followed 1 year thereafter. Of 446 baseline participants with co-morbid depressive disorders, 300 were randomized to a 24-week double blind trial of escitalopram or placebo, while the remaining 146 received medical treatment only (MTO). QoL was measured by the World Health Organization Quality of Life –Abbreviated form (WHOQOL-BREF).
At baseline, QoL was significantly lower in patients with co-morbid depressive disorder than those without. QoL improvement was significantly greater in those receiving escitalopram than those receiving placebo over the 24-week treatment period. In the 1-year follow-up, the better outcomes associated with escitalopram remained evident against both placebo and MTO.
Depression was significantly associated with worse QoL even in patients with recently developed ACS. Depression treatment was associated with QoL improvement in ACS patients in the 24-week treatment period, the effects of which extended to 1 year.
We observed an area of sky located within the SDSS Stripe 82 field at 1.6 GHz with the European VLBI Network (EVN). There are fifteen mJy/sub-mJy radio sources within the primary beam of a typical 30-m class EVN radio telescope. Our aim was to obtain information on compact radio structures of all VLBI-detectable sources within this primary beam area. The source of particular interest is the recently identified radio quasar J222843.54+011032.2 (J2228+0110) at z = 5.95. The data correlation was performed at the EVN software correlator at JIVE (SFXC). Three targets (J2228+0110, J222851.45+011203.4, J222941.76+011428.5) were detected, all three with position offsets not exceeding the 3σ accuracy of the original low-resolution radio surveys. The detection rate of 20% is consistent with other wide-field VLBI experiments carried out recently (e.g. Middelberg et al. 2013). The project presented here demonstrates the ability of EVN in multiple-phase-centre experiments and paves the way for future large-scale EVN surveys of compact structures in extragalactic radio sources using the multiple-phase-centre VLBI technique.
Equine influenza virus (EIV) causes a highly contagious respiratory disease in equids, with confirmed outbreaks in Europe, America, North Africa, and Asia. Although China, Mongolia, and Japan have reported equine influenza outbreaks, Korea has not. Since 2011, we have conducted a routine surveillance programme to detect EIV at domestic stud farms, and isolated H3N8 EIV from horses showing respiratory disease symptoms. Here, we characterized the genetic and biological properties of this novel Korean H3N8 EIV isolate. This H3N8 EIV isolate belongs to the Florida sublineage clade 1 of the American H3N8 EIV lineage, and surprisingly, possessed a non-structural protein (NS) gene segment, where 23 bases of the NS1-encoding region were naturally truncated. Our preliminary biological data indicated that this truncation did not affect virus replication; its effect on biological and immunological properties of the virus will require further study.
We examined the cross-sectional relationship between environmental tobacco smoke exposure, continuous performance test (CPT) measures, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or learning disability symptoms in school-aged children.
In total, 989 children (526 boys, mean age 9.1 ± 0.7 years), recruited from five South Korean cities participated in this study. We used urine cotinine as a biomarker for environmental tobacco smoke exposure, and obtained the children's scores on a CPT. Parents completed the Korean versions of the ADHD Rating Scale – IV (ADHD-RS) and Learning Disability Evaluation Scale (LDES). Using generalized linear mixed model (GLMM), we assessed the associations between urine cotinine concentrations, neuropsychological variables, and symptoms of ADHD and learning disabilities. Additionally, we conducted structural equation models to explore the effects' pathways.
After adjusting for a range of relevant covariates, GLMM showed urinary cotinine levels were significantly and positively associated with CPT scores on omission errors, commission errors, response time, and response time variability, and with parent- and teacher-rated ADHD-RS scores. In addition, urine cotinine levels were negatively associated with LDES scores on spelling and mathematical calculations. The structural equation model revealed that CPT variables mediated the association between urine cotinine levels and parental reports of symptoms of ADHD and learning disabilities.
Our data indicate that environmental exposure to tobacco smoke is associated with ADHD and learning disabilities in children, and that impairments in attention and inhibitory control probably mediate the effect.
Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) are an increasing infectious threat in hospitals. We investigated the clinical epidemiology of CRAB infections vs. colonization in patients, and examined the mechanisms of resistance associated with elevated minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for carbapenems. From January to June 2009, 75 CRAB strains were collected. CRAB infection was significantly associated with malignancy and a high APACHE II score. The most dominant resistance mechanism was ISAba1 preceding OXA-51, producing strains with overexpression of efflux pump. Strains carrying blaOXA-23-like enzymes had higher carbapenem MICs than those carrying blaOXA-51-like enzymes; however, the presence of multiple mechanisms did not result in increased resistance to carbapenems. There was no difference in the resistance mechanisms in strains from infected and colonized patients. The majority of strains were genetically diverse by DNA macrorestriction although there was evidence of clonal spread of four clusters of strains in patients.
We present the results and critical analyses of recent studies of ultrafast optical nonlinearities of liquid crystals in the isotropic and ordered phases for time scales spanning femtoseconds – microseconds. Pure undoped liquid crystals as well as liquid crystals containing plasmonic nano-particles have been investigated. Individual molecular electronic optical nonlinearities are found to be useful for femtoseconds – nanoseconds nonlinear transmission clamping applications. On the other hand, laser induced order parameter and birefringence modification in aligned nematic cells allow very rapid transmission switching of visible as well as near infrared lasers with response times in the sub-microseconds - few nanoseconds regime.
The effects of dynamic shielding of charged-particle interactions on the predicted values of hte transport properties of partially ionized argon are considered. It is found that, at low degreesof ionization, dynamic shielding effects are of little importance, because charged-particle encounters are infrequent, so that the perturbed Lorentzian method may be used to obtain a rapidly convergent solution. At higher degrees of ionization, where the Chapman–Enskog solution converges rapidly, dynamic shielding effects can be taken into account using the expressions presented in the appendix to this paper. It is also found that the static shielding model, assuming complete shielding by electrons only, yields results that are quite close to those obtained when dynamic shielding is considered.
Thermochromic materials change color with temperature. Organic ternary mixtures composed of a dye, developer and solvent can reversibly change color with temperature. Although they are used in many commercial products, little is known about the detailed mechanism of thermochromism. Given the wide range of available components and compositions that could potentially show thermochromic behavior, we have embarked on combinatorial studies using inkjet printing to directly prepare thermochromic mixtures on paper.
In this paper, we proposed a phase-change random access memory (PCRAM) cell with a self-insulated structure (SIS), which is expected to have better thermal efficiency than the conventional structures. 3-D finite element simulation is used to study the most power consuming RESET process for both SIS and conventional normal bottom contact (NBC) cells driven by a MOSFET. Instead of programming current, power consumption is investigated to give a more fundamental comparison between the two structures. Thermal proximity effect for both kinds of cells is directly analyzed by simulating a 3×3 device array. The potential slow-quenching issue of SIS is also discussed.
This study investigated a mechanism for controlling the shape of Cu nanocrystals fabricated using the polyol process, which considers the thermodynamic transition from a faceted surface to a rough surface and the growth mechanisms of nanocrystals with faceted or rough surfaces. The faceted surfaces were stable at relatively low temperatures because of the low entropy of perfectly faceted surfaces. Nanocrystals fabricated using a coordinative surfactant stabilized the faceted surface at a higher temperature than those fabricated using a noncoordinative surfactant. The growth rate of the surface under a given driving force was dependent on the surface structure, i.e., faceted or rough, and the growth of a faceted surface was a thermally activated process. Surface twins decreased the activation energy for growth of the faceted surface and resulted in rod- or wire-shaped nanocrystals.
A kind of low-cost hydrogen storage alloy containing B has been prepared by near rapid solidification strip casting. And computer optimization has been carried out with MASTER software through mode identification and neuro-network. The alloy microstructure, the alloy performance and the battery performance have been evaluated through optical microscope, TEM and X-ray diffraction. The results indicate that the alloy microstructure is fine columnar crystal and there exists the second phase of CeCo4B on the crystal interface, which increases the diffusion channels for hydrogen atoms and improves the alloy activation. The MmNi3.9Co0.37Mn0.4Al0.3B alloy has excellent performance at room, high and low temperatures prepared by strip casting.
Conventional Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) was modified by adding up a small amount of SiOx, using co-sputtering technique from multiple targets. The SiOx content was gradually increased by increasing the power applied to SiOx target, up to 8 volume percent. The sheet resistance of SiOx-containing GST exponentially increased, when the room-temperature-deposited samples were annealed at 300 °C. Transmission electron microscopy images revealed that no SiOx particulates were formed, which was confirmed by Gattan image filtering. It was indicated by x-ray diffraction patterns that the grain size of SiOx-containing GST is smaller than normal GST with lattice locally distorted at its crystalline state, suggesting that molecular SiOx is homogeneously distributed throughout the GST matrix. We observed that the crystallization temperature of SiOx-containing GST is gradually elevated by increasing the SiOx content, while the melting point decreased. These observations led to the reset current reduction, which is a critical requirement for the high density PRAM.
The creep behaviors of 20 vol% SiCw/2124Al, extruded with different ratios, and SiCp/2124Al, reinforced with 10–30 vol% SiC particles, were investigated to clarify the effects of aspect ratio, alignment, and volume fraction of reinforcement on creep deformation. The effective stresses on the matrix of SiC/Al composites are calculated based on the generalized shear-lag model. The minimum creep rates of SiCw/2124Al extruded with different ratios and SiCp/2124Al reinforced with different volume fractions of SiC particles are found to be similar under a same effective stress on matrix, which is calculated by the generalized shear-lag model. The subgrain sizes in matrices of crept SiC/Al composites are dependent on the effective stress on matrix but not on the applied stress on the composite. It is suggested that the role of SiC reinforcements is to increase the creep resistance of SiC/Al composite by reducing the effective stress on matrix.