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The aim of the Avera Twin Register (ATR) is to establish a prospective longitudinal repository of twins, multiples, siblings and family members’ biological samples to study environmental and genetic influences on health and disease. Also, it is our intention to contribute to international genome-wide association study (GWAS) twin consortia when appropriate sample size is achieved within the ATR. The ATR is young compared with existing registers and continues to collect a longitudinal repository of biological specimens, survey data and health information. Data and biological specimens were originally collected via face-to-face appointments or the postal department and consisted of paper-informed consents and questionnaires. Enrollment of the ATR began on May 18, 2016 and is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a rural and frontier area in the Central United States with a regional population of approximately 880,000. The original target area for the ATR was South Dakota and the four surrounding states: Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and Nebraska. The ATR has found a need to expand that area based on twin and multiple siblings who live in various areas surrounding these states. A description of the state of the ATR today and its transition to online data collection and informed consent will be presented. The ATR collects longitudinal data on lifestyle, including diet and activity levels, aging, plus complex traits and diseases. All twins and multiples participating in the ATR are genotyped on the Illumina Global Screening Array and receive zygosity results.
In recent years, the discovery of massive quasars at
has provided a striking challenge to our understanding of the origin and growth of supermassive black holes in the early Universe. Mounting observational and theoretical evidence indicates the viability of massive seeds, formed by the collapse of supermassive stars, as a progenitor model for such early, massive accreting black holes. Although considerable progress has been made in our theoretical understanding, many questions remain regarding how (and how often) such objects may form, how they live and die, and how next generation observatories may yield new insight into the origin of these primordial titans. This review focusses on our present understanding of this remarkable formation scenario, based on the discussions held at the Monash Prato Centre from November 20 to 24, 2017, during the workshop ‘Titans of the Early Universe: The Origin of the First Supermassive Black Holes’.
The use of three-dimensional printing has been rapidly expanding over the last several decades. Virtual surgical three-dimensional simulation and planning has been shown to increase efficiency and accuracy in various clinical scenarios.
To report the feasibility of three-dimensional printing in paediatric laryngotracheal stenosis and discuss potential applications of three-dimensional printed models in airway surgery.
Retrospective case series in a tertiary care aerodigestive centre.
Three-dimensional printing was undertaken in two cases of paediatric laryngotracheal stenosis. One patient with grade 4 subglottic stenosis with posterior glottic involvement underwent an extended partial cricotracheal reconstruction. Another patient with grade 4 tracheal stenosis underwent tracheal resection and end-to-end anastomosis. Models of both tracheas were printed using PolyJet technology from a Stratasys Connex2 printer.
It is feasible to demonstrate stenosis in three-dimensional printed models, allowing for patient-specific pre-operative surgical simulation. The models serve as an educational tool for patients’ understanding of the surgery, and for teaching residents and fellows.
Whereas genetic susceptibility increases the risk for major depressive disorder (MDD), non-genetic protective factors may mitigate this risk. In a large-scale prospective study of US Army soldiers, we examined whether trait resilience and/or unit cohesion could protect against the onset of MDD following combat deployment, even in soldiers at high polygenic risk.
Data were analyzed from 3079 soldiers of European ancestry assessed before and after their deployment to Afghanistan. Incident MDD was defined as no MDD episode at pre-deployment, followed by a MDD episode following deployment. Polygenic risk scores were constructed from a large-scale genome-wide association study of major depression. We first examined the main effects of the MDD PRS and each protective factor on incident MDD. We then tested the effects of each protective factor on incident MDD across strata of polygenic risk.
Polygenic risk showed a dose–response relationship to depression, such that soldiers at high polygenic risk had greatest odds for incident MDD. Both unit cohesion and trait resilience were prospectively associated with reduced risk for incident MDD. Notably, the protective effect of unit cohesion persisted even in soldiers at highest polygenic risk.
Polygenic risk was associated with new-onset MDD in deployed soldiers. However, unit cohesion – an index of perceived support and morale – was protective against incident MDD even among those at highest genetic risk, and may represent a potent target for promoting resilience in vulnerable soldiers. Findings illustrate the value of combining genomic and environmental data in a prospective design to identify robust protective factors for mental health.
Keel bone damage (KBD) in laying hens is an important welfare problem in both conventional and organic egg production systems. We aimed to identify possible risk factors for KBD in organic hens by analysing cross-sectional data of 107 flocks assessed in eight European countries. Due to partly missing data, the final multiple regression model was based on data from 50 flocks. Keel bone damage included fractures and/or deviations, and was recorded, alongside with other animal based measures, by palpation and visual inspection of at least 50 randomly collected hens per flock between 52 and 73 weeks of age. Management and housing data were obtained by interviews, inspection and by feed analysis. Keel bone damage flock prevalences ranged from 3% to 88%. Compiled on the basis of literature and practical experience, 26 potential associative factors of KBD went into an univariable selection by Spearman correlation analysis or Mann–Whitney U test (with P<0.1 level). The resulting nine factors were presented to stepwise forward linear regression modelling. Aviary v. floor systems, absence of natural daylight in the hen house, a higher proportion of underweight birds, as well as a higher laying performance were found to be significantly associated with a higher percentage of hens with KBD. The final model explained 32% of the variation in KBD between farms. The moderate explanatory value of the model underlines the multifactorial nature of KBD. Based on the results increased attention should be paid to an adequate housing design and lighting that allows the birds easy orientation and safe manoeuvring in the system. Furthermore, feeding management should aim at sufficient bird live weights that fulfil breeder weight standards. In order to achieve a better understanding of the relationships between laying performance, feed management and KBD further investigations are needed.
Epistemic justifications for democracy have been offered in terms of two different forms of information aggregation and decision-making. The Condorcet Jury Theorem is appealed to as a justification in terms of votes, and the Hong–Page ‘diversity trumps ability’ result is appealed to as a justification in terms of deliberation in the form of collaborative search. Both results, however, are models of full and direct participation across a population. In this paper, we contrast how these results hold up within the familiar structure of a representative hierarchy. We first consider extant analytic work that shows that representation inevitably weakens the voting results of the Condorcet Jury Theorem. We then go on to show that collaborative search, as modeled by Hong and Page, holds its own within hierarchical representation. In a variation on the dynamics of group search, representation even shows a slight edge over direct participation. This contrast illustrates how models of information aggregation vary when put into a representative structure. While some of the epistemic merits of democracy are lost when voting is done hierarchically, modeling results show that representation can preserve and even slightly amplify the epistemic virtues of collaborative search.
Optimization of production factors plays a central role in efficient milk production operations. Causal relationships between production parameters (health, fertility, feeding, performance and farm size) on the one hand and efficiency parameters on the other have been identified in several studies. In recent years, structural equation modelling (SEM) has not only gained importance in agriculture but also in milk production, providing the opportunity to investigate multilateral relationships. Additionally, SEM enables an estimation of parameters which are not themselves measurable, the so-called latent variables. The current study was based on the data of 943 branch settlements (including the years 2012 and 2013) of dairy farms keeping German Holstein cows in Schleswig-Holstein (Northern Germany) which provided a combination of the structural parameters, economic parameters and biological performance of the farms. An SEM using this combined data was applied to investigate the complexity of influences on efficiency parameters in milk production. Efficiency was sub-divided into and evaluated by two effect variables (economic efficiency and biological efficiency). Economic efficiency was defined as a conventional efficiency assessment criterion from full-cost accounting, whereas biological efficiency was used to evaluate the quality of herd management. Performance was identified as the key parameter for independent evaluation of efficiency by assessing biological (γ41 = 0.644) or economic efficiency (γ42 = 0.266). The SEM explained more than three times higher proportion of the variance in biological efficiency than in economic efficiency. The investigation proved the eligibility of partial least squares SEM for the evaluation of efficiency in milk production.
Introduction: Foreign patients often do not receive appropriate treatment in the emergency room as compared to locals. This is due to various causes such as language, insurance, and cultural differences. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there is a wide range of health inequalities among foreigners who visited the emergency room with injury and to find out what causes it. Methods: We analyzed clinical data from the National Emergency Department Information System(NEDIS) database, which visited the emergency room from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015, in all age groups. Foreigners are classified based on the personal information described in the NEDIS. We analyzed the number of injuries, serious cases(death, operation, ICU admission), length of stay in ER, and transfer ratio. Results: A total of 4,464,603 cases of injured patients were included, of whom 67,683 were foreign patients. The incidence rate per 100,000 people per year was 2960.5 from locals and 1659.8 from foreigners. Serious outcomes were higher for foreigners than for locals(31.0% versus 23.2%, p<0.001). There was a further difference in the rural region. Length of stay was longer for foreigners(72 versus 69 minutes, median, p<0.001). The transfer rate was also higher for foreigners(1.9% versus 1.6%, p<0.001). Daegu had the highest ratio of foreigners’ injury compared to locals(ratio=0.998). Jeonnam(0.073) was the highest serious outcome rate in Korea, and Jeonbuk(0.070) was the second. The area with the longest length of stay in the Emergency department was the median 139 minutes for locals and 153 minutes for foreigners in Daegu. The more patients per day, the shorter the time spent in the emergency rooms(Spearman correlation coefficient=-0.388). This phenomenon was more prominent in locals(-0.624 versus -0.175). Multivariable logistic regression was used as a dependent variable for the serious outcomes of foreign patients. The foreign patients(OR=1.413, p<0.001), intention, no insurance, age, sex, urban area, low blood pressure, decreased consciousness, transfer, acuity, and length of stay were statistically significant. Conclusion: This study showed that there is a health inequality for foreigners who came to the emergency room due to injury in Korea. Also, serious outcomes from injury in foreigners have been shown to be related to various causes including factors of the foreigner.
The aims of this study were to investigate the effects of either hearing, vision or dual sensory impairment on depressive symptoms and to identify subgroups that are vulnerable and significantly affected.
Data from the 2006–2014 Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (KLoSA) were used and a total of 5832 individuals were included in this study. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D10) scale. Sensory impairment was assessed according to the levels of self-reported hearing or vision, which were categorised as either good (excellent, very good or good) or poor (fair or poor). The changes in hearing or vision from records of previous survey were investigated. Changes from good to poor, which indicates new onset, were defined as hearing impairment or vision impairment. Interactions of changes in hearing and vision were considered in the analysis. Dual sensory impairment was indicated when hearing impairment and vision impairment both developed at the same time. Demographic, socioeconomic and health-related factors were considered as potential confounders and were adjusted for in the generalised estimating equation model.
Individuals with hearing impairment demonstrated significantly more severe depressive symptoms [β = 0.434, standard errors (s.e.) = 0.097, p < 0.001] than those who had good hearing. Those with vision impairment also showed significantly elevated depressive symptoms (β = 0.253, s.e. = 0.058, p < 0.001) than those with good vision. When the interactions between hearing and vision were considered, participants with dual sensory impairment showed significantly more severe depressive symptoms (β = 0.768, s.e. = 0.197, p < 0.001) than those with good hearing and vision. The effect of a single and dual sensory impairment on depressive symptoms was significant in both sexes and across age groups, except for vision impairment in male participants.
Hearing, vision and dual sensory impairment are significantly associated with depressive symptoms. Our results suggest that treatment or rehabilitation of either hearing or vision impairment would help prevent depression.
This study examined the mediated effect of early adolescence familial context on early adulthood problematic substance use through effortful control in late adolescence. The sample consisted of a community sample of 311 adolescents and their families comprising the control group within a randomized trial intervention. Parental monitoring and parent–child relationship quality (P-C RQ) were measured annually from ages 11 to 13. Effortful control was measured by self-reports and parent and teacher reports at ages 16 to 17. Self-reports of problematic tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use were measured at ages 18 to 19, 21 to 22, 23 to 24, and 26 to 27. Structural equation modeling was employed to test hypothesized models. Only P-C RQ was found to be significantly associated with adolescent effortful control. As expected, higher levels of adolescent effortful control were associated with lower problematic substance use through early adulthood, controlling for previous substance use levels. Mediation analyses showed that effortful control significantly mediated the relationship between P-C RQ and problematic substance use. Higher relationship quality between youth and parents in early adolescence is associated with higher effortful control, which in turn relates to a lower level of problematic substance use in early adulthood.
Invasive parasites can spill over to new hosts in invaded ecosystems with often unpredictable trophic relationships in the newly arising parasite-host interactions. In European seas, the intestinal copepod Mytilicola orientalis was co-introduced with Pacific oysters (Magallana gigas) and spilled over to native blue mussels (Mytilus edulis), with negative impacts on the condition of infected mussels. However, whether the parasite feeds on host tissue and/or stomach contents is yet unknown. To answer this question, we performed a stable isotope analysis in which we included mussel host tissue and the primary food sources of the mussels, microphytobenthos (MPB) and particulate organic matter (POM). The copepods were slightly enriched in δ15N (mean Δ15N ± s.d.; 1·22 ± 0·58‰) and δ13C (Δ13C 0·25 ± 0·32‰) with respect to their host. Stable isotope mixing models using a range of trophic fractionation factors indicated that host tissue was the main food resource with consistent additional contributions of MPB and POM. These results suggest that the trophic relationship of the invasive copepod with its mussel host is parasitic as well as commensalistic. Stable isotope studies such as this one may be a useful tool to unravel trophic relationships in new parasite-host associations in the course of invasions.
Little is known about how behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) manifest in the general hospital. The aim was to examine the frequency of BPSD in general hospitals and their associations with nursing staff distress and complications in care.
Cross-sectional representative study with 1469 patients aged ≥65, including 270 patients with dementia, of 33 randomly selected general hospitals in Germany. BPSD and complications were reported by nurses.
Overall frequency of BPSD was higher in patients with dementia (76%) than without (38%). The most frequent symptoms in patients with dementia were nighttime disturbances (38%), depression (29%) and aberrant motor behaviour (28%) and the most distressing symptoms for nursing staff were delusions, aggression and nighttime disturbances. The overall frequency of BPSD increased from 67% in mild dementia, to 76% in moderate dementia and to 88% in severe dementia. The most frequent symptoms in patients without dementia were depression (19%), nighttime disturbances (13%) and irritability (13%). The most distressing symptoms were aggression and delusions, while the same symptoms were consistently rated as less distressing than in patients with dementia. Factor analysis revealed three independent groups of BPSD that explained 45% of the total variance. First, expansive symptoms (aggression, irritability, nighttime disturbances, aberrant motor behaviour and disinhibition) were frequent, distressing for nursing staff and associated with many complications. Second, psychotic symptoms (delusions and hallucinations) were infrequent, distressing and associated with some complications. Third, affective symptoms (apathy, anxiety and depression) were frequent, non-distressing and associated with few complications. The results did not change when cases with delirium were excluded from both groups.
BPSD are common in older hospital patients with dementia and associated with considerable distress in nursing staff, as well as a wide range of special treatments needs and additional behavioural and medical complications. Management strategies are needed to improve the situation for both patients and hospital staff.
There is accumulating evidence for the role of fronto-striatal and associated circuits in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) but limited and conflicting data on alterations in cortical thickness.
To investigate alterations in cortical thickness and subcortical volume in OCD.
In total, 412 patients with OCD and 368 healthy adults underwent magnetic resonance imaging scans. Between-group analysis of covariance of cortical thickness and subcortical volumes was performed and regression analyses undertaken.
Significantly decreased cortical thickness was found in the OCD group compared with controls in the superior and inferior frontal, precentral, posterior cingulate, middle temporal, inferior parietal and precuneus gyri. There was also a group x age interaction in the parietal cortex, with increased thinning with age in the OCD group relative to controls.
Our findings are partially consistent with earlier work, suggesting that group differences in grey matter volume and cortical thickness could relate to the same underlying pathology of OCD. They partially support a frontostriatal model of OCD, but also suggest that limbic, temporal and parietal regions play a role in the pathophysiology of the disorder. The group x age interaction effects may be the result of altered neuroplasticity.
We present recent observation results of Sgr A* at millimeter obtained with VLBI arrays in Korea and Japan.
7 mm monitoring of Sgr A* is part of our AGN large project. The results at 7 epochs during 2013-2014, including high resolution maps, flux density and two-dimensional size measurements are presented. The source shows no significant variation in flux and structure related to the G2 encounter in 2014. According to recent MHD simulations by kawashima et al., flux and magnetic field energy can be expected to increase several years after the encounter; We will keep our monitoring in order to test this prediction.
Astrometric observations of Sgr A* were performed in 2015 at 7 and 3.5 millimeter simultaneously. Source-frequency phase referencing was applied and a combined ”core-shift” of Sgr A* and a nearby calibrator was measured. Future observations and analysis are necessary to determine the core-shift in each source.
Measurement error in self-reported total sugars intake may obscure associations between sugars consumption and health outcomes, and the sum of 24 h urinary sucrose and fructose may serve as a predictive biomarker of total sugars intake.
The Study of Latinos: Nutrition & Physical Activity Assessment Study (SOLNAS) was an ancillary study to the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) cohort. Doubly labelled water and 24 h urinary sucrose and fructose were used as biomarkers of energy and sugars intake, respectively. Participants’ diets were assessed by up to three 24 h recalls (88 % had two or more recalls). Procedures were repeated approximately 6 months after the initial visit among a subset of ninety-six participants.
Four centres (Bronx, NY; Chicago, IL; Miami, FL; San Diego, CA) across the USA.
Men and women (n 477) aged 18–74 years.
The geometric mean of total sugars was 167·5 (95 % CI 154·4, 181·7) g/d for the biomarker-predicted and 90·6 (95 % CI 87·6, 93·6) g/d for the self-reported total sugars intake. Self-reported total sugars intake was not correlated with biomarker-predicted sugars intake (r=−0·06, P=0·20, n 450). Among the reliability sample (n 90), the reproducibility coefficient was 0·59 for biomarker-predicted and 0·20 for self-reported total sugars intake.
Possible explanations for the lack of association between biomarker-predicted and self-reported sugars intake include measurement error in self-reported diet, high intra-individual variability in sugars intake, and/or urinary sucrose and fructose may not be a suitable proxy for total sugars intake in this study population.
Clinical research studies of behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) often use Alzheimer disease (AD) as a comparison group for control of dementia variables, using tests of cognitive function to match the groups. These two dementia syndromes, however, are very different in clinical manifestations, and the comparable severity of these dementias may not be reflected by commonly used cognitive scales such as the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).
We evaluated different measures of dementia severity and symptoms among 20 people with bvFTD compared to 24 with early-onset AD.
Despite similar ages, disease-duration, education, and cognitive performance on two tests of cognitive function, the MMSE and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), the bvFTD participants, compared to the AD participants, were significantly more impaired on other measures of disease severity, including function (Functional Assessment Questionnaire (FAQ)), neuropsychiatric symptoms (Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI)), and global dementia stage (Clinical Dementia Rating Scales (CDRs)). However, when we adjusted for the frontotemporal lobar degeneration-CDR (FTLD-CDR) in the analyses, the two dementia groups were comparable across all measures despite significant differences on the cognitive scales.
We found tests of cognitive functions (MMSE and MoCA) to be insufficient measures for ensuring comparability between bvFTD and AD groups. In clinical studies, the FTLD-CDR, which includes additional language and behavior items, may be a better overall way to match bvFTD and AD groups on dementia severity.
A global analysis of steady states of low Mach number inviscid premixed reacting swirling flows in a straight circular finite-length open pipe is developed. We focus on modelling the basic interaction between the swirl and heat release of the reaction. For analytic simplicity, a one-step first-order Arrhenious reaction kinetics is considered in the limit of high activation energy and infinite Peclet number. Assuming a complete reaction with chemical equilibrium upstream and downstream of the reaction zone, a nonlinear partial differential equation is derived for the solution of the flow stream function downstream of the reaction zone in terms of the specific total enthalpy, specific entropy and circulation functions prescribed at the inlet. Several types of solutions of the nonlinear ordinary differential equation for the columnar flow case describe the outlet states of the flow in a long pipe. These solutions are used to form the bifurcation diagram of steady reacting flows with swirl as the inlet swirl level is increased at a fixed heat release from the reaction. The approach is applied to two profiles of inlet flows, the solid-body rotation and the Lamb–Oseen vortex, both with constant profiles of the axial velocity, temperature and mixture reactant mass fraction. The computed results provide theoretical predictions of the critical inlet swirl levels for the appearance of vortex breakdown states and for the size of the breakdown zone as a function of the inlet flow swirl level, Mach number and heat release of the reaction. For the inlet solid-body rotation, flow is decelerated to breakdown as the inlet swirl is increased above the critical swirl level, and there is a delay in the appearance of breakdown with the increase of the heat release of the reaction. For the inlet Lamb–Oseen vortex at low values of heat release, the critical swirl for breakdown is decreased with the increase of heat release while, at high values of heat release, the appearance of breakdown is delayed to higher incoming flow swirl levels with the increase of heat release. The analysis sheds light on the global dynamics of low Mach number reacting flows with swirl and vortex breakdown and on the interaction between vortex breakdown and heat release that affects the shape of the reaction zone in the domain.
Camera-based systems in dairy cattle were intensively studied over the last years. Different from this study, single camera systems with a limited range of applications were presented, mostly using 2D cameras. This study presents current steps in the development of a camera system comprising multiple 3D cameras (six Microsoft Kinect cameras) for monitoring purposes in dairy cows. An early prototype was constructed, and alpha versions of software for recording, synchronizing, sorting and segmenting images and transforming the 3D data in a joint coordinate system have already been implemented. This study introduced the application of two-dimensional wavelet transforms as method for object recognition and surface analyses. The method was explained in detail, and four differently shaped wavelets were tested with respect to their reconstruction error concerning Kinect recorded depth maps from different camera positions. The images’ high frequency parts reconstructed from wavelet decompositions using the haar and the biorthogonal 1.5 wavelet were statistically analyzed with regard to the effects of image fore- or background and of cows’ or persons’ surface. Furthermore, binary classifiers based on the local high frequencies have been implemented to decide whether a pixel belongs to the image foreground and if it was located on a cow or a person. Classifiers distinguishing between image regions showed high (⩾0.8) values of Area Under reciever operation characteristic Curve (AUC). The classifications due to species showed maximal AUC values of 0.69.