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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.
Tail damage within the production of finisher pigs is an animal welfare problem. Recent research suggests that removal of known risk factors may not be enough to eliminate tail biting, especially in undocked pigs, thus a different strategy is worth investigating. This could be early detection of tail biting, using behavioural changes observed before tail damage. If these early stages of tail biting can be detected before tail damage occurs, then tail damage could be prevented by early interventions. The first step in developing such a strategy is to identify the types of behaviour changes that emerge during early stages of tail biting. Thus, the aim of the current study was to investigate whether pen level activity and object manipulation evolved differently during the last 7 days before the scoring of tail damage (day 0) for pens scored with tail damage (tail damage pens) and pens not scored with tail damage (matched control pens). The study included video recordings for twenty-four tail damage pens and thirty-two matched control pens. Activity level and object manipulation were observed the last 7 days before day 0 during the morning (0600 to 0800 h), afternoon (1600 to 1800 h) and evening (2200 to 2400 h, only activity level). Both activity level and object manipulation were analysed using generalised linear mixed effects models with a binomial distribution for activity level and a negative binomial distribution for object manipulation. The probability of being active was higher in tail damage pens compared to control pens during the afternoon the last 5 days before day 0 (P<0.001). This was seen due to a decrease in activity level in the control pens, which makes it difficult to identify future tail damage pens from this difference. Object manipulation was lower in tail damage pens compared to the control pens on all 7 days before day 0, but only in pens with undocked pigs (P<0.01). Thus, it is still unknown when this difference in object manipulation initiated. It was concluded that both activity level and object manipulation seemed related to ongoing tail biting and should be investigated through more detailed observations and for a longer time to establish the normal behaviour pattern for a particular pen. Thus, it is suggested that future research focusses on developing automatic monitoring methods for pen level activity and object manipulation and applies algorithms that establish and detect deviations from the normal behaviour pattern of the pen before tail damage.
Piglet mortality in outdoor production systems varies across the year, and a reason for this variation could be fluctuations in hut climate, as ambient temperature might influence piglet survival, both directly and indirectly. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of farrowing hut climate and year variation on stillbirth and liveborn mortality. A large-scale observational study was conducted at five commercial organic pig-producing herds in Denmark from June 2015 to August 2016. Both year variation (F3,635=4.40, P=0.004) and farrowing hut temperature (F2,511=6.46, P=0.002) affected the rate of stillbirths. The risk of stillborn piglets was lowest in winter and during this season larger changes in hut temperature between day 1 prepartum and the day of farrowing increased the risk of stillbirths (F1,99=6.39, P=0.013). In addition, during the warm part of the year stillbirth rate increased at temperatures ⩾27°C. Year variation also affected liveborn mortality (F3,561=3.86, P=0.009) with a lower rate of liveborn deaths in spring. However, the hut climate did not influence liveborn deaths. Consequently, other factors than hut climate may explain the influence of year variation on liveborn mortality. These could be light differences causing seasonality in reproduction and lactation.
One challenge of intensive pig production is tail damage caused by tail biting, and farmers often decrease the prevalence of tail damage through tail docking. However, tail docking is not an optimal preventive measure against tail damage and thus, it would be preferable to replace it. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relative effect of three possible preventive measures against tail damage. The study included 112 pens with 1624 finisher pigs divided between four batches. Pens were randomly assigned to one level of each of three treatments: (1) tail-docked (n=60 pens) v. undocked (n=52 pens), (2) 150 g of straw provided per pig per day on the solid floor (n=56 pens) v. no straw provided (n=56 pens), (3) stocking density of 1.21 m2/pig (11 pig/pen; n=56 pens) v. 0.73 m2/pig (18 pigs/pen; n=56 pens). Tail damage was recorded three times per week throughout the finisher period by scoring the tail of each individual pig. A pen was recorded as a tail damage pen and no longer included in the study if at least one pig in a pen had a bleeding tail wound; thus, only the first incidence of tail damage on pen level was recorded. Data were analysed by a Cox regression for survival analysis assuming proportional hazards. Results are presented as hazards, and a higher hazard means that a pen has a higher risk of tail damage and of it happening earlier in the finisher period. Pens with undocked pigs had a 4.32-fold higher hazard of tail damage compared with pens with docked pigs (P<0.001). Pens with no straw provided had a 2.22-fold higher hazard of tail damage compared with pens with straw provided (P<0.01). No interactions was seen between the treatments, but the effect of tail docking was higher than the effect of straw provision (P<0.001). Stocking density did not have a significant effect on the hazard of tail damage (hazard rate ratios (HRR)=1.67; P=0.064). However, a combination of straw provision and lowered stocking density showed a similar hazard of tail damage as seen with only tail docking (HRR=1.58; P=0.39). In conclusion, tail docking and straw provision were preventive measures against tail damage, and tail docking reduced the risk more than straw provision. A combination of other preventive measures is necessary to reduce the risk of tail damage in undocked pigs to the same level as in docked pigs.
Background: Cerebral palsy (CP) is a debilitating disorder (1). Based on neuromotor impairments it is divided to spastic, dyskinetic and ataxic types (2). Inborn Errors of Metabolism (IEMs), monogenic and chromosomal disorders mimic CP (3). We aimed to identify causal genetic variants in patients with atypical dyskinetic CP in whom known IEMs were ruled out. Timely diagnosis is essential for proper management, especially in conditions that mimic CP and are treatable. Methods: We enrolled 23 patients with unexplained atypical dyskinetic CP, for whole exome sequencing. Variants were filtered against public and in-house databases to identify variants predicted as damaging (in silico tools and ACMG criteria). We applied a virtual gene panel of known and suspected CP and movement disorder genes and investigated each sample. Results: The participants presented with symptoms including: spasticity, dystonia, choera-athetosis, ataxia and cognitive delays. We identified 23 diagnoses: 13 dominant,6 recessive and 4 X-linked. 12 patients had movement disorders. In 4, the diagnoses enabled targeted treatment (neurotransmitter supplements in Unverricht Lundborg diseases (CSTB) and PAK3 deficiency, deep brain stimulation in GNAO1 deficiency, medical diet in Glutaric Aciduria (GCDH). Conclusions: Whole Exome Sequencing contributes to establishing diagnosis in patients with atypical dyskinetic CP resulting in precision medicine and improved health outcomes.
We present a combined numerical (particle vortex method) and experimental (soap film tunnel) study of a symmetric foil undergoing prescribed oscillations in a two-dimensional free stream. We explore pure pitching and pure heaving, and contrast these two generic types of kinematics. We compare measurements and simulations when the foil is forced with pitching oscillations, and we find a close correspondence between flow visualisations using thickness variations in the soap film and the numerically determined vortex structures. Numerically, we determine wake maps spanned by oscillation frequency and amplitude, and we find qualitatively similar maps for pitching and heaving. We determine the drag–thrust transition for both pitching and heaving numerically, and we discuss it in relation to changes in wake structure. For heaving with low oscillation frequency and high amplitude, we find that the drag–thrust transition occurs in a parameter region with wakes in which two vortex pairs are formed per oscillation period, in contrast to the common transition scenario in regions with inverted von Kármán wakes.
The healthy Nordic diet has been previously shown to have health beneficial effects among subjects at risk of CVD. However, the extent of food changes needed to achieve these effects is less explored. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of exchanging a few commercially available, regularly consumed key food items (e.g. spread on bread, fat for cooking, cheese, bread and cereals) with improved fat quality on total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and inflammatory markers in a double-blind randomised, controlled trial. In total, 115 moderately hypercholesterolaemic, non-statin-treated adults (25–70 years) were randomly assigned to an experimental diet group (Ex-diet group) or control diet group (C-diet group) for 8 weeks with commercially available food items with different fatty acid composition (replacing SFA with mostly n-6 PUFA). In the Ex-diet group, serum total cholesterol (P<0·001) and LDL-cholesterol (P<0·001) were reduced after 8 weeks, compared with the C-diet group. The difference in change between the two groups at the end of the study was −9 and −11 % in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, respectively. No difference in change in plasma levels of inflammatory markers (high-sensitive C-reactive protein, IL-6, soluble TNF receptor 1 and interferon-γ) was observed between the groups. In conclusion, exchanging a few regularly consumed food items with improved fat quality reduces total cholesterol, with no negative effect on levels of inflammatory markers. This shows that an exchange of a few commercially available food items was easy and manageable and led to clinically relevant cholesterol reduction, potentially affecting future CVD risk.
Glacier surface mass-balance measurements on Greenland started more than a century ago, but no compilation exists of the observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. Such data could be used in the evaluation of modelled surface mass balance, or to document changes in glacier melt independently from model output. Here, we present a comprehensive database of Greenland glacier surface mass-balance observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. The database spans the 123 a from 1892 to 2015, contains a total of ~3000 measurements from 46 sites, and is openly accessible through the PROMICE web portal (http://www.promice.dk). For each measurement we provide X, Y and Z coordinates, starting and ending dates as well as quality flags. We give sources for each entry and for all metadata. Two thirds of the data were collected from grey literature and unpublished archive documents. Roughly 60% of the measurements were performed by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS, previously GGU). The data cover all regions of Greenland except for the southernmost part of the east coast, but also emphasize the importance of long-term time series of which there are only two exceeding 20 a. We use the data to analyse uncertainties in point measurements of surface mass balance, as well as to estimate surface mass-balance profiles for most regions of Greenland.
Bones that have undergone burning at high temperatures (i.e. cremation) no longer contain organic carbon. Lanting et al. (2001) proposed that some of the original structural carbonate, formed during bioapatite formation, survives. This view is based on paired radiocarbon dating of cremated bone apatite and contemporary charcoal. However, stable carbon isotope composition of carbonate in cremated bones is consistently light compared to the untreated material and is closer to the δ13C values seen in C3 plant material. This raises the question of the origin of carbonate carbon in cremated bone apatite. That is, does the isotope signal reflect an exchange of carbon with the local cremation atmosphere and thus with carbon from the burning fuel, or is it caused by isotopic fractionation during cremation?
To study the changes in carbon isotopes (14C, 13C) of bone apatite during burning up to 800 °, a modern bovine bone was exposed to a continuous flow of an artificial atmosphere (basically a high-purity O2/N2 gas mix) under defined conditions (temperature, gas composition). To simulate the influence of the fuel carbon available under real cremation conditions, fossil CO2 was added at different concentrations. To yield cremated bone apatite properties similar to archaeological cremated bones, in terms of crystallographic criteria, water vapor had to be added to the atmosphere in the oven. Infrared vibrational spectra reveal large increases in crystal size and loss of carbonate upon cremation. The isotope results indicate an effective carbon exchange between bone apatite carbonate and CO2 in the combustion gases depending on temperature and CO2 concentration. 14C dates on archaeological cremated bone apatite may thus suffer from an old-wood effect. Paired 13C and 14C values indicate that in addition to this exchange, isotope fractionation between CO2 and carbonate, and admixture of carbon from other sources such as possibly collagen or atmospheric CO2, may play a role in determining the final composition of the apatite carbonate.
Several new AMS 14C dates on shells from the Fossvogur sea sediments in southern Iceland are reported. Up till now, researchers have assumed that the Fossvogur sediments formed during the last interglacial period (Eem), some 100,000 years ago. However, a recent 14C determination from this location yielded an age of ca 11,000 yr. Because of the importance of these sediments for the Quaternary chronology of Iceland, further sampling for 14C dating was subsequently initiated. The present results on several shell samples collected from the Fossvogur layers strongly indicate that these sediments were formed during the warm Allerød period toward the end of the last glaciation.
First results from the 4-6 months observations of the VIRGO experiment (Variability of solar IRradiance and Gravity Oscillations) on the ESA/NASA Mission SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) are reported. The time series are evaluated in terms of solar irradiance variability, solar background noise characteristics and p-mode oscillations. The solar irradiance is modulated by the passage of active regions across the disk, but not all of the modulation is straightforwardly explained in terms of sunspot flux blocking and facular enhancement. The observed p-mode frequencies are more-or-less in agreement with earlier measurements, but it is interesting to note that systematic differences seem to exist between the observations in different colours. There is also evidence that magnetic activity plays a significant role in the dynamics of the oscillations beyond its modulation of the resonant frequencies. Moreover, by comparing the amplitudes of different components of p-mode multiplets, each of which are influenced differently by spatial inhomogeneity, we have found that activity enhances excitation.
Research on close binary systems has continued at a high level during the past triennium, although the rate of growth is noticeably slower – probably reflecting the cutbacks in funds to which many of us are subject. There have also been changes of emphasis within the field, which are commented on in the pages that follow. These reflect both changing opportunities for observation and the natural development of the subject. In many areas, the time is ripe for a more critical look at ideas that previously seemed adequate.
A preliminary analysis of a sample of more than hundred stars, used as radial-velocity standards and followed with the CORAVEL spectrographs over 1 to 2 decades, is presented. Stars with intrinsic variability or orbital motions are pointed out.
We have obtained new optical spectra of the radio galaxy 3C 129 and the giant galaxy close to it. From these spectra we deduce a relative radial velocity of 710 km s−1 between the two galaxies. Using the orbit calculations of Byrd & Valtonen (1978) and the new observations we obtain a new value, 3.3 × 1014M⊙, for the mass of the system.
Radii and luminosities for Cepheid variables provide fundamental information on stellar evolution. Such data, obtained by the Baade-Wesselink method, are available and have been used for a number of galactic Cepheids. It is of particular interest to obtain corresponding data for Cepheids in the Magellanic Clouds. Firstly, this allows a comparative study of stellar evolution between the Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds. Secondly, it provides data for an independent determination of the distance to the Magellanic Clouds.
Radial-velocity observations have been made for a total of around 20 Cepheid variables in both the LMC and the SMC. All measurements were made with the photoelectric scanner CORAVEL attached to the Cassegrain focus of the Danish 1.54-m telescope at European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile. Observations were made from January 1981 through October 1983. The accuracy of individual radial-velocity observations is of the order of 1 km s−1. The B magnitudes of the six Cepheids presented range from 13.0 to 15.5.
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.
Cognitive dysfunction is common in major depressive disorder (MDD) and a critical determinant of health outcome. Anhedonia is a criterion item toward the diagnosis of a major depressive episode (MDE) and a well-characterized domain in MDD. We sought to determine the extent to which variability in self-reported cognitive function correlates with anhedonia.
A post hoc analysis was conducted using data from (N=369) participants with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)-defined diagnosis of MDD who were enrolled in the International Mood Disorders Collaborative Project (IMDCP) between January 2008 and July 2013. The IMDCP is a collaborative research platform at the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, and the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Measures of cognitive function, anhedonia, and depression severity were analyzed using linear regression equations.
A total of 369 adults with DSM-IV-TR–defined MDD were included in this analysis. Self-rated cognitive impairment [ie, as measured by the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS)] was significantly correlated with a proxy measure of anhedonia (r=0.131, p=0.012). Moreover, total depression symptom severity, as measured by the total Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score, was also significantly correlated with self-rated measures of cognitive dysfunction (r=0.147, p=0.005). The association between anhedonia and self-rated cognitive dysfunction remained significant after adjusting for illness severity (r=0.162, p=0.007).
These preliminary results provide empirical data for the testable hypothesis that anhedonia and self-reported cognitive function in MDD are correlated yet dissociable domains. The foregoing observation supports the hypothesis of overlapping yet discrete neurobiological substrates for these domains.