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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.
Poor animal performance associated with low digestibility silages results partly from the reduced nutrient yield per unit intake, but also from the associated lower intakes which were presumed to be a consequence of rumen fill effects. Legume silages have a lower average digestibility than grass silages, and yet often have higher intake characteristics. The objective of this work was to compare rumen fill and rumen particle size distribution for animals fed grass silage or legume silage-based diets.
The efficiency of grass nitrogen utilisation for milk production tends to be low, due partly to the slow rate of release of energy in the rumen which reduces the efficiency of capture of rapidly degradable plant proteins by the rumen microbial population. When additional sugars are infused into the rumen, microbial protein production is increased (Rooke et al., 1987). The objective of this study was to assess milk production using a grass variety that has been bred to express elevated water soluble carbohydrate (WSC) concentrations.
Eight multiparous Holstein-Friesian dairy cows in mid lactation (176 days ± s.e. 3.6) were used in a continuous design, zero-grazing experiment. Following covariate measurements taken from all animals on a standard grazing diet, four animals were each offered one of two varieties of perennial ryegrass at ad libitum rate: AberDove, bred to express high WSC concentrations; and AberElan, a commercially available variety, used as a control.
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.
Advanced paternal age at childbirth is associated with psychiatric disorders in offspring, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism. However, few studies have investigated paternal age's relationship with eating disorders in offspring. In a large, population-based cohort, we examined the association between paternal age and offspring eating disorders, and whether that association remains after adjustment for potential confounders (e.g. parental education level) that may be related to late/early selection into fatherhood and to eating disorder incidence.
Data for 2 276 809 individuals born in Sweden 1979–2001 were extracted from Swedish population and healthcare registers. The authors used Cox proportional hazards models to examine the effect of paternal age on the first incidence of healthcare-recorded anorexia nervosa (AN) and all eating disorders (AED) occurring 1987–2009. Models were adjusted for sex, birth order, maternal age at childbirth, and maternal and paternal covariates including country of birth, highest education level, and lifetime psychiatric and criminal history.
Even after adjustment for covariates including maternal age, advanced paternal age was associated with increased risk, and younger paternal age with decreased risk, of AN and AED. For example, the fully adjusted hazard ratio for the 45+ years (v. the 25–29 years) paternal age category was 1.32 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.14–1.53] for AN and 1.26 (95% CI 1.13–1.40) for AED.
In this large, population-based cohort, paternal age at childbirth was positively associated with eating disorders in offspring, even after adjustment for potential confounders. Future research should further explore potential explanations for the association, including de novo mutations in the paternal germline.
The dating equipment at the National Physical Laboratory was completed by the summer of 1960. A series of calibration and intercomparison measurements was undertaken however, using the NBS oxalic acid reference standard, a modern wood standard (1850 oak tree) and other material before starting routine measurements toward the end of 1961. All results have been obtained using a 4.5 L copper proportional counter filled with CO2 at a constant density corresponding to standard conditions of 22°C and an absolute pressure of 150 cm Hg. The counter is shielded by 8 in. of steel, 6 in. of paraffin wax containing boric oxide, 23 Geiger counters arranged as two independent groups and finally by 1 in. of mercury.
The following list comprises measurements made since those reported in NPL I and is complete to the end of November 1963.
Ages are relative to a.d. 1950 and are calculated using a half-life of 5568 yr. The measurements have been corrected for fractionation and referred to 0.950 times the activity of the NBS oxalic acid as a contemporary reference standard. The quoted uncertainty is one standard deviation derived from a proper combination of the parameter variances, viz. those of the standard and background measurements over a rolling twenty-week period, of the sample measurements from at least three independent fillings, of the δC13 measurements and of the de Vries effect (assumed to add an additional uncertainty equivalent to a standard deviation of 80 yr). Any uncertainty in the half-life has been excluded so that relative C14 ages may be correctly compared. Absolute age assessments, however, should be made using the accepted best value for the half-life and the appropriate uncertainty included. If the net sample activity is less than 4 times the standard error of the difference between the sample and background activities, a lower limit to the age is reported equivalent to a sample activity of 4 times the standard error of this difference.
The description of each sample is based on information provided by the person submitting the sample to the Laboratory.
The work reported forms part of the research programme of the Laboratory and is published by permission of the Director.
We present VLA HI imaging of the blue compact dwarf (BCD) galaxy Haro 2 and a map of its CO(1-0) distribution obtained with the OVRO millimeter array. In addition we obtained NIR JH images with the 2.1m telescope of Mexico's National Optical Observatory (OAN) and derived surface brightness profiles. Combining all these results we find an intriguing picture: the HI reveals that the kinematical major axis lies perpendicular to the photometric major axis. Our observations support the suggestion that this configuration is due to recent capture of an important quantity of gas of external origin.
Nitrate and nitrite are probable human carcinogens when ingested under conditions that increase the formation of N-nitroso compounds. There have been limited efforts to develop US databases of dietary nitrate and nitrite for standard FFQ. Here we describe the development of a dietary nitrate and nitrite database and its calibration.
We analysed data from a calibration study of 1942 members of the NIH–AARP (NIH–AARP, National Institutes of Health–AARP) Diet and Health Study who reported all foods and beverages consumed on the preceding day in two non-consecutive 24 h dietary recalls (24HR) and completed an FFQ. Based on a literature review, we developed a database of nitrate and nitrite contents for foods reported on these 24HR and for food category line items on the FFQ. We calculated daily nitrate and nitrite intakes for both instruments, and used a measurement error model to compute correlation coefficients and attenuation factors for the FFQ-based intake estimates using 24HR-based values as reference data.
FFQ-based median nitrate intake was 68·9 and 74·1 mg/d, and nitrite intake was 1·3 and 1·0 mg/d, in men and women, respectively. These values were similar to 24HR-based intake estimates. Energy-adjusted correlation coefficients between FFQ- and 24HR-based values for men and women respectively were 0·59 and 0·57 for nitrate and 0·59 and 0·58 for nitrite; energy-adjusted attenuation factors were 0·59 and 0·57 for nitrate and 0·47 and 0·38 for nitrite.
The performance of the FFQ in assessing dietary nitrate and nitrite intakes is comparable to that for many other macro- and micronutrients.
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.
In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.
Graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) functionalised with platinum were explored as the active material in a high specific surface area ink. The ink had a transmission at 550nm (T550) = 85% and a charge transfer resistance (Rct) of 6Ω/cm2. Although the Rct is higher than required for laboratory cells having a Jsc of 20mA/cm2 under 1 sun test conditions it is sufficient for industrially produced reverse devices, especially when utilised for indoor applications where light conditions will be lower than 100W/m2. This was demonstrated by reverse illuminated DSC efficiencies with flexible cathodes which were equivalent to cells with sputtered platinum catalysts when subjected to 300W/m2 lighting or less. A modification to the ink, suitable for catalysing a Co2+/3+ electrolyte having an Rct of 2Ω/cm2 and T550= 85% was undertaken. This demonstrates potential for use in high efficiency cobalt mediated DSCs. The work shows that printed graphene catalysts are a versatile low cost replacement to sputtered platinum in reverse illuminated DSCs for dye sensitised solar cells.
Mutations in the progranulin gene (GRN) are a common cause of familial frontotemporal dementia. We used a comprehensive neuropsychological battery to investigate whether early cognitive changes could be detected in GRN mutation carriers before dementia onset. Twenty-four at-risk members from six families with known GRN mutations underwent detailed neuropsychological testing. Group differences were investigated by domains of attention, language, visuospatial function, verbal memory, non-verbal memory, working memory and executive function. There was a trend for mutation carriers (n=8) to perform more poorly than non-carriers (n=16) across neuropsychological domains, with significant between group differences for visuospatial function (p<.04; d=0.92) and working memory function (p<.02; d=1.10). Measurable cognitive differences exist before the development of frontotemporal dementia in subjects with GRN mutations. The neuropsychological profile of mutation carriers suggests early asymmetric, right hemisphere brain dysfunction that is consistent with recent functional imaging data from our research group and the broader literature. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–10)
We investigate first ionization potential (FIP) bias levels in an anemone active region (AR) - coronal hole (CH) complex using an abundance map derived from Hinode/EIS spectra. The detailed, spatially resolved abundance map has a large field of view covering 359″ × 485″. Plasma with high FIP bias, or coronal abundances, is concentrated at the footpoints of the AR loops whereas the surrounding CH has a low FIP bias, ~1, i.e. photospheric abundances. A channel of low FIP bias is located along the AR's main polarity inversion line containing a filament where ongoing flux cancellation is observed, indicating a bald patch magnetic topology characteristic of a sigmoid/flux rope configuration.