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Experimental work in animals has shown that DNA methylation (DNAm), an epigenetic mechanism regulating gene expression, is influenced by typical variation in maternal care. While emerging research in humans supports a similar association, studies to date have been limited to candidate gene and cross-sectional approaches, with a focus on extreme deviations in the caregiving environment.
Here, we explored the prospective association between typical variation in maternal sensitivity and offspring epigenome-wide DNAm, in a population-based cohort of children (N = 235). Maternal sensitivity was observed when children were 3- and 4-years-old. DNAm, quantified with the Infinium 450 K array, was extracted at age 6 (whole blood). The influence of methylation quantitative trait loci (mQTLs), DNAm at birth (cord blood), and confounders (socioeconomic status, maternal psychopathology) was considered in follow-up analyses.
Genome-wide significant associations between maternal sensitivity and offspring DNAm were observed at 13 regions (p < 1.06 × 10−07), but not at single sites. Follow-up analyses indicated that associations at these regions were in part related to genetic factors, confounders, and baseline DNAm levels at birth, as evidenced by the presence of mQTLs at five regions and estimate attenuations. Robust associations with maternal sensitivity were found at four regions, annotated to ZBTB22, TAPBP, ZBTB12, and DOCK4.
These findings provide novel leads into the relationship between typical variation in maternal caregiving and offspring DNAm in humans, highlighting robust regions of associations, previously implicated in psychological and developmental problems, immune functioning, and stress responses.
Material changes in yttrium-doped barium zirconate, BaZr0.8Y0.2O3–x, were studied using in situ Raman spectroscopy and ex situ x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis. During in situ Raman analysis, samples were heated to temperatures of 300–600 °C and exposed to both dry and humidified H2 atmospheres. At the lower temperatures (300–450 °C), a new vibrational peak appears in the Raman spectra during exposure to humidified H2. The appearance of this feature is reversible, dependent on previous sample history, and possibly results from new, secondary phase formation or lattice distortion.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
The role of H2 in forming interstellar complex organics is still not clear due to the high activation energies required for “non-energetic” association reactions. In this work, we investigated the potential contribution of H2 to the hydrogenated species (HnNCO) formation on dust grains when the “energetic” processing is involved. The goal is to test whether an additional hydrogenation pathway is possible upon UV irradiation of a CO:H2 ice mixture. It is proposed that the electronically excited carbon monoxide (CO*) induced by UV-photons can react with a ground-state H2 to form HCO, ultimately enhancing the production of COMs in ice mantle.
Congenital and acquired heart diseases are highly prevalent in developing countries despite limited specialised care. Namibia established a paediatric cardiac service in 2009 with significant human resource and infrastructural constraints. Therefore, patients are referred for cardiac interventions to South Africa.
To describe the diagnoses, clinical characteristics, interventions, post-operative morbidity and mortality, and follow-up of patients referred for care.
Demographics, diagnoses, interventions, intra- and post-operative morbidity and mortality, as well as longitudinal follow-up data of all patients referred to South Africa, were recorded and analysed.
The total cohort constituted 193 patients of which 179 (93%) had CHD and 7% acquired heart disease. The majority of patients (78.8%) travelled more than 400 km to Windhoek before transfer. There were 28 percutaneous interventions. Palliative and definitive surgery was performed in 27 and 129 patients, respectively. Out of 156 patients, 80 (51.3%) had post-operative complications, of which 15 (9.6%) were a direct complication of surgery. Surgical mortality was 8/156 (5.1%, 95% confidence interval 2.2–9.8), with a 30-day mortality of 3.2%. Prolonged ICU stay was associated with a 5% increased risk of death with hazard ratio 1.05, 95% confidence interval 1.02–1.08, p=0.001. Follow-up was complete in 151 (78%) patients for more than 7 years.
Despite the challenges associated with a cardiac programme for referring patients seeking intervention in a neighbouring country and the adverse characteristics of multiple lesions and complexity associated with late presentation, we report good surgical and interventional outcomes. Our goal remains to develop a comprehensive sustainable cardiac service in Namibia.
In this paper we report high voltage MOS and Schottky Diode CV techniques for silicon and SiC power devices. 4H Silicon carbide is a wide bandgap semiconductor suitable for high voltage power electronics and RF applications due to high avalanche breakdown critical electric field, and thermal conductivity. The performance of various power devices, which may include MOSFET and Static Induction Transistor (SIT), can be affected by the deep level traps in the substrate and the oxide interfacial defects. We have characterized deep level trap (High Voltage Schottky Diode HF CV) and oxide interface trap densities (High Voltage HF MOS CV), measured the device channel doping profile for both 4H SiC and silicon, gate metal workfunction, and simulated the effects on DC/AC performance.
Miner et al. (2018) do an excellent job of bringing the issue of gender disparity within STEM to the forefront of I-O psychology. However, we believe the focus on STEM is woefully inadequate and urge I-O psychologists to think bigger, better, and broader. There are clear problems with the way women are viewed and treated within the workforce, within the United States, and globally. In narrowing the discussion of the problem to target only STEM, we dramatically limit our understanding of and potential impact on the multifaceted and complex gender disparity problem in the world of work. Furthermore, we assert there are additional legitimizing myths that must be addressed in order to yield a more complete picture of the dilemma and allow us to move forward to make an impact.
There is considerable uncertainty as to the effectiveness of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) screening in men who have sex with men. It is important to ensure that screening has benefits that outweigh the risks of increased antibiotics resistance. We develop a mathematical model to estimate the effectiveness of screening on prevalence. Separable Temporal Exponential family Random Graph Models are used to model the sexual relationships network, both with main and casual partners. Next, the transmission of Gonorrhoea is simulated on this network. The models are implemented using the R package ‘statnet’, which we adapted among other things to incorporate infection status at the pharynx, urethra and rectum separately and to distinguish between anal sex, oral sex and rimming. The different screening programmes compared are no screening, 3.5% of the population screened, 32% screened and 50% screened. The model simulates day-by-day evolution for 10 years of a population of 10 000. If half of the population would be screened, the prevalence in the pharynx decreases from 11.9% to 10.2%. We conclude that the limited impact of screening on NG prevalence may not outweigh the increased risk of antibiotic resistance.
Previous studies have examined associations of cardiometabolic factors with depression and cognition separately.
To determine if depressive symptoms mediate the association between cardiometabolic factors and cognitive decline in two community studies.
Data for the analyses were drawn from the Rotterdam Study, the Netherlands (n = 2940) and the Whitehall II study, UK (n = 4469).
Mediation analyses suggested a direct association between cardiometabolic factors and cognitive decline and an indirect association through depression: poorer cardiometabolic status at time 1 was associated with a higher level of depressive symptoms at time 2 (standardised regression coefficient 0.07 and 0.06, respectively), which, in turn, was associated with greater cognitive decline between time 2 and time 3 (standardised regression coefficient of −0.15 and −0.41, respectively).
Evidence from two independent cohort studies suggest an association between cardiometabolic dysregulation and cognitive decline and that depressive symptoms tend to precede this decline.
There is growing interest in linking vitamin D deficiency with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The association between vitamin D deficiency during gestation, a critical period in neurodevelopment, and ASD is not well understood.
To determine the association between gestational vitamin D status and ASD.
Based on a birth cohort (n=4334), we examined the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), assessed from both maternal mid-gestation sera and neonatal sera, and ASD (defined by clinical records; n=68 cases).
Individuals in the 25OHD-deficient group at mid-gestation had more than twofold increased risk of ASD (odds ratio (OR)=2.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09 to 5.07, P=0.03) compared with the sufficient group. The findings persisted in analyses including children of European ethnicity only.
Mid-gestational vitamin D deficiency was associated with an increased risk of ASD. Because gestational vitamin D deficiency is readily preventable with safe, inexpensive and readily available supplementation, this risk factor warrants closer scrutiny.
Cultural background is an important variable influencing neuropsychological performance. Multinational projects usually involve gathering data from participants from different countries and/or different cultures. Little is known about the influence of culture on neuropsychological testing results in children and especially in European children. The objectives of this study were to compare neuropsychological performance of children from six European countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland and Spain) using a comprehensive neuropsychological battery and to apply a statistical procedure to reduce the influence of country/cultural differences in neuropsychological performance. As expected, the results demonstrated differences in neuropsychological performance among children of the six countries involved. Cultural differences remained after adjusting for other confounders related to neuropsychological execution, such as sex, type of delivery, maternal age, gestational age and maternal educational level. Differences between countries disappeared and influence of culture was considerably reduced when standardised scores by country and sex were used. These results highlight the need for developing specific procedures to compare neuropsychological performance among children from different cultures to be used in multicentre studies.
The parent–child attachment relationship plays an important role in the development of the infant's stress regulation system. However, genetic and epigenetic factors such as FK506 binding protein 51 (FKBP5) genotype and DNA methylation have also been associated with hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis functioning. In the current study, we examined how parent–child dyadic regulation works in concert with genetic and epigenetic aspects of stress regulation. We study the associations of attachment, extreme maternal insensitivity, FKBP5 single nucleotide polymorphism 1360780, and FKBP5 methylation, with cortisol reactivity to the Strange Situation Procedure in 298 14-month-old infants. The results indicate that FKBP5 methylation moderates the associations of FKBP5 genotype and resistant attachment with cortisol reactivity. We conclude that the inclusion of epigenetics in the field of developmental psychopathology may lead to a more precise picture of the interplay between genetic makeup and parenting in shaping stress reactivity.
This study examined whether the association between age and amygdala–medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) connectivity in typically developing 6- to 10-year-old children is correlated with parental care. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans were acquired from 124 children of the Generation R Study who at 4 years old had been observed interacting with their parents to assess maternal and paternal sensitivity. Amygdala functional connectivity was assessed using a general linear model with the amygdalae time series as explanatory variables. Higher level analyses assessing Sensitivity × Age as well as exploratory Sensitivity × Age × Gender interaction effects were performed restricted to voxels in the mPFC. We found significant Sensitivity × Age interaction effects on amygdala–mPFC connectivity. Age was related to stronger amygdala–mPFC connectivity in children with a lower combined parental sensitivity score (b = 0.11, p = .004, b = 0.06, p = .06, right and left amygdala, respectively), but not in children with a higher parental sensitivity score, (b = –0.07, p = .12, b = –0.06, p = .12, right and left amygdala, respectively). A similar effect was found for maternal sensitivity, with stronger amygdala–mPFC connectivity in children with less sensitive mothers. Exploratory (parental, maternal, paternal) Sensitivity × Age × Gender interaction analyses suggested that this effect was especially pronounced in girls. Amygdala-mPFC resting-state functional connectivity has been shown to increase from age 10.5 years onward, implying that the positive association between age and amygdala–mPFC connectivity in 6- to 10-year-old children of less sensitive parents represents accelerated development of the amygdala–mPFC circuit.
Because abnormal vital signs indicate the potential for clinical deterioration, it is logical to make emergency physicians immediately aware of those patients who present with abnormal vital signs.
To determine if a clinical triggers program in the emergency department (ED) setting that utilized predetermined abnormal vital signs to activate a rapid assessment by an emergency physician-led multidisciplinary team had a measurable effect on inpatient hospital metrics.
The study design was a retrospective pre and post intervention study. The intervention was the implementation of an ED clinical “triggers” program. Abnormal vital sign criteria that warranted a trigger response included: heart rate <40 beats/minute or>130 beats/minutes, respiratory rate <8 breaths/minute or>30 breaths/minute, systolic blood pressure <90 mm Hg, or oxygen saturation <90% on room air. The primary outcome investigated was the median days admitted with secondary outcomes of median days in special care unit, in-hospital 30-day mortality and proportion of patients who required an upgrade in inpatient care level.
There was no difference in median days admitted for inpatient care (3.8 v. 4.0 days, p=0.21) or median days spent in a special care unit (5.0 v. 5.6 days, p=0.42) between the groups. There was no difference in the percentage of in-hospital patient deaths (6.0% v. 5.6%, p=0.66) or frequency of upgrade in level of care within 24 hours (4.9% v. 4.0%, p=0.52).
In our study, the implementation of an ED clinical triggers program did not result in a significant change in measured inpatient outcomes.
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
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.
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.
Within the ‘earliest phases of star formation’ (EPoS) Herschel project, we observed the NH3 inversion lines of 6 very young high-mass star-forming regions at high spatial resolution (3-5″) with the JVLA. While the Herschel data provide details about the dust continuum, the ammonia data reveal the kinematics and temperatures. Here we present the exciting star-forming clump ISOSS23053 that shows multiple velocity components. We observe a prominent velocity step within the clump, which could be a sign of colliding or converging flows that triggers star formation. Furthermore, we used the JVLA in the C-array configuration to study this source in more detail and we present the first results from the new data. They support the idea of converging flows, as we observe two components in the NH3(1,1) and (2,2) line, whereas the higher excited NH3(3,3) line shows one component that links the two lower excited lines.
We present our approach of visibility modeling of disks around low-mass (< 2 M⊙) young stellar objects (YSOs). We compiled an atlas based on mid-infrared interferometric observations from the MIDI instrument at the VLTI. We use three different models to fit the data. These models allow us to determine overall sizes (and the extent of the inner gaps) of the modeled circumstellar disks.