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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.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
Description: Semiconductor physics contains a rich body of theory and working designs. However, their material properties seem to be reaching their limits. Perovskite oxides on the other hand have abundant physical properties, but are still under active investigation. The advent of RHEED-monitoring of pulsed laser deposition allows for the fabrication of structures with single unit cell (4 Å) thick layers. In this way we may be able to fabricate quantum well structures for both applications and fundamental investigations. Superlattices of the Mott insulator LaTiO3 (LTO) and the band gap insulator SrTiO3 (STO) form such a structure. The superlattices are metallic, both as-grown and post-annealed . This has been attributed to the existence of metallic states at the interfaces between LTO and STO . At these interfaces the electron density is found to extend about 10 Å into the STO. However, theoretically, the required length scale for quantum confinement is of the order of 4 Å. A possible way to increase this confinement is to use a buffer material with a larger band gap than that of LTO (similar to semiconductor band gap engineering) and/or with a lower dielectric constant . LaAlO3 (LAO) is such a material (ΔELAO = 5.6 eV vs. ΔESTO = 3.2 eV, εLAO = 24 vs. εSTO = 300). Here we report on the growth of LTO/LAO superlattices on STO substrates. As-grown superlattices of LTO/LAO are metallic, while post-annealing turns them insulating. This may be explained from a disorder-order transition in a 2D Mott-Hubbard model . XPS and EELS measurements of the titanium valence show interesting differences for LTO layers close to and far away from the sample surface. The former, for thin LAO capping layers, show the presence of Ti4+ while the latter only have Ti3+. Hard XPS of samples with varying capping layer thickness shows an exponential dependence of the Ti3+ contents on a length scale of about 5 unit cells.  A. Ohtomo et al., Nature 419, 378-380 (2002).  S. Okamoto & A.J. Millis, Phys. Rev. B 70, 075101 (2004).  D. Heidarian & N. Trivedi, Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 126401 (2004).
There is a growing concern about the role of the environment in the dissemination of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARG). In this systematic review, we summarize evidence for increases of ARG in the natural environment associated with potential sources of ARB and ARG such as agricultural facilities and wastewater treatment plants. A total of 5247 citations were identified, including studies that ascertained both ARG and ARB outcomes. All studies were screened for relevance to the question and methodology. This paper summarizes the evidence only for those studies with ARG outcomes (n = 24). Sixteen studies were at high (n = 3) or at unclear (n = 13) risk of bias in the estimation of source effects due to lack of information or failure to control for confounders. Statistical methods were used in nine studies; three studies assessed the effect of multiple sources using modeling approaches, and none reported effect measures. Most studies reported higher ARG concentration downstream/near the source, but heterogeneous findings hindered making any sound conclusions. To quantify increases of ARG in the environment due to specific point sources, there is a need for studies that emphasize analytic or design control of confounding, and that provide effect measure estimates.
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.
The U.S. Army uses universal preventives interventions for several negative outcomes (e.g. suicide, violence, sexual assault) with especially high risks in the early years of service. More intensive interventions exist, but would be cost-effective only if targeted at high-risk soldiers. We report results of efforts to develop models for such targeting from self-report surveys administered at the beginning of Army service.
21 832 new soldiers completed a self-administered questionnaire (SAQ) in 2011–2012 and consented to link administrative data to SAQ responses. Penalized regression models were developed for 12 administratively-recorded outcomes occurring by December 2013: suicide attempt, mental hospitalization, positive drug test, traumatic brain injury (TBI), other severe injury, several types of violence perpetration and victimization, demotion, and attrition.
The best-performing models were for TBI (AUC = 0.80), major physical violence perpetration (AUC = 0.78), sexual assault perpetration (AUC = 0.78), and suicide attempt (AUC = 0.74). Although predicted risk scores were significantly correlated across outcomes, prediction was not improved by including risk scores for other outcomes in models. Of particular note: 40.5% of suicide attempts occurred among the 10% of new soldiers with highest predicted risk, 57.2% of male sexual assault perpetrations among the 15% with highest predicted risk, and 35.5% of female sexual assault victimizations among the 10% with highest predicted risk.
Data collected at the beginning of service in self-report surveys could be used to develop risk models that define small proportions of new soldiers accounting for high proportions of negative outcomes over the first few years of service.
This is the first cross-national study of intermittent explosive disorder (IED).
A total of 17 face-to-face cross-sectional household surveys of adults were conducted in 16 countries (n = 88 063) as part of the World Mental Health Surveys initiative. The World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI 3.0) assessed DSM-IV IED, using a conservative definition.
Lifetime prevalence of IED ranged across countries from 0.1 to 2.7% with a weighted average of 0.8%; 0.4 and 0.3% met criteria for 12-month and 30-day prevalence, respectively. Sociodemographic correlates of lifetime risk of IED were being male, young, unemployed, divorced or separated, and having less education. The median age of onset of IED was 17 years with an interquartile range across countries of 13–23 years. The vast majority (81.7%) of those with lifetime IED met criteria for at least one other lifetime disorder; co-morbidity was highest with alcohol abuse and depression. Of those with 12-month IED, 39% reported severe impairment in at least one domain, most commonly social or relationship functioning. Prior traumatic experiences involving physical (non-combat) or sexual violence were associated with increased risk of IED onset.
Conservatively defined, IED is a low prevalence disorder but this belies the true societal costs of IED in terms of the effects of explosive anger attacks on families and relationships. IED is more common among males, the young, the socially disadvantaged and among those with prior exposure to violence, especially in childhood.
Although mental disorders are significant predictors of educational attainment throughout the entire educational career, most research on mental disorders among students has focused on the primary and secondary school years.
The World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys were used to examine the associations of mental disorders with college entry and attrition by comparing college students (n = 1572) and non-students in the same age range (18–22 years; n = 4178), including non-students who recently left college without graduating (n = 702) based on surveys in 21 countries (four low/lower-middle income, five upper-middle-income, one lower-middle or upper-middle at the times of two different surveys, and 11 high income). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence and age-of-onset of DSM-IV anxiety, mood, behavioral and substance disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
One-fifth (20.3%) of college students had 12-month DSM-IV/CIDI disorders; 83.1% of these cases had pre-matriculation onsets. Disorders with pre-matriculation onsets were more important than those with post-matriculation onsets in predicting subsequent college attrition, with substance disorders and, among women, major depression the most important such disorders. Only 16.4% of students with 12-month disorders received any 12-month healthcare treatment for their mental disorders.
Mental disorders are common among college students, have onsets that mostly occur prior to college entry, in the case of pre-matriculation disorders are associated with college attrition, and are typically untreated. Detection and effective treatment of these disorders early in the college career might reduce attrition and improve educational and psychosocial functioning.
Cochlear implantation is the standard of care for treating severe to profound hearing loss in all age groups. There is limited data on long-term results in elderly implantees and the effect of ageing on outcomes. This study compared the stability of cochlear implantation outcome in elderly and younger patients.
A retrospective chart review of cochlear implant patients with a minimum follow up of five years was conducted.
The study included 87 patients with a mean follow up of 6.8 years. Of these, 22 patients were older than 70 years at the time of implantation. Hearing in Noise Test scores at one year after implantation were worse in the elderly: 85.3 (aged under 61 years), 80.5 (61–70 years) and 73.6 (aged over 70 years; p = 0.039). The respective scores at the last follow up were 84.8, 85.1 and 76.5 (p = 0.054). Most patients had a stable outcome during follow up. Of the elderly patients, 13.6 per cent improved and none had a reduction in score of more than 20 per cent. Similar to younger patients, elderly patients had improved Short Form 36 Health Survey scores during follow up.
Cochlear implantation improves both audiometric outcome and quality of life in elderly patients. These benefits are stable over time.
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.
Plasmas are ubiquitous in nature, surround our local geospace environment, and permeate the universe. Plasma phenomena in space give rise to energetic particles, the aurora, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, as well as many energetic phenomena in interstellar space. Although plasmas can be studied in laboratory settings, it is often difficult, if not impossible, to replicate the conditions (density, temperature, magnetic and electric fields, etc.) of space. Single-point space missions too numerous to list have described many properties of near-Earth and heliospheric plasmas as measured both in situ and remotely (see http://www.nasa.gov/missions/#.U1mcVmeweRY for a list of NASA-related missions). However, a full description of our plasma environment requires three-dimensional spatial measurements. Cluster is the first, and until data begin flowing from the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS), the only mission designed to describe the three-dimensional spatial structure of plasma phenomena in geospace. In this paper, we concentrate on some of the many plasma phenomena that have been studied using data from Cluster. To date, there have been more than 2000 refereed papers published using Cluster data but in this paper we will, of necessity, refer to only a small fraction of the published work. We have focused on a few basic plasma phenomena, but, for example, have not dealt with most of the vast body of work describing dynamical phenomena in Earth's magnetosphere, including the dynamics of current sheets in Earth's magnetotail and the morphology of the dayside high latitude cusp. Several review articles and special publications are available that describe aspects of that research in detail and interested readers are referred to them (see for example, Escoubet et al. 2005Multiscale Coupling of Sun-Earth Processes, p. 459, Keith et al. 2005Sur. Geophys.26, 307–339, Paschmann et al. 2005Outer Magnetospheric Boundaries: Cluster Results, Space Sciences Series of ISSI. Berlin: Springer, Goldstein et al. 2006Adv. Space Res.38, 21–36, Taylor et al. 2010The Cluster Mission: Space Plasma in Three Dimensions, Springer, pp. 309–330 and Escoubet et al. 2013Ann. Geophys.31, 1045–1059).
Dietary assessment in older adults can be challenging. The Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing (NANA) method is a touch-screen computer-based food record that enables older adults to record their dietary intakes. The objective of the present study was to assess the relative validity of the NANA method for dietary assessment in older adults. For this purpose, three studies were conducted in which a total of ninety-four older adults (aged 65–89 years) used the NANA method of dietary assessment. On a separate occasion, participants completed a 4 d estimated food diary. Blood and 24 h urine samples were also collected from seventy-six of the volunteers for the analysis of biomarkers of nutrient intake. The results from all the three studies were combined, and nutrient intake data collected using the NANA method were compared against the 4 d estimated food diary and biomarkers of nutrient intake. Bland–Altman analysis showed a reasonable agreement between the dietary assessment methods for energy and macronutrient intake; however, there were small, but significant, differences for energy and protein intake, reflecting the tendency for the NANA method to record marginally lower energy intakes. Significant positive correlations were observed between urinary urea and dietary protein intake using both the NANA and the 4 d estimated food diary methods, and between plasma ascorbic acid and dietary vitamin C intake using the NANA method. The results demonstrate the feasibility of computer-based dietary assessment in older adults, and suggest that the NANA method is comparable to the 4 d estimated food diary, and could be used as an alternative to the food diary for the short-term assessment of an individual's dietary intake.
Damage-free etching of GaN by Cl2, assisted by an ArF (193 nm) excimer laser, is demonstrated. At low temperatures, photo-assisted etching can provide a better etch rate and largely improve the surface morphology and quality. AFM results show that the etched GaN surface is obtained with a root-mean-square roughness of 1.7 nm. As compared with the photoluminescence spectra of photoelectrochemical wet etched GaN, the photo-assisted cryogenic etching is proved to be a damage-free dry etching technique.
Photoelectrochemical (PEC) etching technique has been proven to be an effective method to etch GaN. Despite its success, investigations on etching-induced damage are still scare. In this work, the damage induced by PEC etching of GaN in KOH electrolyte was studied. Photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy was used to explore the origin of etching-induced damaged layer. From the variable temperature PL measurements, the origin of etching-induced damage was attributed to be the defect complex of VGa-ON (gallium vacancy bonds to oxygeon on nitrogen antisite). With determination of the defect origin, the electronic transition in the etch damage-related yellow luminescence (YL) band was suggested to be deep donor-like state to shallow-acceptor transition. In addition, a post-treatment method with boiled KOH chemical etching was developed to remove the thin damaged layer. In this method, crystallographic etching characteristics of boiled KOH was observed to assist in the formation of smooth sidewall facets. As revealed by the reduction of yellow luminescence, we propose this novel technique as a near damage-free etching method.
To examine barriers to initiation and continuation of mental health treatment among individuals with common mental disorders.
Data were from the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health (WMH) surveys. Representative household samples were interviewed face to face in 24 countries. Reasons to initiate and continue treatment were examined in a subsample (n = 636 78) and analyzed at different levels of clinical severity.
Among those with a DSM-IV disorder in the past 12 months, low perceived need was the most common reason for not initiating treatment and more common among moderate and mild than severe cases. Women and younger people with disorders were more likely to recognize a need for treatment. A desire to handle the problem on one's own was the most common barrier among respondents with a disorder who perceived a need for treatment (63.8%). Attitudinal barriers were much more important than structural barriers to both initiating and continuing treatment. However, attitudinal barriers dominated for mild-moderate cases and structural barriers for severe cases. Perceived ineffectiveness of treatment was the most commonly reported reason for treatment drop-out (39.3%), followed by negative experiences with treatment providers (26.9% of respondents with severe disorders).
Low perceived need and attitudinal barriers are the major barriers to seeking and staying in treatment among individuals with common mental disorders worldwide. Apart from targeting structural barriers, mainly in countries with poor resources, increasing population mental health literacy is an important endeavor worldwide.