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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.
The association between dietary patterns and CVD risk factors among non-Hispanic whites has not been fully studied. Data from 650 non-Hispanic white adults who participated in one of two clinical sub-studies (about 2 years after the baseline) of the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2) were analysed. Four dietary patters were identified using a validated 204-item semi-quantitative FFQ completed at enrolment into AHS-2: vegans (8·3 %), lacto-ovo-vegetarians (44·3 %), pesco-vegetarians (10·6 %) and non-vegetarians (NV) (37·3 %). Dietary pattern-specific prevalence ratios (PR) of CVD risk factors were assessed adjusting for confounders with or without BMI as an additional covariable. The adjusted PR for hypertension, high total cholesterol and high LDL-cholesterol were lower in all three vegetarian groups. Among the lacto-ovo-vegetarians the PR were 0·57 (95 % CI 0·45, 0·73), 0·72 (95 % CI 0·59, 0·88) and 0·72 (95 % CI 0·58, 0·89), respectively, which remained significant after additionally adjusting for BMI. The vegans and the pesco-vegetarians had similar PR for hypertension at 0·46 (95 % CI 0·25, 0·83) and 0·62 (95 % CI 0·42, 0·91), respectively, but estimates were attenuated and marginally significant after adjustment for BMI. Compared with NV, the PR of obesity and abdominal adiposity, as well as other CVD risk factors, were significantly lower among the vegetarian groups. Similar results were found when limiting analyses to participants not being treated for CVD risk factors, with the vegans having the lowest mean BMI and waist circumference. Thus, compared with the diet of NV, vegetarian diets were associated with significantly lower levels of CVD risk factors among the non-Hispanic whites.
An epitaxial NdFeAs(O,F) thin film of 90 nm thickness grown by molecular beam epitaxy on MgO single crystal with Tc = 44.2 K has been investigated regarding a possible vortex glass–liquid transition. The voltage–current characteristics show excellent scalability according to the vortex-glass model with a static critical exponent ν of around 1.35 and a temperature-dependent dynamic exponent z increasing from 7.8 to 9.0 for the investigated temperature range. The large and non-constant z values are discussed in the frame of 3D vortex glass, thermally activated flux motion, and inhomogeneity broadening.
We investigate the two-photon absorption characteristics of hemicyanine dyes that exhibit a one-photon absorption at around 500 nm. The dyes exhibited two-photon-induced fluorescence upon irradiation with an Yb-doped femtosecond fiber laser operating at 1030 nm. Among the dyes, 4-[4-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]-1,3-butadienyl]-1-ethyl-pyridinium perchlorate exhibited the most efficient two-photon-induced fluorescence at 1030 nm. Since these dyes possess cationic moiety, the dyes accumulated in the mitochondria of a living cell. Two-photon images of mitochondria were obtained by staining living HEK293 cells with these dyes. When 4-[4-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]-1,3-butadienyl]-1-ethyl-pyridinium perchlorate was employed, a two-photon-induced fluorescence image could be obtained even when a 3 mW fiber laser beam was used as the excitation source.
Blazar OJ287 exhibits large thermal flares at least twice every 12 years. The times of these flares have been predicted successfully using the model of a quasi-Keplerian eccentric black hole binary where the secondary impacts the accretion disk of the primary, creating the thermal flares. New measurements of the historical light curve have been combined with the observations of the 2015 November/December flare to identify the impact record since year 1886, and to constrain the orbit of the binary. The orbital solution shows that the binary period, now 12.062 years, is decreasing at the rate of 36 days per century. This corresponds to an energy loss to gravitational waves that is 6.5 ± 4 % less than the rate predicted by the standard quadrupolar gravitational wave (GW) emission. We show that the difference is due to higher order gravitational radiation reaction terms that include the dominant order tail contributions.
Experimental Echinococcus multilocularis infection and deworming was repeated three or five times in nine dogs at various re-infection schedules. The mean number of worms decreased more than 91% in dogs with repeated infection, compared to first infection controls (n= 6). The copro-antigen assay and the egg count in the faeces suggested that the worm burden gradually decreased each time the dogs were re-infected. To examine whether such worm exclusion was a non-specific response, five dogs were sequentially infected with the parasite four times and subsequently fed freely for 6 months. Even after the 6-month interval, the five dogs that were infected five times with the parasite were still able largely to exclude the adult worms. The results suggested that the ability of worm exclusion in dogs that developed a resistance did not become rapidly extinct. Observation of the condition of faeces and the excretion of hooks in the faeces of repeatedly infected dogs revealed that the exclusion of worms started at the first week after the re-infection, and it continued during the patent period. Serum antibodies specific to the parasite antigen increased gradually until the third infection and significantly decreased during the 6-month interval. There was little enhancement of serum antibodies after the fifth infection in most dogs, although no clear correlation was observed between the antibody response and the worm burden. These findings suggested the possibility of developing a vaccine.
Bone contouring is currently the best treatment for fibro-osseous lesions after bone growth arrest. Navigation systems available for this surgery allow intra-operative visualisation with improved cosmetic outcomes. However, conventional navigation systems using superficial skin registration cannot prevent subtle discrepancies.
To address this problem, we used a non-invasive cranial bone registration that uses patient-specific dental templates to maintain exact registration. We created the preset goal using the mirror image of the unaffected side for unilateral lesions, and using images obtained before the onset of symptoms for bilateral lesions. This system achieved precise pre-operative simulation. A sound aid in the navigation system provided information regarding proximity to critical structures and to the preset goal.
We used this system to contour fibro-osseous lesions in three patients. All patients achieved good facial contours and improvement in symptoms.
This method offers a safe, rapid surgical aid in treating orbital fibro-osseous lesions.
Crosslinked or non-crosslinked ultrathin semipermeable membranes based on the N-butylated and N-butylsulfonated polybenzimidazole (BPBI and BSPBI) were successfully prepared by spin-coating method. Structural characterization by FTIR and WAXD revealed that the N-substitution and the crosslinked structure of PBI suppressed the hydrogen bonding and increased the d-spacing. Furthermore, positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS) clearly showed the pore radius change from 0.27-0.29 nm to 0.33 nm by crosslinking. As a result, the enhancement of water flux and NaCl rejection was achieved by the crosslinking of the BPBI and BSPBI. Especially, the crosslinked N-butylsulfonated PBI (CL-BSPBI) membrane significantly improved not only salt rejection but also water flux (NaCl rejection : 46 %, water flux : 22.1 L m-2 h-1) compared to those of non-crosslinked BSPBI one (NaCl rejection : 11 %, water flux : 1.88 L m-2 h-1) due to both the Donnan effect and the formation of larger pores in the membrane, respectively.
Recently, the detection of non-bulk superconductivity with unexpectedly high onset-Tcs up to 49 K in Pr-doped CaFe2As2 [(Ca,Pr)122] single crystals and the report of a Tc up to 65 K in one-unit-cell (1UC) FeSe epi-films, offer an unusual opportunity to seek an answer to the question posed in the title. Through systematic compositional, structural, resistive, and magnetic investigations on (Ca,Pr)122 single crystals, we have observed a doping-level-independent Tc, the simultaneous appearance of superparamagnetism and superconductivity, large magnetic anisotropy, and the existence of mesoscopic-2D structures in these crystals, thus providing clear evidence consistent with the proposed interface-enhanced Tc in these naturally occurring rareearth-doped Fe-based superconductors, (Ca,R)122. Similar resistive and magnetic measurements were also made on the 3–4UC FeSe ultrathin epi-films. We have detected weak links in the Meissner state below 20 K, weakly coupled small superconducting patches between 20–45 K, and collective excitations of spin and/or superconducting nature between 45–80 K. The unusual frequency dependences of the diamagnetic moment observed in the films in different temperature ranges will be presented and their implications discussed.
Combination of superconducting (SC) and ferromagnetic (FM) sheets into layered SC/FM composites allows to obtain metamaterials with unusual magnetic properties: the effective magnetic permeability along the sheets could be much higher than in the perpendicular direction. One can design the magnetic cloak consisting of a shell from SC/FM composite protecting its inner space against the penetration of a static magnetic field. Difference between such a device and a usual SC or FM shield will be in its un-detectability by magnetic sensors checking the field distribution outside the cloak. Thus it could be considered a magnetic invisibility cloak and one can think about using it e.g. for protecting a sensitive electronic circuitry in an electric machine.
We have prepared a series of SC/FM cloaks using commercial coated conductors as the superconducting elements and various kinds of ferromagnetic sheets as the ferromagnetic elements. Finite element calculation was utilized to optimize the architecture. Experimental testing of the cloaking ability in static magnetic field was performed by scanning the field distribution in vicinity of the cloak. Detectability in low frequency (< 100 Hz) AC magnetic fields was tested in an AC magnetization set-up allowing to see both screening and dissipation signals. Recording of magnetization loops allowed to analyze in detail the dynamics of field interaction with the cloak. Reduction of the detected magnetic signature due to the cloak was confirmed, however it is still not complete. Tests of various arrangements of superconducting and ferromagnetic materials allowed to identify the main problems hindering to achieve a perfect cloaking.
Praseodymium doped CaFe2As2 (122 structure) and CaFeAs2 (112 structure) are characterized by modulated Low Magnetic Field Microwave Absorption (LFMA) spectroscopy. In both (Pr,Ca)122 and (Pr,Ca)112 structures, a strong hysteretic LFMA is found, with a TcH of ∼30 K and ∼26 K, respectively. However, in (Pr,Ca)122, measurements also show an unusual Narrow Peak (NP) LFMA signal appearing at higher temperatures, above the lower TcH superconducting state until a TcNP of 49 K. We associate this NP LFMA with interfacial superconductivity, which has been found previously by highly anisotropic magnetization measurements. Furthermore, the absence of NP in (Pr,Ca)112 correlates with the absence of an interfacial phase. These results give useful information about the microwave signature of interfacial superconductivity present in the (Pr,Ca)122 system, and may form a roadmap towards a stabilized high temperature superconducting phase in pnictides.
Electric networks will experience deep changes due to the emergence of dispersed generation. Variability in power output is a characteristic of wind energy and increased penetration of wind power will present significant operational challenges in ensuring grid security and power quality. This paper addresses the integration of large wind farms into the grid through the beneficial role of superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) systems. Although originally conceived as a load-leveling device for nuclear power plants, today’s utility-industrial realities emphasize other applications of SMES in the development of wind energy. In the industrial section, concerns about power quality and stability have driven the development of a market for micro-SMES devices for power quality applications. The paper reviews the recent history of SMES, performs analysis in terms of the quantity of superconductor required and cost associated with both toroid and solenoid shaped coil using Bi-2223, YBCO and MgB2. The energy storage is optimized by properly designing the bandwidth of SMES. The ultimate aim of this paper is to influence the optimal design and configuration of SMES for land and offshore wind power generation and to propose a roadmap for the resolution of technical barriers related to the integration of wind energy to the electric grid.
We review the present state of the understanding and application of high temperature superconductor materials ranging from attempts to clarify pairing mechanisms on the energy scale of a few milli-electron-volts to their use to embody terra-kwh continental wide deployment within the electricity enterprise. Examples include the use of density functional theory to study the relative roles of spin-fluctuation and/or lattice vibration induced Cooper pairing to modelling the incorporation of long distance HTSC transmission cables within the same natural gas pipeline rights-of-way infrastructure now emerging worldwide.
We report the dependences of the degrees of tri- or bi-axial orientation on strength of applied magnetic fields of modulated rotating field (MRF) for twinned ErBa2Cu3Oy (Er123) powder samples oriented in epoxy resin under various MRF conditions. Introduction of a pulverization process in the Er123 powders improved the degrees of inplane orientations, and is effective for enhancing the inplane magnetic anisotropy of Er123 grains with twin microstructure. Formation of inhomogeneous domain structure is a dominant factor of the enhancement, and the present study indicates possibility of tri- or bi-axial orientation of the twinned Er123 grains even under relatively low MRF conditions around 1 T.
Intake of marine-based n-3 fatty acids (EPA, docosapentaenoic acid and DHA) is recommended to prevent CHD. Stearidonic acid (SDA), a plant-based n-3 fatty acid, is a precursor of EPA and may be more readily converted to EPA than α-linolenic acid (ALA). While transgenic soyabeans might supply SDA at low cost, it is unclear whether SDA is associated with CHD risk. Furthermore, associations of other n-3 fatty acids with CHD risk remain inconsistent. The present ancillary study examined the association of erythrocyte SDA as well as other n-3 fatty acids with the risk of CHD. In a prospective nested case–control study of the Physicians' Health Study, we randomly selected 1000 pairs of incident CHD with matching controls. Erythrocyte fatty acids were measured using GC. We used conditional logistic regression to estimate relative risks. Mean age was 68·7 (sd 8·7) years. In a multivariable model controlling for matching factors and established CHD risk factors, OR for CHD for each standard deviation increase of log-SDA was 1·03 (95 % CI 0·90, 1·18). Corresponding values for log-ALA and log-marine n-3 fatty acids were 1·04 (95 % CI 0·94, 1·16) and 0·97 (95 % CI 0·88, 1·07), respectively. In conclusion, the present data did not show an association among erythrocyte SDA, ALA or marine n-3 fatty acids and the risk of CHD in male physicians.
Sigma (σ) receptors have recently been identified as potential targets for the development of novel therapeutics aimed at mitigating the effects of methamphetamine. Particularly, σ receptors are believed to mitigate some of the neurotoxic effects of methamphetamine through modulation of dopamine, dopamine transporters and body temperature. Furthermore, recent evidence suggests that targeting σ receptors may prevent cognitive impairments produced by methamphetamine. In the present study, an optimized σ receptor antagonist, AZ66, was evaluated against methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity and cognitive dysfunction. AZ66 was found to be highly selective for σ receptors compared to 64 other sites tested. Pretreatment of male, Swiss Webster mice with i.p. dosing of AZ66 significantly attenuated methamphetamine-induced striatal dopamine depletions, striatal dopamine transporter reductions and hyperthermia. Additionally, neurotoxic dosing with methamphetamine caused significant memory impairment in the object recognition test, which was attenuated when animals were pretreated with AZ66; similar trends were observed in the step-through passive avoidance test. Taken together, these results suggest that targeting σ receptors may provide neuroprotection against the neurotoxicity and cognitive impairments produced by methamphetamine.
Medium scale integrated circuits with 108 CNT-TFTs have been fabricated using CNTs grown by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) which has the advantage of preferential growth of CNTs with semiconducting behavior in the FET current–voltage characteristics. High-speed operation with a switching time of 0.51 μs/gate, which is highest in the CNT-TFT integrated circuits to our knowledge, was demonstrated by a 53-stage ring oscillator. Characterization of CNT-TFTs using scanning probe microscopy has also been performed. The island-like structure in the electrical properties of the CNT network was observed even in a high-density CNT network in the subthreshold regime. This was explained by the decrease of the effective number of CNTs which contribute the electrical conduction.
We report on our growth of superconducting SmFeAs(O,F) films by F diffusion. In our process, F-free SmFeAsO films were grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) first, and subsequently F was introduced into the films via F diffusion from an overlayer of SmF3. We performed a detailed comparison of the growth conditions and also the properties of resultant films for fluoride and oxide substrates. The best films on CaF2 exhibited a high transition temperature, Tcon (Tcend) = 57.8 K (56.4 K) at highest, which may exceed the highest Tc ever reported for bulk samples. Furthermore the films on CaF2 also showed high critical current density over 1 MA/cm2 in self-field at 5 K.
In order to find an efficient method to etch nano-carbon materials by hydrogenation in a controlled manner, we have studied hydrogen-atom adsorption on various deformed nanotubes using computer simulations based on the density-functional theory. The nanotube with an atomic lack is compared to a deformed tube with the Stone-Wales defect and a twisted tube wall. Similar to the known experimental etching condition for graphene, an atomic lack is effective to accumulate hydrogen atoms around the defect. Compared to the flat graphene, however, nanotube walls with curvature allow on-top adsorption of a hydrogen atom and selectivity in the hydrogenated site becomes worse. To achieve a controlled etching process, usage of a tungsten tip which realizes focused hydrogenation is proposed for natotubes and curved graphene.