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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.
Genetic progress in poultry species for meat production has contributed to the consistent growth in world production of poultry meat. The poultry species have a number of advantages over the larger species used for meat production. It is possible to maintain large pedigreed populations and use their high reproductive rates to transfer genetic progress to the production generations in less than five years. These populations continue to maintain high heritabilities despite, in some cases, prolonged selection. The history of selection progress in broiler chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) is reviewed and compared with rates of progress in the duck (Anas platyrhyncos) and the turkey (Meleagris gallopavo).
The rates of genetic change for production traits such as growth, feed efficiency and yield have changed the physiology of the birds. Changes in selection criteria have been made to improve the robustness of the production stock. This allows them to perform well in a wider range of environments. These have been combined with improved definitions of the optimum environments for the birds to minimise any impact on welfare and health. This paper describes examples of selection in the broiler chicken aimed at improving skeletal quality and resistance to ascites. A number of the factors influencing future selection criteria are discussed. Breeding programmes have adapted to respond quickly to adverse genetic correlated responses. The need to combine selection for a large number of traits requires that the programmes are very efficient and use the best statistical techniques available for multivariate breeding value estimation.
Associations between parenting and child outcomes are often interpreted as reflecting causal, social influences. However, such associations may be confounded by genes common to children and their biological parents. To the extent that these shared genes influence behaviours in both generations, a passive genetic mechanism may explain links between them. Here we aim to quantify the relative importance of passive genetic v. social mechanisms in the intergenerational association between parent–offspring relationship quality and offspring internalizing problems in adolescence.
We used a Children-of-Twins (CoT) design with data from the parent-based Twin and Offspring Study of Sweden (TOSS) sample [909 adult twin pairs and their offspring; offspring mean age 15.75 (2.42) years], and the child-based Swedish Twin Study of CHild and Adolescent Development (TCHAD) sample [1120 adolescent twin pairs; mean age 13.67 (0.47) years]. A composite of parent-report measures (closeness, conflict, disagreements, expressions of affection) indexed parent–offspring relationship quality in TOSS, and offspring self-reported internalizing symptoms were assessed using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) in both samples.
A social transmission mechanism explained the intergenerational association [r = 0.21 (0.16–0.25)] in our best-fitting model. A passive genetic transmission pathway was not found to be significant, indicating that parental genetic influences on parent–offspring relationship quality and offspring genetic influences on their internalizing problems were non-overlapping.
These results indicate that this intergenerational association is a product of social interactions between children and parents, within which bidirectional effects are highly plausible. Results from genetically informative studies of parenting-related effects should be used to help refine early parenting interventions aimed at reducing risk for psychopathology.
The maximum safe storage interval after endoscope reprocessing remains unknown. We assessed the association between storage interval and endoscope contamination to evaluate the need for scope reprocessing prior to use.
We conducted a study in 2 phases. In phase 1, we cultured 9 gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopes that had been stored for at least 7 days since reprocessing. Each scope was cultured in 3 places: external surfaces of hand piece, insertion tube, and internal channels. In phase 2, after reprocessing these scopes, we hung and cultured them prospectively in a similar fashion at 1-, 2-, 4-, 6-, and 8-week intervals without patient use. We defined clinically relevant contamination as >100 colony-forming units per milliliter (CFU/mL).
In phase 1, median hang time was 69 days (range, 8–555 days). Considering the 27 total cultures, 3 of 27 GI endoscopes (11.1%) had positive cultures, all with nonpathogenic skin flora at ≤100 CFU/mL. Median hang time was not statistically different between scopes with positive and negative cultures (P=.82). In phase 2, 7 of 131 prospective cultures (5.3%) from 6 of 9 GI endoscopes at varying storage intervals were positive, all at ≤100 CFU/mL. At 56 days after reprocessing (the longest storage interval studied), 1 of 24 cultures (4.2%) was positive (100 CFU/mL of Bacillus species from external biopsy/suction ports).
No endoscopes demonstrated clinically relevant contamination at hang times ranging from 7 to 555 days, and most scopes remained uncontaminated up to 56 days after reprocessing. Our data suggest that properly cleaned and disinfected GI endoscopes could be stored safely for longer intervals than currently recommended.
The Southern Hemisphere VLBI Experiment (SHEVE) program is aimed at producing high-resolution images of southern radio sources. The radio telescopes of the present SHEVE array are described below and some recent results presented.
The Cosmology Distinction Course is a new one-year course to be introduced for Year 12 candidates in the 1994 Higher School Certificate examinations in NSW. It is one of three challenging courses of study that will enrich the HSC for talented students who accelerate and complete part of the HSC one year early. The courses will be taught through distance learning and will include residential seminars. They will be implemented on behalf of the Board of Studies by Charles Sturt University and the University of New England.
The Cosmology Course is organised into nine modules of course work covering historical and social aspects of cosmology, observational techniques, key observations and the various models developed—Newtonian, de Sitter, Friedmann, Lemaitre, steady-state, quasi-steady-state and big bang. Assessment will be through assignments, exams and a major project.
As the first Distinction Course in a scientific area, the Cosmology Course represents an exciting and important educational initiative that needs the cooperation of NSW astronomers and, in return, promises to benefit the astronomical and general scientific community in Australia.
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.
Parental depressive symptoms are associated with emotional and behavioural problems in offspring. However, genetically informative studies are needed to distinguish potential causal effects from genetic confounds, and longitudinal studies are required to distinguish parent-to-child effects from child-to-parent effects.
We conducted cross-sectional analyses on a sample of Swedish twins and their adolescent offspring (n = 876 twin families), and longitudinal analyses on a US sample of children adopted at birth, their adoptive parents, and their birth mothers (n = 361 adoptive families). Depressive symptoms were measured in parents, and externalizing and internalizing problems measured in offspring. Structural equation models were fitted to the data.
Results of model fitting suggest that associations between parental depressive symptoms and offspring internalizing and externalizing problems remain after accounting for genes shared between parent and child. Genetic transmission was not evident in the twin study but was evident in the adoption study. In the longitudinal adoption study child-to-parent effects were evident.
We interpret the results as demonstrating that associations between parental depressive symptoms and offspring emotional and behavioural problems are not solely attributable to shared genes, and that bidirectional effects may be present in intergenerational associations.
Patient registries represent an important method of organizing “real world” patient information for clinical and research purposes. Registries can facilitate clinical trial planning and recruitment and are particularly useful in this regard for uncommon and rare diseases. Neuromuscular diseases (NMDs) are individually rare but in aggregate have a significant prevalence. In Canada, information on NMDs is lacking. Barriers to performing Canadian multicentre NMD research exist which can be overcome by a comprehensive and collaborative NMD registry.
We describe the objectives, design, feasibility and initial recruitment results for the Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry (CNDR).
The CNDR is a clinic-based registry which launched nationally in June 2011, incorporates paediatric and adult neuromuscular clinics in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and, as of December 2012, has recruited 1161 patients from 12 provinces and territories. Complete medical datasets have been captured on 460 “index disease” patients. Another 618 “non-index” patients have been recruited with capture of physician-confirmed diagnosis and contact information. We have demonstrated the feasibility of blended clinic and central office-based recruitment. “Index disease” patients recruited at the time of writing include 253 with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy, 161 with myotonic dystrophy, and 71 with ALS.
The CNDR is a new nationwide registry of patients with NMDs that represents an important advance in Canadian neuromuscular disease research capacity. It provides an innovative platform for organizing patient information to facilitate clinical research and to expedite translation of recent laboratory findings into human studies.
Studies of diet and disease risk in India and among other Asian-Indian populations are hindered by the need for a comprehensive dietary assessment tool to capture data on the wide variety of food and nutrient intakes across different regions and ethnic groups. The nutritional component of the India Health Study, a multicentre pilot cohort study, included 3908 men and women, aged 35–69 years, residing in three regions of India (New Delhi in the north, Mumbai in the west and Trivandrum in the south). We developed a computer-based, interviewer-administered dietary assessment software known as the ‘NINA-DISH (New Interactive Nutrition Assistant – Diet in India Study of Health)’, which consisted of four sections: (1) a diet history questionnaire with defined questions on frequency and portion size; (2) an open-ended section for each mealtime; (3) a food-preparer questionnaire; (4) a 24 h dietary recall. Using the preferred meal-based approach, frequency of intake and portion size were recorded and linked to a nutrient database that we developed and modified from a set of existing international databases containing data on Indian foods and recipes. The NINA-DISH software was designed to be easily adaptable and was well accepted by the interviewers and participants in the field. A predominant three-meal eating pattern emerged; however, patterns in the number of foods reported and the primary contributors to macro- and micronutrient intakes differed by region and demographic factors. The newly developed NINA-DISH software provides a much-needed tool for measuring diet and nutrient profiles across the diverse populations of India with the potential for application in other South Asian populations living throughout the world.
Community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) accounts for a growing proportion of hospital-onset infections, and colonization is a risk factor. This study aimed to determine changes in the prevalence of CA-MRSA colonization in paediatric intensive-care units (ICUs). A total of 495 paediatric patients colonized with MRSA from neonatal, medical, surgical, and cardiac ICUs between 2001 and 2009 were identified. Isolates were characterized by spa type, staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCC) mec type and the presence of the genes encoding Panton–Valentine leukocidin (PVL). The proportion of patients colonized with MRSA remained stable (average 3·2%). The proportion of isolates with spa type 1, SCCmec type IV and PVL increased over time to maximums in 2009 of 36·1% (P < 0·001), 54·2% (P = 0·03) and 28·9% (P = 0·003), respectively. Antibiotic susceptibility patterns showed increasing proportions susceptible to clindamycin, gentamicin, tetracycline and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (P values <0·001). In conclusion, the proportion of MRSA-colonized children in ICUs with CA-MRSA increased significantly over time.
The study of social movements has grown remarkably over the past three decades. From its modest beginnings in sociology in the 1970s, the field has expanded dramatically and become far more interdisciplinary in its focus (see Chapter 3). Yet for all the proliferation of research and new-found intellectual breadth, the field still bears much of the imprint of the period in which it emerged. The field developed apace of the New Left protest cycle of the 1960s and 1970s and in many respects remains oriented toward a 1960s image of contention and, as a number of commentators have noted, biased toward the study of Western-style reform movements (Almeida 2003; Boudreau 1996; Brockett 2005; McAdam, McCarthy, and Zald 1996; Wickham 2002).
This bias persists in the face of two broad trends that appear to be shifting the geographic locus of 1960s-style protest activity away from the democratic West. Starting with Meyer's and Tarrow's (1997) volume entitled, The Social Movement Society, the weight of speculative evidence continues to suggest that the social movement “form” has been largely institutionalized across the democratic West (McAdam et al. 2005). Institutionalization has meant an increase in formal social movement organizations (Minkoff 1993, 1995), the development of “hybrid” forms of movement activity (Sampson et al. 2005), and a sharp decline in the kind of disruptive, public protest associated with the 1960s and 1970s (McAdam et al. 2005).
The nature of the dispersion of a clay platelet in a resin composite will play an important role in the process of enhancement of the physical properties of that material. This paper describes studies of ultrasonically and mechanically mixed dispersion of various clays in methyl methacrylate (MMA) and reports the effects of organic surface modification on the rheology, suppression of settlement of filled systems, cure characteristics and final mechanical properties.
Domestic sheep have a strong social tendency (Dwyer and Lawrence, 1999). Sheep recognise members of their own flock, and social bonds can determine grazing distribution. The distribution and distance between grazing ewes can vary widely depending on availability and quality of vegetation. However it tends to be a characteristic of breed (Sibbald and Hooper, 2003). Hill sheep breeds are known to have a higher flexibility than lowland breeds (Dwyer and Lawrence, 1999) and tend to have less need to be close to other animals in free ranging environments. The aim of this study was to monitor the behaviour and grazing patterns of a traditional upland breed, Scottish Blackface ewes in comparison to a range of other crossbred ewes.
Genetic selection has dramatically increased the growth potential of broilers. A positive correlation exists between growth rate and the occurrence of leg disorders (Sørensen et al., 1999), and rapid growth rate is widely presumed to be a fundamental cause of leg ill-health in the modern broiler. However, it is recognised that the simultaneous improvement of growth rate and reduction in incidence of leg disorders is possible (Sørensen, 1992). The objective of this study was to explore the impact that selection for growth has had on broiler welfare, as measured by leg health and mortality, using data from genetic control strains.
Genetic selection has dramatically increased the potential for growth, feed efficiency and yield in meat type broilers. It is a widely held belief that these improvements in genetic potential have produced a broiler that is lower in fat content. However, some recent work has implied that the Modern broiler is actually fatter than its counterpart of 30 years ago (Wang et al., 2004). The objective of this study was to explore the impact that selection for growth rate and yield has had on broiler body composition.