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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.
Chronic inflammation is associated with disease risk and mortality in the general population. Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is a stable marker of chronic inflammation, and a higher serum-concentration of suPAR is found in individuals with an unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking. This article investigates the association between suPAR and dietary quality measured with the dietary quality score (DQS). The DQS is an index of the overall quality of an individual’s dietary habits assessed through a self-administered FFQ. Furthermore, this article investigates the association of both suPAR and the DQS with CVD risk and mortality in the general Danish population. We analysed 5347 individuals aged 30–60 years from the Danish Inter99 study cohort. Multiple linear regression analyses showed a linear inverse association between the DQS and suPAR (P=0·0005). Cox regression analyses showed an 18 (95 % CI 9, 26) % increase in the risk of death from any cause with each 1 ng/ml increase in suPAR. We found no significant association between the DQS and the mortality (hazard ratio: 1·16, 95 % CI 0·79, 1·69). All analyses were adjusted for demographics and lifestyle factors. The association between the DQS and suPAR on the one hand and suPAR and mortality on the other supports the argument that low dietary quality may constitute a health risk through its influence on chronic inflammation. Future research should examine whether suPAR is modifiable through changes in dietary habits.
The current study evaluated the effect of sowing date (early, mid-August or timely, mid-September) on two winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars (Hereford, Mariboss) with different rates of nitrogen (N) (0–225 kg total N/ha) applied as animal manure (AM; cattle slurry) or mineral fertilizers (N: phosphorus: potassium; NPK). Overwinter plant N uptake and soil mineral N content were determined during 2014/15, while harvest yields (grain, straw, N content) were determined during 2014/15 and 2015/16. Overwinter uptake of N was 14 kg N/ha higher in early than in timely-sown wheat. Despite very different yield levels in 2015 and 2016 harvests, the advantage of early sowing on grain yields was similar (1.1 and 0.9 t/ha); straw yield benefits were greater in 2015 (1.7 t/ha more) than in 2016 (0.4 t/ha more). In 2015 and 2016, N offtake was 35 and 17 kg N/ha higher in early than in timely-sown wheat, respectively. The mineral N fertilizer value of cattle slurry averaged 50%. Early sowing increased the apparent N recovery (ANR) for wheat regardless of nutrient source. However, ANR was substantially higher for NPK (82% in 2015; 52% in 2016) than for AM (39% in 2015; 27% in 2016). Performance of the two cultivars did not differ consistently with respect to the effect of early sowing on crop yield, N concentration and offtake, or ANR. Within the north-west European climatic region, moving the sowing time of winter wheat from mid-September to mid-August provides a significant yield and N offtake benefit.
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 relic “the sack of Saint Francesco” has for the first time been investigated by scientific means. The sack is kept at the Franciscan Friary of Folloni near Montella in southern Italy. According to legend, the sack appeared on the doorstep of the Friary in the winter of 1224 containing bread sent from St Francesco (St Francis of Assisi), who at that time was in France. The bread was allegedly brought to the friary by an angel. We analyzed samples of the sack to obtain a radiocarbon (14C) date and to search for any remaining traces of bread. The 14C date yielded a calibrated age range of AD 1220–1295 (2σ), which places the textile in the right timeframe according to the legend. Chemical analysis by gas-chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS) revealed the presence of ergosterol (5, 7, 22-ergostatrien-3b-ol), a known biomarker of brewing, baking, or agriculture. In this paper we have further substantiated the validity of ergosterol as a biomarker for the past presence of bread. It appears that there is a fine correspondence between the Franciscan legend and the two most decisive scientific methods relevant for analyzing the sack. Although it is not proof, our analysis shows that the sack indeed could be authentic.
This article offers a critique of widely disseminated portrayals of northern Malian Tuareg by outside media, which tend to portray all Tuareg as warriors and criminals and to project pseudo-scientific concepts of “race” onto relationships between Tuareg and other Malians, recalling the now discredited colonial “Hamitic Myth” in Rwanda. It also analyzes local oral historical accounts that present themes of Mali as both a protected fortress and welcoming crossroads, a country that both resists and absorbs intruders, and that also express concepts of identity based on language, culture, and flexible social affiliation. The article is based partly on interviews with internationally known local musicians who function as mediating “third voices,” and concludes with a discussion of wider implications of these findings for notions of voice, authority, and the mutual construction of ideas of Africa.
A numerical model for three-dimensional, time-dependent glacier flow (Campbell and Rasmussen, 1970) treated the ice as a Newtonian viscous fluid and related its dynamics to two large-scale bulk parameters: the viscosity v determining the ice-to-ice friction, and a basal friction parameter A determining the ice-to-rock friction. The equations were solved using the relatively simple flow law of Bodvarsson (1955) in which the basal shear stress is proportional to volume transport. Recent research suggests that a more realistic basal flow law is one in which the basal shear stress to some lower power (1–3) is either proportional to the vertically averaged velocity (Glen, 1958; Nye, 1960, 1963[a], [b], [c], 1965[a], [b], [c]) or to the ratio of the vertically averaged velocity to glacier thickness (Budd and Jenssen, in press).
In the present study a generalized flow law incorporating all of the above bulk basal flow laws is applied to the Campbell–Rasmussen momentum equation to form a generalized two-dimensional transport equation, which, when combined with the continuity equation, yields a numerically tractable set of equations for three-dimensional, time-dependent glacier flow. Solutions of the model are shown for steady-state flow and surge advance and recovery for a typical valley glacier bed for powers 1, 2, and 3 for each of the basal flow laws for a steady-state climate input and a given ice-to-ice viscosity parameter.
Bedrock undulations of glaciers and ice sheets cause undulations of the ice surface and of internal layers. Models are constructed, that describe this phenomenon, using perturbation techniques and utilizing the stress function as harmonic solution to the full biharmonic equation. This approach is an extension of a previous treatment of the problem, which was based on the solution of the Laplace equation. This solution is shown to be inadequate. Two types of ice flow, with and without bottom sliding, are considered. Furthermore, in order to cope with the variation of viscosity with depth, semi-analytical multi-layer models have been constructed.
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.
We revise the applications of self-organized criticality (SOC) as a paradigmatic model for tokamak plasma turbulence. The work, presented here, is built around the idea that some systems do not develop a pure critical state associable with SOC, since their dynamical evolution involves as a competing key factor an inverse cascade of the energy in reciprocal space. Then relaxation of slowly increasing stresses will give rise to intermittent bursts of transport in real space and outstanding transport events beyond the range of applicability of the ‘conventional’ SOC. Also, we are concerned with the causes and origins of non-local transport in magnetized plasma, and show that this type of transport occurs naturally in self-consistent strong turbulence via a complexity coupling to the inverse cascade. We expect these coupling phenomena to occur in the parameter range of strong nonlinearity and time scale separation when the Rhines time in the system is small compared with the instability growth time.
The present study examined the effect of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) on child and adolescent sibling relationships. In previous research on adult OCD, siblings of OCD sufferers showed a high level of occommodotion to obsessive-compulsive symptoms and subsequent depression. No research has been conducted on the effect of OCD on child and adolescent sibling relationships. This small but important pilot study investigated sibling accommodation to obsessive-compulsive symptoms, sibling relationship quality, and depression and anxiety in siblings of children who have OCD. The study had two components. First, siblings of children with OCD were examined before and after a 14-week treatment program for OCD. Second, these siblings were compared at prebefore treatment with a comparison group of siblings whose brother or sister did not meet diagnostic criteria for either OCD or any other childhood disorders (i.e., comparison group). Three outcomes were noted. Siblings of OCD children accommodated to obsessive-compulsive symptoms and were distressed by the presence of OCD in their brother or sister. Furthermore, the quality of sibling relationships in OCD families improved with successful treatment of OCD. Finally, anxiety and depression were higher in siblings of an OCD child or adolescent, compared to siblings in the comparison group. Given the significant impact that OCD has on the sibling relationship, implications for family-based treatment, incorporating a sibling support component, are addressed.
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.
Gamma-ray burst host galaxies are deficient in molecular gas, and show anomalous metal-poor regions close to GRB positions. Using recent Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) Hi observations we show that they have substantial atomic gas reservoirs. This suggests that star formation in these galaxies may be fuelled by recent inflow of metal-poor atomic gas. While this process is debated, it can happen in low-metallicity gas near the onset of star formation because gas cooling (necessary for star formation) is faster than the Hi-to-H2 conversion.
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.
This paper aims to contribute to the development of a cost-effective alternative to expensive on-farm animal-based welfare assessment systems. The objective of the study was to design an animal welfare index based on central database information (DBWI), and to validate it against an animal welfare index based on-farm animal-based measurements (AWI). Data on 63 Danish sow herds with herd-sizes of 80 to 2500 sows and an average herd size of 501 were collected from three central databases containing: Meat inspection data collected at animal level in the abattoir, mortality data at herd level from the rendering plants of DAKA, and medicine records at both herd and animal group level (sow with piglets, weaners or finishers) from the central database Vetstat. Selected measurements taken from these central databases were used to construct the DBWI. The relative welfare impacts of both individual database measurements and the databases overall were assigned in consultation with a panel consisting of 12 experts. The experts were drawn from production advisory activities, animal science and in one case an animal welfare organization. The expert panel weighted each measurement on a scale from 1 (not-important) to 5 (very important). The experts also gave opinions on the relative weightings of measurements for each of the three databases by stating a relative weight of each database in the DBWI. On the basis of this, the aggregated DBWI was normalized. The aggregation of AWI was based on weighted summary of herd prevalence’s of 20 clinical and behavioural measurements originating from a 1 day data collection. AWI did not show linear dependency of DBWI. This suggests that DBWI is not suited to replace an animal welfare index using on-farm animal-based measurements.
Fortification with the essential trace element iodine is widespread worldwide. In the present study, results on iodine excretion and intake of iodine-rich foods from a cross-sectional study carried out in 2004–5, 4 to 5 years after the implementation of mandatory iodine fortification, were compared with data in a study carried out in 2008–10. The 2008–10 study was a follow-up of a cross-sectional study carried out before iodine fortification was implemented. Participants in the cross-sectional studies were randomly selected. Both studies were carried out in the cities of Aalborg and Copenhagen in Denmark. The median urinary iodine concentration decreased in women from 97 μg/l (n 2862) to 78 μg/l (n 2041) (P< 0·001). The decrease persisted after adjustment for age, city and education, and if expressed as estimated 24 h iodine excretion. The prevalence of users of iodine containing dietary supplements increased from 29·4 to 37·3 % (P< 0·001). The total fluid intake increased in women (P< 0·001), but the intake of other iodine-rich foods did not change. The median urinary iodine concentration did not change in men (114 μg/l (n 708) and 107 μg/l (n 424), respectively), while the total fluid intake decreased (P= 0·001). Iodine content was measured in milk sampled in 2000–1 and in 2013. The iodine content was lower in 2013 (12 (sd 3) μg/100 g) compared with that in 2000–1 (16 (sd 6) μg/100 g) (P< 0·001). In conclusion, iodine excretion in women has decreased below the recommended level. The reason might probably, at least partly, be a decreased content of iodine in milk.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are xanthophyll carotenoids present in highly pigmented vegetables and fruits. Lutein is selectively accumulated in the brain relative to other carotenoids. Recent evidence has linked lutein to cognition in older adults, but little is known about lutein in young children, despite structural brain development. We determined lutein intake using FFQ, one 24 h recall and three 24 h recalls, plasma lutein concentrations and their association with cognition in 160 children 5·6–5·9 years of age, at low risk for neurodevelopmental delay. Plasma lutein was skewed, with a median of 0·23 (2·5th to 95th percentile range 0·11–0·53) µmol/l. Plasma lutein showed a higher correlation with lutein intake estimated as the average of three 24 h recalls (r 0·479; P = 0·001), rather than one 24 h recall (r 0·242; P = 0·003) or FFQ (r 0·316; P = 0·001). The median lutein intake was 697 (2·5th to 95th percentile range 178–5287) µg/d based on three 24 h recalls. Lutein intake was inversely associated with SFA intake, but dietary fat or SFA intakes were not associated with plasma lutein. No associations were found between plasma lutein or lutein intake and any measure of cognition. While subtle independent effects of lutein on child cognition are possible, separating these effects from covariates making an impact on both child diet and cognition may be difficult.