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A common property regime was established at the founding of the Maya site of Actuncan, Belize, in the Terminal Preclassic period (175 BC–AD 300), which governed access to land until the Terminal Classic period (AD 780–1000). This interpretation is based on urban settlement patterns documented through household excavation and remote-sensing programs. Excavations of all visible patio-focused groups in the urban core provided data to reconstruct residential histories, and a 60,621 m2 gradiometer survey resulted in a magnetic gradient map that was used to document buried constructions. Twenty ground-truth testpits correlated types of magnetic signatures to buried patio-focused groups and smaller constructions, including walled plots in agricultural field systems that were later exposed more fully through large-scale excavations. Combined, these methods provided data to reconstruct four correlates of land tenure systems: (1) the spatial proximity of residential units to land and resources, (2) diachronic changes in community settlement patterns, (3) land subdivision and improvements, and (4) public goods. Spatial analyses documented that houselots did not cluster through time, but instead became gradually improved, lending evidence to suggest the transgenerational inheritance of property rights in the Late and Terminal Classic periods.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the 10-year impact of Hurricane Katrina on the incidence of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) along with contributing risk factors and any alteration in chronobiology of AMI.
A single-center, retrospective, comparison study of AMI incidence was performed at Tulane University Health Sciences Center from 2 years before Hurricane Katrina to 10 years after Hurricane Katrina. A 6-year, pre-Katrina and 10-year, post-Katrina cohort were also compared according to pre-specified demographic, clinical, and chronobiological data.
AMI incidence increased from 0.7% (150/21,079) to 2.8% (2,341/84,751) post-Katrina (P<0.001). The post-Katrina cohort had higher rates of coronary artery disease (36.4% vs. 47.9%, P=0.01), diabetes mellitus (31.3% vs. 39.9%, P=0.04), hyperlipidemia (45.4% vs. 59.3%, P=0.005), smoking (34.4% vs. 53.8%, P<0.001), drug abuse (10.2% vs. 15.4%, P=0.02), psychiatric illness (6.7% vs. 14.9%, P<0.001), medication non-adherence (7.3% vs. 15.3%, P<0.001), and lack of employment (7.2% vs. 16.4%, P<0.001). The post-Katrina group had increased rates of AMI during nights (29.8% vs. 47.8%, P<0.001) and weekends (16.1% vs. 29.1%, P<0.001).
Even 10 years after the storm, Hurricane Katrina continues to be associated with increased incidence of AMI, higher prevalence of traditional cardiovascular and psychosocial risk factors, and an altered chronobiology of AMI toward nights and weekends. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:217–222)
The genetic component of Cannabis Use Disorder may overlap with influences acting more generally on early stages of cannabis use. This paper aims to determine the extent to which genetic influences on the development of cannabis abuse/dependence are correlated with those acting on the opportunity to use cannabis and frequency of use.
A cross-sectional study of 3303 Australian twins, measuring age of onset of cannabis use opportunity, lifetime frequency of cannabis use, and lifetime DSM-IV cannabis abuse/dependence. A trivariate Cholesky decomposition estimated additive genetic (A), shared environment (C) and unique environment (E) contributions to the opportunity to use cannabis, the frequency of cannabis use, cannabis abuse/dependence, and the extent of overlap between genetic and environmental factors associated with each phenotype.
Variance components estimates were A = 0.64 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.58–0.70] and E = 0.36 (95% CI 0.29–0.42) for age of opportunity to use cannabis, A = 0.74 (95% CI 0.66–0.80) and E = 0.26 (95% CI 0.20–0.34) for cannabis use frequency, and A = 0.78 (95% CI 0.65–0.88) and E = 0.22 (95% CI 0.12–0.35) for cannabis abuse/dependence. Opportunity shares 45% of genetic influences with the frequency of use, and only 17% of additive genetic influences are unique to abuse/dependence from those acting on opportunity and frequency.
There are significant genetic contributions to lifetime cannabis abuse/dependence, but a large proportion of this overlaps with influences acting on opportunity and frequency of use. Individuals without drug use opportunity are uninformative, and studies of drug use disorders must incorporate individual exposure to accurately identify aetiology.
While our fascination with understanding the past is sufficient to warrant an increased focus on synthesis, solutions to important problems facing modern society require understandings based on data that only archaeology can provide. Yet, even as we use public monies to collect ever-greater amounts of data, modes of research that can stimulate emergent understandings of human behavior have lagged behind. Consequently, a substantial amount of archaeological inference remains at the level of the individual project. We can more effectively leverage these data and advance our understandings of the past in ways that contribute to solutions to contemporary problems if we adapt the model pioneered by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis to foster synthetic collaborative research in archaeology. We propose the creation of the Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis coordinated through a U.S.-based National Center for Archaeological Synthesis. The coalition will be composed of established public and private organizations that provide essential scholarly, cultural heritage, computational, educational, and public engagement infrastructure. The center would seek and administer funding to support collaborative analysis and synthesis projects executed through coalition partners. This innovative structure will enable the discipline to address key challenges facing society through evidentially based, collaborative synthetic research.
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.
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.
Hunting and invasive species are amongst the main causes of species extinctions on oceanic islands. On the island of São Tomé hunting of introduced mammals (monkeys, civets and pigs) and endemic bird species has contrasting effects in terms of conservation. Hunting of introduced mammals may benefit native fauna and flora but pressure on endemic birds poses a threat to some species. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 119 hunters to assess the relative importance of native and introduced prey species, gathering information on personal profiles, preference and practice, and hunters’ perceptions of trends in prey populations. Eleven species were hunted, including five invasive mammals and five endemic birds of high conservation importance. Based on species hunted, techniques used and final destination of the quarry we distinguished three groups of hunters, using cluster analyses: bird, monkey and feral-pig hunters. Bird hunters were all from urban areas but most pig hunters were rural. Monkey hunters were mostly rural workers but a small proportion were from urban areas. Bird and monkey hunters were primarily motivated by commercial gains but they also hunted for enjoyment and food. In general, hunting of mammals is an opportunistic activity that, if regulated, can be sustainable and contribute to mitigating the effects of invasive species on local fauna as well contributing to local livelihoods. Given the economic drivers involved in hunting of birds, intervention to reduce or eliminate this form of hunting will require enforcement of legislation and raising awareness of the issues involved.
Measurements of the radiocarbon abundance in 5 samples of bis(2–ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) isolated from Stilton cheese were made by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) to determine the fraction of carbon originating from contemporary biogenic sources. DEHP is classified as a “priority hazardous substance” by the European Union, a probable human carcinogen by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and is suspected to be a human endocrine disrupter. Measurement of its 14C abundance in a specific food indicates whether its presence is due to contamination from industrially synthesized DEHP or a naturally inherent component. A method was developed to determine the contemporary carbon fraction of DEHP in a fatty food matrix at concentrations of 0.14 mg/kg. Five 90–μg quantities of DEHP were extracted from 12 kg of Stilton cheese and isolated by silica gel, size exclusion, and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Masses of samples were determined by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses prior to combustion and manometry afterwards. The purity of DEHP carbon mass in each isolate was determined by multivariate deconvolution of GCMS fragmentation spectra obtained from measurements of standards and isolates, and ranged from 88.0 ± 1.8% to 92.3 ± 1.1% (n = 5, 1σ). Concurrently processed isolation method blanks contained from 0.15 ± 0.04 to 1.52 ± 0.06 μg (n = 3, 1σ) DEHP per sample and significant quantities of pre- and post-chromatographic extraneous carbon contamination. The mean 14C-corrected contemporary carbon fraction of DEHP in the isolates was 0.235 ± 0.073 (1σ; and ± 0.091 at the 95% confidence level), revealing that the majority of DEHP in Stilton cheese results from anthropogenic sources, but with a significant naturally occurring component.
A 10-kiloton (kT) nuclear detonation within a US city could expose hundreds of thousands of people to radiation. The Scarce Resources for a Nuclear Detonation Project was undertaken to guide community planning and response in the aftermath of a nuclear detonation, when demand will greatly exceed available resources. This article reviews the pertinent literature on radiation injuries from human exposures and animal models to provide a foundation for the triage and management approaches outlined in this special issue. Whole-body doses >2 Gy can produce clinically significant acute radiation syndrome (ARS), which classically involves the hematologic, gastrointestinal, cutaneous, and cardiovascular/central nervous systems. The severity and presentation of ARS are affected by several factors, including radiation dose and dose rate, interindividual variability in radiation response, type of radiation (eg, gamma alone, gamma plus neutrons), partial-body shielding, and possibly age, sex, and certain preexisting medical conditions. The combination of radiation with trauma, burns, or both (ie, combined injury) confers a worse prognosis than the same dose of radiation alone. Supportive care measures, including fluid support, antibiotics, and possibly myeloid cytokines (eg, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor), can improve the prognosis for some irradiated casualties. Finally, expert guidance and surge capacity for casualties with ARS are available from the Radiation Emergency Medical Management Web site and the Radiation Injury Treatment Network.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2011;5:S32-S44)