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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.
A new species of the genus Plagiorhynchus Lühe, 1911 from the intestine of the long-billed curlew (Numenius americanus) from northern Mexico is described. Plagiorhynchus (Plagiorhynchus) aznari n. sp. is morphologically distinguished from other congeneric species from the Americas by having a trunk expanded anteriorly and a cylindrical proboscis, armed with 19 longitudinal rows of hooks, with 14–15 hooks each row. Nearly complete sequences of the small subunit and large subunit of the nuclear ribosomal DNA of the new species were determined and compared with available sequences from GenBank. Phylogenetic analyses inferred from the two molecular markers consistently showed that P. (Plagiorhynchus) aznari n. sp. is closely related to P. (Plagiorhynchus) allisonae, and this clade is sister to a clade formed by P. (Prosthorhynchus) transversus and P. (Prosthorhynchus) cylindraceus from Plagiorhynchidae. The new species represents the second record of the genus in Mexico and the fourth species in the Americas. The phylogenetic relationships among the members of the order Polymorphida in this study provide significant insights into the evolution of ecological associations between parasites and their definitive hosts. Our analyses suggest that the colonization of marine mammals, fish-eating birds and waterfowl in Polymorphidae might have occurred independently, from a common ancestor of Centrorhynchidae and Plagiorhynchidae that colonized terrestrial birds and mammals.
We present a broad study of linear, clustered, noble gas puffs irradiated with the frequency doubled (527 nm) Titan laser at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Pure Ar, Kr, and Xe clustered gas puffs, as well as two mixed-gas puffs consisting of KrAr and XeKrAr gases, make up the targets. Characterization experiments to determine gas-puff density show that varying the experimental parameter gas-delay timing (the delay between gas puff initialization and laser-gas-puff interaction) provides a simple control over the gas-puff density. X-ray emission (>1.4 keV) is studied as a function of gas composition, density, and delay timing. Xe gas puffs produce the strongest peak radiation in the several keV spectral region. The emitted radiation was found to be anisotropic, with smaller X-ray flux observed in the direction perpendicular to both laser beam propagation and polarization directions. The degree of anisotropy is independent of gas target type but increases with photon energy. X-ray spectroscopic measurements estimate plasma parameters and highlight their difference with previous studies. Electron beams with energy in excess of 72 keV are present in the noble gas-puff plasmas and results indicate that Ar plays a key role in their production. A drastic increase in harder X-ray emissions (X-ray flash effect) and multi-MeV electron-beam generation from Xe gas-puff plasma occurred when the laser beam was focused on the front edge of the linear gas puff.
Although many mental health care systems provide care interventions that are not related to direct health care, little is known about the interfaces between the latter and core health care. ‘Core health care’ refers to services whose explicit aim is direct clinical treatment which is usually provided by health professionals, i.e., physicians, nurses, psychologists. ‘Other care’ is typically provided by other staff and includes accommodation, training, promotion of independence, employment support and social skills. In such a definition, ‘other care’ does not necessarily mean being funded or governed differently. The aims of the study were: (1) using a standard classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services and Directories in Europe for Long Term Care, DESDE-LTC) to identify ‘core health’ and ‘other care’ services provided to adults with mental health problems; and (2) to investigate the balance of care by analysing the types and characteristics of core health and other care services.
The study was conducted in eight selected local areas in eight European countries with different mental health systems. All publicly funded mental health services, regardless of the funding agency, for people over 18 years old were identified and coded. The availability, capacity and the workforce of the local mental health services were described using their functional main activity or ‘Main Types of Care’ (MTC) as the standard for international comparison, following the DESDE-LTC system.
In these European study areas, 822 MTCs were identified as providing core health care and 448 provided other types of care. Even though one-third of mental health services in the selected study areas provided interventions that were coded as ‘other care’, significant variation was found in the typology and characteristics of these services across the eight study areas.
The functional distinction between core health and other care overcomes the traditional division between ‘health’ and ‘social’ sectors based on governance and funding. The overall balance between core health and other care services varied significantly across the European sites. Mental health systems cannot be understood or planned without taking into account the availability and capacity of all services specifically available for this target population, including those outside the health sector.
Pollinator declines coupled with increasing demand for insect pollinated crops have the potential to cause future pollinator shortages for our most nutritious and valuable crops. Ensuring adequate crop pollination may necessitate a shift in pollination management, from one that primarily relies on the managed European honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) to one that integrates alternative pollinators. While a growing body of scientific evidence supports significant contributions made by naturally occurring, native bees for crop pollination, translating research to practice requires buy-in from growers. The intention of agricultural extension is to address grower needs and concerns; however, few studies have assessed grower knowledge, perceptions and attitudes about native pollinators. Here we present findings from questionnaire-based surveys of over 600 apple growers in New York State and Pennsylvania, coupled with ecological data from bee surveys. This hybrid sociological and biological survey allows us to compare grower knowledge and perceptions to an actual pollinator census. While up to 93% of respondents highly valued importance of native bees, 20% growers did not know how much native bees actually contribute to their orchard pollination. Despite the uncertainty, a majority of growers were open to relying on native bees (up to 60% in NY and 67% in PA) and to making low-cost changes to their farm's management that would benefit native pollinators (up to 68 in NY and 85% in PA). Growers consistently underestimated bee diversity, but their estimates corresponded to major bee groups identifiable by lay persons, indicating accurate local knowledge about native bees. Grower reliance on honeybees increased with farm size; because native bee abundance did not measurably decrease with farm size, renting honeybees may be motivated by risk avoidance rather than grower perception of lower native bee activity. Demonstrated effectiveness of native pollinators and clear guidelines for their management were the most important factors influencing grower decision to actively manage orchards for native bees. Our results highlight a pressing need for an active and research-based extension program to support diversification of pollination strategies in the region.
The asymptotic phase θ of an initial point x in the stable manifold of a limit cycle (LC) identifies the phase of the point on the LC to which the flow φt(x) converges as t → ∞. The infinitesimal phase response curve (iPRC) quantifies the change in timing due to a small perturbation of a LC trajectory. For a stable LC in a smooth dynamical system, the iPRC is the gradient ∇x(θ) of the phase function, which can be obtained via the adjoint of the variational equation. For systems with discontinuous dynamics, the standard approach to obtaining the iPRC fails. We derive a formula for the iPRCs of LCs occurring in piecewise smooth (Filippov) dynamical systems of arbitrary dimension, subject to a transverse flow condition. Discontinuous jumps in the iPRC can occur at the boundaries separating subdomains, and are captured by a linear matching condition. The matching matrix, M, can be derived from the saltation matrix arising in the associated variational problem. For the special case of linear dynamics away from switching boundaries, we obtain an explicit expression for the iPRC. We present examples from cell biology (Glass networks) and neuroscience (central pattern generator models). We apply the iPRCs obtained to study synchronization and phase-locking in piecewise smooth LC systems in which synchronization arises solely due to the crossing of switching manifolds.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) can cause serious respiratory infections, second only to influenza virus. In order to know RSV's genetic changes we examined 4028 respiratory specimens from local hospital outpatients in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea over six consecutive years by real-time one-step RT–PCR; 183 patients were positive for RSV infection. To investigate the specific distribution of RSV genotypes, we performed partial sequencing of the glycoprotein gene. Of the 131 RSV-A specimens sequenced, 61 (43·3%) belonged to the ON1 genotype, 66 (46·8%) were NA1 genotype, 3 (2·1%) were GA5 genotype, and 1 (0·7%) belonged to the GA1 genotype. Of the 31 RSV-B specimens sequenced, 29 were BA9 genotype (87·9%) and 2 were BA10 genotype (6·1%). The most common clinical symptoms were fever, cough, nasal discharge, and phlegm; multiple logistic regression analysis showed that RSV-positive infection on pediatric patients was strongly associated with cough (OR = 2·8, 95% CI 1·6–5·1) and wheezing (OR = 2·8, 95% CI 1·7–4·4). The ON1 genotype was significantly associated with phlegm (OR = 11·8, 95% CI 3·8–46·7), while the NA1 genotype was associated with the pediatric patients’ gender (males, OR = 2·4, 95% CI 1·1–5·4) and presence of chills (OR = 5·1, 95% CI 1·1–27·2). RSV subgroup B was showed association with nasal obstruction (OR = 4·6, 95% CI 1·2–20·0). The majority of respiratory virus coinfections with RSV were human rhinovirus (47·2%). This study contributes to our understanding of the molecular epidemiological characteristics of RSV, which promotes the potential for improving RSV vaccines.
There is a need of more quantitative standardised data to compare local Mental Health Systems (MHSs) across international jurisdictions. Problems related to terminological variability and commensurability in the evaluation of services hamper like-with-like comparisons and hinder the development of work in this area. This study was aimed to provide standard assessment and comparison of MHS in selected local areas in Europe, contributing to a better understanding of MHS and related allocation of resources at local level and to lessen the scarcity in standard service comparison in Europe. This study is part of the Seventh Framework programme REFINEMENT (Research on Financing Systems’ Effect on the Quality of Mental Health Care in Europe) project.
A total of eight study areas from European countries with different systems of care (Austria, England, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain) were analysed using a standard open-access classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services for Long Term Care in Europe, DESDE-LTC). All publicly funded services universally accessible to adults (≥18 years) with a psychiatric disorder were coded. Care availability, diversity and capacity were compared across these eight local MHS.
The comparison of MHS revealed more community-oriented delivery systems in the areas of England (Hampshire) and Southern European countries (Verona – Italy and Girona – Spain). Community-oriented systems with a higher proportion of hospital care were identified in Austria (Industrieviertel) and Scandinavian countries (Sør-Trøndelag in Norway and Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland), while Loiret (France) was considered as a predominantly hospital-based system. The MHS in Suceava (Romania) was still in transition to community care.
There is a significant variation in care availability and capacity across MHS of local areas in Europe. This information is relevant for understanding the process of implementation of community-oriented mental health care in local areas. Standard comparison of care provision in local areas is important for context analysis and policy planning.
The study aims to examine whether cognitive deficits are different between patients with early stage Alzheimer's disease (AD) and patients with early stage vascular dementia (VaD) using the Korean version of the CERAD neuropsychological battery (CERAD-K-N).
Patients with early stage dementia, global Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) 0.5 or 1 were consecutively recruited among first visitors to a dementia clinic, 257 AD patients and 90 VaD patients completed the protocol of the Korean version of the CERAD clinical assessment battery. CERAD-K-N was administered for the comprehensive evaluation of the neuropsychological function.
Of the total 347 participants, 257 (69.1%) were AD group (CDR 0.5 = 66.9%) and 90 (21.9%) were VaD group (CDR 0.5 = 40.0%). Patients with very mild AD showed poorer performances in Boston naming test (BNT) (P = 0.028), word list memory test (P < 0.001), word list recall test (P < 0.001) and word list recognition test (WLRcT) (P = 0.006) than very mild VaD after adjustment of T score of MMSE-KC. However, the performance of trail making A (TMA) was more impaired in VaD group than in AD group. The performance of WLRcT (P < 0.001) was the worst among neuropsychological tests within AD group, whereas TMA was performed worst within VaD group.
Patients with early-stage AD have more cognitive deficits on memory and language while patients with early-stage VaD show worse cognitive function on attention/processing speed. In addition, as the first cognitive deficit, memory dysfunction comes in AD and deficit in attention/processing speed in VaD.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
A radiocarbon (14C) dating technique with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) was applied to estimate the year of death and the year of birth of unidentified human remains. Because many of the samples have been preserved in formaldehyde, it was necessary to evaluate the influence of formaldehyde on carbon ages. Samples intentionally preserved in formaldehyde during the known period were measured, and their Δ14C values were compared with results obtained from fresh samples. The influence of formaldehyde on soft tissue was 14 times larger than that on cortical bone. Unfortunately, an effective method for removing the influence of formaldehyde has not yet been found. 14C ages could be obtained only from the samples not preserved in formaldehyde. The years of birth were determined by the ages of the dentin samples, while the years of death were determined by the ages of the bone and soft tissue samples. Multiple sampling from a body provides an advantage in determination of one of two possible ages of a sample obtained using the bomb peak. Victims of the Korean War were ascertained by the year of death. The year of death and the age at death of unidentified bodies were also determined for forensic investigation.
This study aimed to examine the association between vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 biomarkers and plasma fatty acids in European adolescents. A subsample from the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence study with valid data on B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters, and all the other covariates used in the analyses such as BMI, Diet Quality Index, education of the mother and physical activity assessed by a questionnaire, was selected resulting in 674 cases (43 % males). B-vitamin biomarkers were measured by chromatography and immunoassay and fatty acids by enzymatic analyses. Linear mixed models elucidated the association between B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters (changes in fatty acid profiles according to change in 10 units of vitamin B biomarkers). DHA, EPA) and n-3 fatty acids showed positive associations with B-vitamin biomarkers, mainly with those corresponding to folate and vitamin B12. Contrarily, negative associations were found with n-6:n-3 ratio, trans-fatty acids and oleic:stearic ratio. With total homocysteine (tHcy), all the associations found with these parameters were opposite (for instance, an increase of 10 nmol/l in red blood cell folate or holotranscobalamin in females produces an increase of 15·85 µmol/l of EPA (P value <0·01), whereas an increase of 10 nmol/l of tHcy in males produces a decrease of 2·06 µmol/l of DHA (P value <0·05). Positive associations between B-vitamins and specific fatty acids might suggest underlying mechanisms between B-vitamins and CVD and it is worth the attention of public health policies.
Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production has been very rare in serotype K1 Klebsiella pneumoniae ST23 strains, which are well-known invasive community strains. Among 92 ESBL-producing strains identified in 218 isolates from nine Asian countries, serotype K1 K. pneumoniae strains were screened. Two ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates from Singapore and Indonesia were determined to be serotype K1 and ST23. Their plasmids, which contain CTX-M-15 genes, are transferable rendering the effective transfer of ESBL resistance plasmids to other organisms.
We present recent observation results of Sgr A* at millimeter obtained with VLBI arrays in Korea and Japan.
7 mm monitoring of Sgr A* is part of our AGN large project. The results at 7 epochs during 2013-2014, including high resolution maps, flux density and two-dimensional size measurements are presented. The source shows no significant variation in flux and structure related to the G2 encounter in 2014. According to recent MHD simulations by kawashima et al., flux and magnetic field energy can be expected to increase several years after the encounter; We will keep our monitoring in order to test this prediction.
Astrometric observations of Sgr A* were performed in 2015 at 7 and 3.5 millimeter simultaneously. Source-frequency phase referencing was applied and a combined ”core-shift” of Sgr A* and a nearby calibrator was measured. Future observations and analysis are necessary to determine the core-shift in each source.
Peer drinking norms are arguably one of the strongest correlates of adolescent drinking. Prospective studies indicate that adolescents tend to select peers based on drinking (peer selection) and their peers' drinking is associated with changes in adolescent drinking over time (peer socialization). The present study investigated whether the peer selection and socialization processes in adolescent drinking differed as a function of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) variable number tandem repeat genotype in two independent prospective data sets. The first sample was 174 high school students drawn from a two-wave 6-month prospective study. The second sample was 237 college students drawn from a three-wave annual prospective study. Multigroup cross-lagged panel analyses of the high school student sample indicated stronger socialization via peer drinking norms among carriers, whereas analyses of the college student sample indicated stronger drinking-based peer selection in the junior year among carriers, compared to noncarriers. Although replication and meta-analytic synthesis are needed, these findings suggest that in part genetically determined peer selection (carriers of the DRD4 seven-repeat allele tend to associate with peers who have more favorable attitudes toward drinking and greater alcohol use) and peer socialization (carriers' subsequent drinking behaviors are more strongly associated with their peer drinking norms) may differ across adolescent developmental stages.
This study evaluated whether primary tumour characteristics are associated with specific features of metastatic lymph nodes in papillary thyroid carcinoma patients.
A retrospective review of 411 patients with pathologically diagnosed cervical lymph node metastasis was conducted.
A metastatic lymph node focus size of at least 2 mm was independently associated with a primary tumour size of at least 1 cm (hazard ratio 1.962) and with male sex (hazard ratio 1.947). A number of at least five lymph node metastases was independently associated with a primary tumour size of at least 1 cm (hazard ratio 2.863), extrathyroidal extension (hazard ratio 1.737) and male sex (hazard ratio 1.689). Extranodal extension was independently associated with a primary tumour size of at least 1 cm (hazard ratio 2.288), extrathyroidal extension (2.201) and male sex (hazard ratio 1.733).
Primary papillary thyroid carcinoma characteristics are related to the pathological features of lymph node metastases.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) has been associated with abnormal cognitive and emotional functions and these dysfunctions may be dependent on the disruption of dynamic interactions within neuronal circuits associated with emotion regulation. Although several studies have shown the aberrant cognitive–affective processing in OCD patients, little is known about how to characterize effective connectivity of the disrupted neural interactions. In the present study, we applied effective connectivity analysis using dynamic causal modeling to explore the disturbed neural interactions in OCD patients.
A total of 20 patients and 21 matched healthy controls performed a delayed-response working memory task under emotional or non-emotional distraction while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging.
During the delay interval under negative emotional distraction, both groups showed similar patterns of activations in the amygdala. However, under negative emotional distraction, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) exhibited significant differences between groups. Bayesian model averaging indicated that the connection from the DLPFC to the OFC was negatively modulated by negative emotional distraction in patients, when compared with healthy controls (p < 0.05, Bonferroni-corrected).
Exaggerated recruitment of the DLPFC may induce the reduction of top-down prefrontal control input over the OFC, leading to abnormal cortico-cortical interaction. This disrupted cortico-cortical interaction under negative emotional distraction may be responsible for dysfunctions of cognitive and emotional processing in OCD patients and may be a component of the pathophysiology associated with OCD.