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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.
Recent data suggest that organic broilers often score worse on footpad lesions than conventional broilers but also that the current scoring of organic broiler feet may be misleading. In order to characterise footpad lesions in organic broilers, this study assessed and compared footpad lesions in a sample of 2987 conventional and 3578 organic broiler feet obtained from a large Danish abattoir during summer and winter. The feet were scored according to two scoring systems: the modified Danish surveillance scoring system and a histopathology-based new scoring system specifically developed to target the ability to differentiate between broiler feet with hyperkeratosis and ulcers. For both systems, all broiler feet with visible lesions were cross-sectionally incised. Significant differences between the two production systems were found for both scoring systems (χ2 = 710; P < 0.001 and χ2 = 247; P < 0.001 for the new and the surveillance systems, respectively), showing that a larger proportion of the organic feet compared to conventional feet – summer and winter – exhibited signs of hyperkeratosis. In addition, a smaller fraction of the organic feet than of the conventional feet were given the outermost scores, that is, normal or ulcerated; 13.4% v. 25.3% broiler feet were given score 0 for organic v. conventional production systems, respectively (χ2 = 152; P < 0.001), and 18.4% v. 23.8% feet were given score 4 for organic v. conventional production systems, respectively (χ2 = 308; P < 0.001). Thus, the results suggest that surveillance scoring systems such as the one used in Denmark are useful for the examination of footpad lesions in broilers from both types of production systems. However, the results have also raised attention to a typical characteristic of the feet of organic broilers, that is, profound hyperkeratosis, which may underlie potential misclassifications in surveillance scoring systems like the one used in Denmark. Among the possible solutions to this challenge to the correctness and fairness of the scoring system are improved procedures (such as mandatory incision), training of technicians and calibration of results (especially for the organic footpads).
There is considerable debate as to the optimal light intensities for growing chickens. This is influencing regulations and industry practices. The present study examines the preference of broiler chickens for light intensity. A choice system was developed to allow determination of the preferences of broiler chickens for light intensity. This system had three light proof pens each with feeders or waterers but different light intensities. There was a connecting transit pen with a light intensity of 1 to 2 lux. This allowed birds access to the pens each with feeders or waterers. There were markedly more chickens observed in the pens each with feeders or waterers and a light intensity of 20 lux than 5 lux. Moreover, more feed was consumed in the 20 lux pens than 5 pens. There were also high numbers of chickens in the transit compartment with its low light intensity (1 to 2 lux) and no feeders or waterers. Broiler chickens exhibited a preference for 20 lux light intensity for feeding compared to 5 lux light intensity. The present study supports the view that there should be a light intensity of at least 20 lux for the areas around the feeders and also suggests that light intensity may be reduced in other areas for resting and other activities.
n-3 PUFA may exert favourable effects on several processes that may inhibit the atherosclerotic process. However, the role of n-3 PUFA in lowering the risk of atherosclerotic CVD (ASCVD) has been fiercely debated. In the present paper, we summarise the main findings from previous follow-up studies of intake and studies using adipose tissue as an objective biomarker to investigate exposure to n-3 PUFA in relation to ASCVD risk and discuss some perspectives for further research. The majority of previous studies investigating intake of marine- and plant-based n-3 PUFA have focused on CHD while other ASCVD such as ischaemic stroke and peripheral artery disease have been less studied. However, recent data from Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort suggest that marine n-3 PUFA may be inversely associated with risk of myocardial infarction, ischaemic stroke and peripheral arterial disease caused by atherosclerosis. The effect of the plant-derived n-3 PUFA α-linolenic acid on ASCVD is less clear and several gaps in the literature remain to be explored.
We evaluated whether a diagnostic stewardship initiative consisting of ASP preauthorization paired with education could reduce false-positive hospital-onset (HO) Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI).
Single center, quasi-experimental study.
Tertiary academic medical center in Chicago, Illinois.
Adult inpatients were included in the intervention if they were admitted between October 1, 2016, and April 30, 2018, and were eligible for C. difficile preauthorization review. Patients admitted to the stem cell transplant (SCT) unit were not included in the intervention and were therefore considered a contemporaneous noninterventional control group.
The intervention consisted of requiring prescriber attestation that diarrhea has met CDI clinical criteria, ASP preauthorization, and verbal clinician feedback. Data were compared 33 months before and 19 months after implementation. Facility-wide HO-CDI incidence rates (IR) per 10,000 patient days (PD) and standardized infection ratios (SIR) were extracted from hospital infection prevention reports.
During the entire 52 month period, the mean facility-wide HO-CDI-IR was 7.8 per 10,000 PD and the SIR was 0.9 overall. The mean ± SD HO-CDI-IR (8.5 ± 2.0 vs 6.5 ± 2.3; P < .001) and SIR (0.97 ± 0.23 vs 0.78 ± 0.26; P = .015) decreased from baseline during the intervention. Segmented regression models identified significant decreases in HO-CDI-IR (Pstep = .06; Ptrend = .008) and SIR (Pstep = .1; Ptrend = .017) trends concurrent with decreases in oral vancomycin (Pstep < .001; Ptrend < .001). HO-CDI-IR within a noninterventional control unit did not change (Pstep = .125; Ptrend = .115).
A multidisciplinary, multifaceted intervention leveraging clinician education and feedback reduced the HO-CDI-IR and the SIR in select populations. Institutions may consider interventions like ours to reduce false-positive C. difficile NAAT tests.
We consider task planning for long-living intelligent agents situated in dynamic environments. Specifically, we address the problem of incomplete knowledge of the world due to the addition of new objects with unknown action models. We propose a multilayered agent architecture that uses meta-reasoning to control hierarchical task planning and situated learning, monitor expectations generated by a plan against world observations, forms goals and rewards for the situated reinforcement learner, and learns the missing planning knowledge relevant to the new objects. We use occupancy grids as a low-level representation for the high-level expectations to capture changes in the physical world due to the additional objects, and provide a similarity method for detecting discrepancies between the expectations and the observations at run-time; the meta-reasoner uses these discrepancies to formulate goals and rewards for the learner, and the learned policies are added to the hierarchical task network plan library for future re-use. We describe our experiments in the Minecraft and Gazebo microworlds to demonstrate the efficacy of the architecture and the technique for learning. We test our approach against an ablated reinforcement learning (RL) version, and our results indicate this form of expectation enhances the learning curve for RL while being more generic than propositional representations.
The magnetometer measurements taken by Cassini have confirmed the unusual character of Saturn’s internal magnetic field known from previous flybys and have revealed additional properties that suggest a rather unique dynamo in this planet. Within measurement uncertainty, the internal magnetic field is completely symmetric with respect to Saturn’s spin axis. The upper limit on the tilt of the magnetic dipole could be reduced from 1 to 0.06 degree. Moreover, only axisymmetric quadrupole and octupole moments are needed to fit the data. The lack of non-axisymmetric field components prevents a reliable determination of the bulk rotation rate of Saturn’s deep interior. Using data from Cassini’s closest approach to Saturn during orbit insertion, the magnetic moments of degrees four and five have been determined. The spatial power spectrum shows a zig-zag pattern with high power in odd spherical harmonic degrees and low power in even degrees. Compared to a simple dipole field, this corresponds to a concentration of magnetic flux towards the rotation poles. The flux concentration becomes progressively more pronounced when the field is continued into the interior. Comparison of the Cassini field model with that based on the Pioneer 11 and Voyager 1 and 2 measurements taken roughly 30 years earlier suggests that the secular variation of Saturn’s field is at least one order of magnitude slower than that of the Earth. A viable explanation for most of the unusual field properties is that a stably stratified and electrically conducting layer, formed by a partial demixing of helium from metallic hydrogen, exists on top of a “standard” dynamo in Saturn’s deep interior. This dynamo, driven by thermal and compositional convection, generates a magnetic field that is moderately asymmetric and time dependent. Rapid time variations and non-axisymmetric field components are filtered out in the stable layer by a skin effect. This model also implies that the top of the active dynamo may be located rather deep in Saturn’s interior and the geometric drop-off of the dipole strength with the radius cubed could explain the unexpectedly low field strength at Saturn’s surface. The stable layer model does not provide an explanation for the magnetic flux concentration towards the poles. Strong differential rotation in the dynamo region can have this effect, but a physical mechanism for such a flow state remains to be explored. From magnetic measurements to be taken during the very close approaches in the Grand Finale of the Cassini mission, we can expect to characterize Saturn’s magnetic field up to at least spherical harmonic degree nine and possibly to detect weak non-axisymmetric field components, which would enable an accurate determination of Saturn’s rotation period.
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.
Fluid–structure interactions are ubiquitous in nature and technology. However, the systems are often so complex that numerical simulations or ad hoc assumptions must be used to gain insight into the details of the complex interactions between the fluid and solid mechanics. In this paper, we present experiments and theory on viscous flow in a simple bioinspired soft valve which illustrate essential features of interactions between hydrodynamic and elastic forces at low Reynolds numbers. The set-up comprises a sphere connected to a spring located inside a tapering cylindrical channel. The spring is aligned with the central axis of the channel and a pressure drop is applied across the sphere, thus forcing the liquid through the narrow gap between the sphere and the channel walls. The sphere’s equilibrium position is determined by a balance between spring and hydrodynamic forces. Since the gap thickness changes with the sphere’s position, the system has a pressure-dependent hydraulic resistance. This leads to a nonlinear relation between applied pressure and flow rate: flow initially increases with pressure, but decreases when the pressure exceeds a certain critical value as the gap closes. To rationalize these observations, we propose a mathematical model that reduced the complexity of the flow to a two-dimensional lubrication approximation. A closed-form expression for the pressure drop/flow rate is obtained which reveals that the flow rate
depends on the pressure drop
, sphere radius
, gap thickness
, and viscosity
, where the critical pressure
scales with the spring constant
. These predictions compared favourably to the results of our experiments with no free parameters.
Southern California has experienced widespread amphibian declines since the 1960s. One species, the Vulnerable California red-legged frog Rana draytonii, is now considered to be extirpated from most of southern California. In February 2017 a population of R. draytonii was discovered in the southern foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains of Riverside County, California, near the edge of the species’ historical distribution. This population belongs to an mtDNA lineage that was presumed to be extirpated within the USA but is still extant in Baja California, Mexico. This discovery increases the potential for future, evolutionarily informed translocations within the southern portion of this species’ range in California.
The 2015 Farm to School Census reports that during the 2013–2014 school year there were over 5200 farm to school (FTS) programs in the USA that involved 39,000 schools and 24.1 million children. These FTS programs are intended, in part, to increase market access and therefore the viability of farms and ranches. Accordingly, the majority of FTS programs involve local food procurement directly from farmers, from non-traditional suppliers that market locally branded food products such as ‘food hubs’, or from traditional suppliers such distributors and food service management companies. Yet, there is reason to believe that transaction costs vary based on the supply chain that schools use to procure local food. Moreover, that the supply chain that schools use to procure local food has a relationship with school's expenditures on local food. We use the 2015 Farm to School Census to estimate the relationship between school district's local food expenditures per student and supply chain structure. We analyzed data using ordinary least squares regressions, controlling for the region of the USA, the type of local food products purchased, and other school-specific characteristics. Importantly, we find a negative and significant relationship between school district's non-milk local food expenditure per student, and purchases directly from the farm and from non-traditional suppliers. This implies that schools that purchase local food from traditional distributors are likely to have higher on average expenditures per student compared with schools that purchase local food directly from farmers or non-traditional distributors. Results point to the need for additional research in determining the efficacy of policies to support direct and non-traditional FTS marketing arrangements.
The hydrological ice-sheet basin draining into the Tasersiaq lake, West Greenland (66°13’ N, 50°30’W), was delineated, first using standard digital elevation models (DEMs) for ice-sheet surface and bedrock, and subsequently using a new high-resolution dataset, with a surface DEM derived from repeat-track interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and a bedrock topography derived from an airborne 60 MHz ice-penetrating radar. The extent of the delineation was calculated from a water-pressure potential as a function of the ice-sheet surface and bedrock elevations and a hydraulic factor k describing the relative importance of the potential of the ice overburden pressure compared to the bedrock topography. Themeltwater run-off for the basin delineations was modelled with an energy-balance model calibrated with observed ice-sheet ablation and compared to a 25 year time series of measured basin run-off. The standard DEMs were found to be inadequate for delineation purposes, whereas delineations from high-resolution data were found to be very sensitive to changes in k in a non-linear way, causing a factor 5 change of basin area, corresponding to a doubling of the modelled runoff. The 50% standard deviation of the measured basin run-off could thus be explained by small year-to-year variations of the k-factor.
An old portable 60 MHz radar has been upgraded with a new digital data-processing and -acquisition system and a new antenna construction enabling a fast and low-cost installation on a Twin Otter aircraft. Augmented by a laser altimeter and kinematic global positioning system (GPS), the system has the capability of acquiring accurate data on location and ice-surface elevation, and adequate-quality data on ice thickness. The system has been applied successfully in mapping the Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glacier, northeast Greenland, in spite of the difficult conditions with melting water on the glacier surface. The measurements from the floating part of the glacier have been evaluated by comparison of radar data with laser-altimeter and in situ measurements.
An antenna in geostationary orbit was used for VLBI observations at 2.3 GHz, in combination with ground antennas in Australia and Japan. 23 of the 25 observed sources were detected on orbiter-ground baselines, with baseline lengths as large as 2.15 earth diameters. Brightness temperatures between 1012 K and 4 × 1012 K were measured for 10 sources.
A turbulent boundary layer developed over a herringbone patterned riblet surface is investigated using stereoscopic particle image velocimetry in the cross-stream plane at
. The three velocity components resulting from this experiment reveal a pronounced spanwise periodicity in all single-point velocity statistics. Consistent with previous hot-wire studies over similar-type riblets, we observe a weak time-average secondary flow in the form of
-filling streamwise vortices. The observed differences in the surface and secondary flow characteristics, compared to other heterogeneous-roughness studies, may suggest that different mechanisms are responsible for the flow modifications in this case. Observations of instantaneous velocity fields reveal modified and rearranged turbulence structures. The instantaneous snapshots also suggest that the time-average secondary flow may be an artefact arising from superpositions of much stronger instantaneous turbulent events enhanced by the surface texture. In addition, the observed instantaneous secondary motions seem to have promoted a free-stream-engulfing behaviour in the outer layer, which would indicate an increase turbulent/non-turbulent flow mixing. It is overall demonstrated that the presence of large-scale directionality in transitional surface roughness can cause a modification throughout the entire boundary layer, even when the roughness height is 0.5 % of the layer thickness.
The Medium-l Program of the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) instrument on board SOHO provides continuous observations of oscillation modes of angular degree, l, from 0 to ∼ 300. The initial results show that the noise in the Medium-l oscillation power spectrum is substantially lower than in ground-based measurements. This enables us to detect lower amplitude modes and, thus, to extend the range of measured mode frequencies. The MDI observations also reveal the asymmetry of oscillation spectral lines. The line asymmetries agree with the theory of mode excitation by acoustic sources localized in the upper convective boundary layer. The sound-speed profile inferred from the mean frequencies gives evidence for a sharp variation at the edge of the energy-generating core. In a thin layer just beneath the convection zone, helium appears to be less abundant than predicted by theory. Inverting the multiplet frequency splittings from MDI, we detect significant rotational shear in this thin layer.
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.
A child's diet is an important determinant for later health, growth and development. In Denmark, most children in primary school bring their own packed lunch from home and attend an after-school care institution. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the food, energy and nutrient intake of Danish school children in relation to dietary guidelines and nutrient recommendations, and to assess the food intake during and outside school hours. In total, 834 children from nine public schools located in the eastern part of Denmark were included in this cross-sectional study and 798 children (95·7 %) completed the dietary assessment sufficiently (August–November 2011). The whole diet was recorded during seven consecutive days using the Web-based Dietary Assessment Software for Children (WebDASC). Compared with the food-based dietary guidelines and nutrient recommendations, 85 % of the children consumed excess amounts of red meat, 89 % consumed too much saturated fat, and 56 % consumed too much added sugar. Additionally 35 or 91 % of the children (depending on age group) consumed insufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables, 85 % consumed insufficient amounts of fish, 86 % consumed insufficient amounts of dietary fibre, 60 or 84 % had an insufficient Fe intake (depending on age group), and 96 % had an insufficient vitamin D intake. The study also showed that there is a higher intake of fruits and bread during school hours than outside school hours; this is not the case with, for example, fish and vegetables, and future studies should investigate strategies to increase fish and vegetable intake during school hours.
To assess the relative validity of a semi-quantitative, web-based FFQ completed by female pregnancy planners in the Danish ‘Snart Forældre’ study.
We validated a web-based FFQ based on the FFQ used in the Danish National Birth Cohort against a 4 d food diary (FD) and assessed the relative validity of intakes of foods and nutrients. We compared means and medians of intakes, and calculated Pearson correlation coefficients and de-attenuated coefficients to assess agreement between the two methods. We also calculated the proportion correctly classified based on the same or adjacent quintile of intake and the proportion of grossly misclassified (extreme quintiles).
Participants (n 128) in the ‘Snart Forældre’ study who had completed the web-based FFQ were invited to participate in the validation study.
Participants in the ‘Snart Forældre’ study, in total ninety-seven women aged 20–42 years.
Reported intakes of dairy products, vegetables and potatoes were higher in the FFQ compared with the FD, whereas reported intakes of fruit, meat, sugar and beverages were lower in the FFQ than in the FD. Overall the de-attenuated correlation coefficients were acceptable, ranging from 0·33 for energy to 0·93 for vitamin D. The majority of the women were classified in the same or adjacent quintile and few women were misclassified (extreme quintiles).
The web-based FFQ performs well for ranking women of reproductive age according to high or low intake of foods and nutrients and, thus, provides a solid basis for investigating associations between diet and fertility.
Internet interventions are assumed to be cost-effective. However, it is unclear how strong this evidence is, and what the quality of this evidence is.
A comprehensive literature search (1990–2014) in Medline, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, NHS Economic Evaluations Database, NHS Health Technology Assessment Database, Office of Health Economics Evaluations Database, Compendex and Inspec was conducted. We included economic evaluations alongside randomized controlled trials of Internet interventions for a range of mental health symptoms compared to a control group, consisting of a psychological or pharmaceutical intervention, treatment-as-usual (TAU), wait-list or an attention control group.
Of the 6587 abstracts identified, 16 papers met the inclusion criteria. Nine studies featured a societal perspective. Results demonstrated that guided Internet interventions for depression, anxiety, smoking cessation and alcohol consumption had favourable probabilities of being more cost-effective when compared to wait-list, TAU, group cognitive behaviour therapy (CBGT), attention control, telephone counselling or unguided Internet CBT. Unguided Internet interventions for suicide prevention, depression and smoking cessation demonstrated cost-effectiveness compared to TAU or attention control. In general, results from cost-utility analyses using more generic health outcomes (quality of life) were less favourable for unguided Internet interventions. Most studies adhered reasonably to economic guidelines.
Results of guided Internet interventions being cost-effective are promising with most studies adhering to publication standards, but more economic evaluations are needed in order to determine cost-effectiveness of Internet interventions compared to the most cost-effective treatment currently available.