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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.
Cardiometabolic diseases exhibit changes in lipid biology, which is important as lipids have critical roles in membrane architecture, signalling, hormone synthesis, homoeostasis and metabolism. However, Developmental Origins of Health and Disease studies of cardiometabolic disease rarely include analysis of lipids. This short review highlights some examples of lipid pathology and then explores the technology available for analysing lipids, focussing on the need to develop imaging modalities for intracellular lipids. Analytical methods for studying interactions between the complex endocrine and intracellular signalling pathways that regulate lipid metabolism have been critical in expanding our understanding of how cardiometabolic diseases develop in association with obesity and dietary factors. Biochemical methods can be used to generate detailed lipid profiles to establish links between lifestyle factors and metabolic signalling pathways and determine how changes in specific lipid subtypes in plasma and homogenized tissue are associated with disease progression. New imaging modalities enable the specific visualization of intracellular lipid traffic and distribution in situ. These techniques provide a dynamic picture of the interactions between lipid storage, mobilization and signalling, which operate during normal cell function and are altered in many important diseases. The development of methods for imaging intracellular lipids can provide a dynamic real-time picture of how lipids are involved in complex signalling and other cell biology pathways; and how they ultimately regulate metabolic function/homoeostasis during early development. Some imaging modalities have the potential to be adapted for in vivo applications, and may enable the direct visualization of progression of pathogenesis of cardiometabolic disease after poor growth in early life.
To describe the investigation and control of a cluster of Serratia marcescens bacteremia in a 505-bed tertiary-care center.
Cluster cases were defined as all patients with S. marcescens bacteremia between March 2 and April 7, 2014, who were found to have identical or related blood isolates determined by molecular typing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Cases were compared using bivariate analysis with controls admitted at the same time and to the same service as the cases, in a 4:1 ratio.
In total, 6 patients developed S. marcescens bacteremia within 48 hours after admission within the above period. Of these, 5 patients had identical Serratia isolates determined by molecular typing, and were included in a case-control study. Exposure to the post-anesthesia care unit was a risk factor identified in bivariate analysis. Evidence of tampered opioid-containing syringes on several hospital units was discovered soon after the initial cluster case presented, and a full narcotic diversion investigation was conducted. A nurse working in the post-anesthesia care unit was identified as the employee responsible for the drug diversion and was epidemiologically linked to all 5 patients in the cluster. No further cases were identified once the implicated employee’s job was terminated.
Illicit drug use by healthcare workers remains an important mechanism for the development of bloodstream infections in hospitalized patients. Active mechanisms and systems should remain in place to prevent, detect, and control narcotic drug diversions and associated patient harm in the healthcare setting.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
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.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
The Millimetre Astronomy Legacy Team 90 GHz (MALT90) survey aims to characterise the physical and chemical evolution of high-mass star-forming clumps. Exploiting the unique broad frequency range and on-the-fly mapping capabilities of the Australia Telescope National Facility Mopra 22 m single-dish telescope1, MALT90 has obtained 3′ × 3′ maps towards ~2 000 dense molecular clumps identified in the ATLASGAL 870 μm Galactic plane survey. The clumps were selected to host the early stages of high-mass star formation and to span the complete range in their evolutionary states (from prestellar, to protostellar, and on to
regions and photodissociation regions). Because MALT90 mapped 16 lines simultaneously with excellent spatial (38 arcsec) and spectral (0.11 km s−1) resolution, the data reveal a wealth of information about the clumps’ morphologies, chemistry, and kinematics. In this paper we outline the survey strategy, observing mode, data reduction procedure, and highlight some early science results. All MALT90 raw and processed data products are available to the community. With its unprecedented large sample of clumps, MALT90 is the largest survey of its type ever conducted and an excellent resource for identifying interesting candidates for high-resolution studies with ALMA.
We present the results of a programme of scanning and mapping observations of astronomical masers and Jupiter designed to characterise the performance of the Mopra Radio Telescope at frequencies between 16 and 50 GHz using the 12-mm and 7-mm receivers. We use these observations to determine the telescope beam size, beam shape, and overall telescope beam efficiency as a function of frequency. We find that the beam size is well fit by λ/D over the frequency range with a correlation coefficient of ∼90%. We determine the telescope main beam efficiencies are between ∼48 and 64% for the 12-mm receiver and reasonably flat at ∼50% for the 7-mm receiver. Beam maps of strong H2O (22 GHz) and SiO masers (43 GHz) provide a means to examine the radial beam pattern of the telescope. At both frequencies, the radial beam pattern reveals the presence of three components: a central ‘core’, which is well fit by a Gaussian and constitutes the telescopes main beam; and inner and outer error beams. At both frequencies, the inner and outer error beams extend out to ∼2 and ∼3.4 times the full-width half maximum of the main beam, respectively. Sources with angular sizes of a factor of two or more larger than the telescope main beam will couple to the main and error beams, and therefore the power contributed by the error beams needs to be considered. From measurements of the radial beam power pattern we estimate the amount of power contained in the inner and outer error beams is of order one-fifth at 22 GHz, rising slightly to one-third at 43 GHz.
Although high rates of clinical infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have been reported in HIV-infected adults, data on MRSA colonization are limited. We enrolled HIV-infected adults receiving care at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Swabs from each participant's nares and groin were cultured with broth enrichment for S. aureus. Of 600 HIV-infected adults, 79 (13%) were colonized with MRSA and 180 (30%) with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus. MRSA pulsed-field gel electrophoresis types USA300 (n=44, 54%) and USA500/Iberian (n=29, 35%) predominated. Inclusion of groin swabs increased MRSA detection by 24% and USA300 detection by 38%. In multivariate analysis, MRSA colonization compared to no MRSA colonization was associated with a history of MRSA clinical infection, rarely or never using condoms, and contact with prisons and jails. In summary, the prevalence of MRSA colonization was high in this study of HIV-infected adults and detection of USA300 was enhanced by groin culture.
The methanol multi-beam (MMB) survey has produced the largest and most complete catalogue of Galactic 6.7-GHz methanol masers to date. 6.7-GHz methanol masers are exclusively associated with high-mass star formation, and as such provide invaluable insight into the Galactic distribution and properties of high-mass star formation regions. I present the statistical properties of the MMB catalogue and, through the calculation of kinematic distances, investigate the resolution of distance ambiguities and explore the Galactic distribution.
The results of the first complete survey for 6668-MHz CH3OH and 6035-MHz excited-state OH masers in the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds are presented. A new 6668-MHz CH3OH maser in the Large Magellanic Cloud has been detected towards the star-forming region N 160a, together with a new 6035-MHz excited-state OH maser detected towards N 157a. We also re-observed the previously known 6668-MHz CH3OH masers and the single known 6035-MHz OH maser. Neither maser transition was detected above ~0.13 Jy in the Small Magellanic Cloud. All observations were initially made using the CH3OH Multibeam (MMB) survey receiver on the 64-m Parkes radio telescope as part of the overall MMB project. Accurate positions were measured with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA). In a comparison of the star formation maser populations in the Magellanic Clouds and our Galaxy, the LMC maser populations are demonstrated to be smaller than their Milky Way counterparts. CH3OH masers are under-abundant by a factor of ~50, whilst OH and H2O masers are a factor of ~10 less abundant than our Galaxy.
A new 7-beam methanol multibeam receiver is being used to survey the Galaxy for newly forming massive stars, that are pinpointed by strong methanol maser emission at 6.668 GHz. The receiver, jointly constructed by Jodrell Bank Observatory (JBO) and the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF), was successfully commissioned at Parkes in January 2006. The Parkes-Jodrell survey of the Milky Way for methanol masers is two orders of magnitude faster than previous systematic surveys using 30-m class dishes, and is the first systematic survey of the entire Galactic plane. The first 53 days of observations with the Parkes telescope have yielded 518 methanol sources, of which 218 are new discoveries. We present the survey methodology as well as preliminary results and analysis.
Two factorial experiments were designed to determine the effects of stage of lactation, and season of the year, on cow responses to supplementary feeding. These experiments were conducted over consecutive years with 128 high genetic merit multiparous Holstein-Friesian cows in early, mid and late lactation in spring, summer, autumn and winter. At each stage of lactation, and in each season of the year, cows were offered a restricted pasture allowance (25 to 35 kg dry matter (DM) per cow per day), either unsupplemented (control) or with supplement at 50 MJ metabolizable energy (ME) per cow per day in experiment 1 and 80 MJ ME per cow per day in experiment 2. The two supplements given in both years were rolled maize grain (MG) and a mixture of foods formulated to nutritionally balance the diet (BR). In experiment 2, another treatment, of a generous pasture allowance (60 to 75 kg DM per cow per day) (AP), was imposed on an additional group of early lactation cows during each season. Direct milk solids (MS) (milk fat plus milk protein) responses in experiment 1 to MG were 169, 279, 195 and 251 g MS per cow per day in spring, summer, autumn and winter, respectively, while those to BR were 107, 250, 192, 289 g MS per cow per day. In experiment 2, however, milk solids responses to both supplements during spring were slightly below the control treatment, with values similar to those in experiment 1 in summer and autumn for cows on the BR but not the MG supplement. Milk solids responses to supplementary foods were largest during seasons of the year when the quantity and quality of pasture on offer resulted in the lowest milk solids yield from unsupplemented cows. When carry-over effects of feeding MG and BR on milk solids production were detected, they were only about half the magnitude of the direct effects. Serum urea concentrations were higher in control cows than those offered MG with a similar effect for BR in all but summer in experiment 1, while serum glucose concentrations were highest in winter and lowest in summer. The most important factor influencing milk solids responses was the relative food deficit (RFD) represented by the decline in milk solids yield of the respective control groups after changing from a generous pasture allowance to restricted allowance when the feeding treatments were imposed. Total milk solids responses (direct and carry-over) to supplements were greatest when severe food restrictions, relative to the cows' current food demand, resulted in large reductions in milk solids yield of the control groups. The RFD was the best predictor of milk solids response to supplementary foods. Therefore, it is likely that cows are most responsive to supplementary foods during or immediately after the imposition of a severe food restriction.