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We used a bivariate animal model to investigate the genetic correlations between yield traits or days open (DO) as characters measured in cows and semen production traits as characters measured in bulls. Lactation records of 305-day milk, fat, and protein yields, and DO, from 386 809 first-lactation Holstein cows in Hokkaido, Japan, that calved between 2008 and 2014 were used. Semen production records were collected between 2005 and 2014 and included volume per ejaculate (VOL), sperm concentration (CON), number of sperm per ejaculate (NUM), progressive motility index of sperm (MOT), and MOT after freeze-thawing (A-MOT). Number of sperm per ejaculate was log-transformed into a NUM score (NUMS). A total of 30 373 semen production records from 1196 bulls were obtained. The pedigree file used for analysing the records was involving 885 345 animals. Heritability was estimated for VOL (0.42), CON (0.12), NUMS (0.37), MOT (0.08), and A-MOT (0.11). Weak and negative genetic correlations were recorded between yield traits measured in cows and VOL, CON or NUMS measured in bulls. Moderate and negative genetic correlations were obtained between DO and MOT (–0.42) or A-MOT (–0.43). Selection focused on MOT or A-MOT measured in bulls may therefore improve DO measured in cows.
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.
Information about viral acute respiratory infections (ARIs) is essential for prevention, diagnosis and treatment, but it is limited in tropical developing countries. This study described the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of ARIs in children hospitalized in Vietnam. Nasopharyngeal samples were collected from children with ARIs at Ho Chi Minh City Children's Hospital 2 between April 2010 and May 2011 in order to detect respiratory viruses by polymerase chain reaction. Viruses were found in 64% of 1082 patients, with 12% being co-infections. The leading detected viruses were human rhinovirus (HRV; 30%), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV; 23·8%), and human bocavirus (HBoV; 7·2%). HRV was detected all year round, while RSV epidemics occurred mainly in the rainy season. Influenza A (FluA) was found in both seasons. The other viruses were predominant in the dry season. HRV was identified in children of all age groups. RSV, parainfluenza virus (PIV) 1, PIV3 and HBoV, and FluA were detected predominantly in children aged <6 months, 6–12 months, 12–24 months, and >24 months, respectively. Significant associations were found between PIV1 with croup (P < 0·005) and RSV with bronchiolitis (P < 0·005). HBoV and HRV were associated with hypoxia (P < 0·05) and RSV with retraction (P < 0·05). HRV, RSV, and HBoV were detected most frequently and they may increase the severity of ARIs in children.
Molecular epidemiology and clinical impact of human rhinovirus (HRV) are not well documented in tropical regions. This study compared the clinical characteristics of HRV to other common viral infections and investigated the molecular epidemiology of HRV in hospitalized children with acute respiratory infections (ARIs) in Vietnam. From April 2010 to May 2011, 1082 nasopharyngeal swabs were screened for respiratory viruses by PCR. VP4/VP2 sequences of HRV were further characterized. HRV was the most commonly detected virus (30%), in which 70% were diagnosed as either pneumonia or bronchiolitis. Children with single HRV infections presented with significantly higher rate of hypoxia than those infected with respiratory syncytial virus or parainfluenza virus (PIV)-3 (12·4% vs. 3·8% and 0%, respectively, P < 0·05), higher rate of chest retraction than PIV-1 (57·3% vs. 34·5%, P = 0·028), higher rate of wheezing than influenza A (63·2% vs. 42·3%, P = 0·038). HRV-C did not differ to HRV-A clinically. The genetic diversity and changes of types over time were observed and may explain the year-round circulation of HRV. One novel HRV-A type was discovered which circulated locally for several years. In conclusion, HRV showed high genetic diversity and was associated with significant morbidity and severe ARIs in hospitalized children.
An unexpected new source of tin was recently located at Hisarcık, in the foothills of the Mount Erciyes volcano in the Kayseri Plain, close to the Bronze Age town of Kültepe, ancient Kanesh and home to a colony of Assyrian traders. Volcanoes in Turkey have always been associated with obsidian sources but were not known to be a major source of heavy metals, much less tin. X-ray fluorescence analyses of the Hisarcık ores revealed the presence of minerals suitable for the production of complex copper alloys, and sufficient tin and arsenic content to produce tin-bronze. These findings revise our understanding of bronze production in Anatolia in the third millennium BC and demand a re-evaluation of Assyrian trade routes and the position of the Early Bronze Age societies of Anatolia within that network.
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.
We assessed for vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) precursor organisms in southeastern Michigan, an area known to have VRSA. The prevalence was 2.5% (pSK41-positive methicillin-resistant S. aureus, 2009–2011) and 1.5% (Inc18-positive vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, 2006–2013); Inc18 prevalence significantly decreased after 2009 (3.7% to 0.82%). Risk factors for pSK41 included intravenous vancomycin exposure.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(12):1531–1534
Of the 13 US vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) cases, 8 were identified in southeastern Michigan, primarily in patients with chronic lower-extremity wounds. VRSA infections develop when the vanA gene from vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) transfers to S. aureus. Incl8-like plasmids in VRE and pSK41-like plasmids in S. aureus appear to be important precursors to this transfer.
Identify the prevalence of VRSA precursor organisms.
Prospective cohort with embedded case-control study.
Southeastern Michigan adults with chronic lower-extremity wounds.
Adults presenting to 3 southeastern Michigan medical centers during the period February 15 through March 4, 2011, with chronic lower-extremity wounds had wound, nares, and perirectal swab specimens cultured for S. aureus and VRE, which were tested for pSK41-like and Incl8-like plasmids by polymerase chain reaction. We interviewed participants and reviewed clinical records. Risk factors for pSK41-positive S. aureus were assessed among all study participants (cohort analysis) and among only S. aureus-colonized participants (case-control analysis).
Of 179 participants with wound cultures, 26% were colonized with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus, 27% were colonized with methicillin-resistant S. aureus, and 4% were colonized with VRE, although only 17% consented to perirectal culture. Six participants (3%) had pSK41-positive S. aureus, and none had Incl8-positive VRE. Having chronic wounds for over 2 years was associated with pSK41-positive S. aureus colonization in both analyses.
Colonization with VRSA precursor organisms was rare. Having long-standing chronic wounds was a risk factor for pSK41-positive S. aureus colonization. Additional investigation into the prevalence of VRSA precursors among a larger cohort of patients is warranted.
A retrospective case–case control study was conducted, including 60 cases with daptomycin-nonsusceptible vancomycin-resistant enterococci (DNS-VRE) matched to cases with daptomycin-susceptible VRE and to uninfected controls (1:1:3 ratio). Immunosuppression, presence of comorbid conditions, and prior exposure to antimicrobials were independent predictors of DNS-VRE, although prior daptomycin exposure occurred rarely. In summary, a case–case control study identified independent risk factors for the isolation of DNS-VRE: immunosuppression, multiple comorbid conditions, and prior exposures to cephalosporines and metronidazole.
A total of 7185 faecal specimens collected from infants and children with gastroenteritis in seven different regions of Japan during 1995–2009 were examined for adenovirus by polymerase chain reaction. Adenovirus was detected in 568 (7·9%) patients. The adenovirus activity peak was in winter and spring seasons (December–March) during the study period in the Japanese paediatric population. During the last 15 years, adenovirus 41 was the most predominant strain in Japan.
Polymorphism of sperm is considered to be significant for the reproductive strategy in some animal species. The phenomenon is thought to occur in the species-specific stage of spermatogenesis, but how the identical germ cells are differentiated towards polymorphic sperm remains unknown. We here performed a germ cell culture in the cottoid fish, Hemilepidotus gilberti, whose sperm exhibit dimorphism with fertilizable eusperm and unfertilizable parasperm. In the culture, germ cells, which were obtained with an identical morphology, a spherical shape of 5–7 µm in diameter, differentiated into smaller spherical cells with a single nucleus, a moving flagellum and localized mitochondria. In addition, large retroflex-shaped cells with two elongated nuclei were also observed in the cell culture. Germ cells that had each morphological feature were histologically also observed in some cysts of the spermatogenetic testis, suggesting that the former type of cell corresponded to developing eusperm and the latter corresponded to developing parasperm. When BrdU was incorporated into germ cells in the culture, it was detected in both cells with eusperm-like and those with parasperm-like morphologies. These findings suggest that DNA-duplicating spermatocytes are potent to autonomously progress a part of spermatogenesis to form dimorphic sperm.
Magnetic tunnel junctions of Co0.9Fe0.1/SrTiO3 (STO)/ La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 (LSMO) with a spin-valve structure having an antiferromagnetic MnIr layer have been fabricated by sputtering. Junction magnetoresistance (MR) behavior and its dependence on the bias voltage are examined for junctions with epitaxial STO barrier formed under different sputtering conditions. Spin dependent transport measurements show that these junctions exhibit spin-valve type MR loops with an inverse (positive) MR of the ratio of 14-22 % at 4.2 K. The inverse MR observed is asymmetric with respect to the bias voltage direction. Stoichiometric STO barrier, as characterized by Rutherford backscattering (RBS) analysis, is found to result in very large asymmetric bias dependence, while the junctions with nonstoichiometric STO barrier exhibit the symmetric bias dependence. Our results suggest that the nonstoichiometry of STO barrier modifies the electronic structures of electrode/barrier interfaces, and thereby reducing the asymmetry of bias voltage dependence of junction MR.
We have made a 12CO(J = 1−0) survey of the LMC with NANTEN. A sample of 55 giant molecular clouds has been identified and comparisons with stellar clusters, HII regions and SNRs are presented. The connection between the clouds and cluster formation is discussed.
Fully sampled 12CO(J=1−0) observations of the whole extent of the LMC have been made with a linear resolution of ~ 30 pc at a detection limit of N(H2) = 2 × 1021 cm−2. In addition, several selected regions have been mapped with higher sensitivity corresponding to a detection limit of 1 × 1021 cm−2. Based on these results, a new estimate of the molecular mass in the LMC is presented.
We have made 12CO(J=1−0) observations of the LMC with NANTEN. We report the results of a comparison between CO clouds and SNRs in the LMC. Among the 35 known SNRs, only 10 are possibly associated with CO clouds. These 10 CO clouds and SNRs deserve follow-up studies for possible interactions. We present overlays of CO clouds on the optical images of some of these SNRs.
We have made 12CO(J=1-0) observations in the LMC with NANTEN, and compared the detected giant molecular clouds (GMCs) with HII regions and stellar clusters. It is found that ~ 80% of the GMCs are associated with HII regions. The results of comparisons of the GMCs with the HII regions and the stellar clusters are presented.
Apatite formation on artificial materials in a body environment is the prerequisite condition for showing bioactivity i.e. bone-bonding ability. A specific hydrated silica or titania gel has the ability of apatite deposition in body environment. We electrochemically prepared such a bioactive titanium oxide layer on titanium(Ti) with a cell consisting of Ti as the working electrode, Pt as the counter one, Ag/AgCl as the reference one, and an aqueous solution of 0.1 mol/L Ca(NO3)2 as the electrolyte solution. Ti was kept at 9.5V for 1 hour for oxidation(denoted as Ca9.5). Ti was subject to cathodic polarization at −3.0V for 10 min(Ca-3.0).: calcium ions were expected to be adsorbed on its surface. On treatment Ca9.5–3.0 Ti was first oxidated at 9.5V for 1 hour and subsequently kept at −3.0V for 10 min. The specimens of Ca9.5–3.0 and Ca-3.0 were found so bioactive as to deposit apatite within 12 hours and 1 day, respectively, in a simulated body fluid(Kokubo solution) whereas those due to Ca9.5 could not deposit apatite within 7 days. Calcium hydroxide and calcium carbonate detected on the bioactive surface caused no harmful effects on spontaneous deposition of apatite in the fluid.