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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.
The paper is related to an adaptive satellite communication system for data transmission from small, low cost, low Earth orbit satellites. Tests run in a set-up consisting of a number of software-defined radio (SDR) modules operating as a satellite, a ground station, and a satellite channel simulator, have shown that by changing modulation scheme and code rate one can obtain increase of amount of data which can be downloaded from a satellite during a single pass over a ground station approximately by a factor of 2. To determine data rates obtainable in an SDR system using a common personal computer as a digital signal processing device, execution times of particular processing steps involved in the reception process were measured.
This study tested whether the association between interparental conflict and adolescent externalizing symptoms was moderated by a polygenic composite indexing low dopamine activity (i.e., 7-repeat allele of DRD4; Val alleles of COMT; 10-repeat variants of DAT1) in a sample of seventh-grade adolescents (Mean age = 13.0 years) and their parents. Using a longitudinal, autoregressive design, observational assessments of interparental conflict at Wave 1 predicted increases in a multi-informant measurement of youth externalizing symptoms 2 years later at Wave 3 only for children who were high on the hypodopaminergic composite. Moderation was expressed in a “for better” or “for worse” form hypothesized by differential susceptibility theory. Thus, children high on the dopaminergic composite experienced more externalizing problems than their peers when faced with more destructive conflicts but also fewer externalizing problems when exposed to more constructive interparental conflicts. Mediated moderation findings indicated that adolescent reports of their emotional insecurity in the interparental relationship partially explained the greater genetic susceptibility experienced by these children. More specifically, the dopamine composite moderated the association between Wave 1 interparental conflict and emotional insecurity 1 year later at Wave 2 in the same “for better” or “for worse” pattern as externalizing symptoms. Adolescent insecurity at Wave 2, in turn, predicted their greater externalizing symptoms 1 year later at Wave 3. Post hoc analyses further revealed that the 7-repeat allele of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene was the primary source of plasticity in the polygenic composite. Results are discussed as to how they advance process-oriented Gene x Environment models of emotion regulation.
Introduction: September 2017 saw the launch of the British Columbia (BC) Emergency Medicine Network (EM Network), an innovative clinical network established to improve emergency care across the province. The intent of the EM Network is to support the delivery of evidence-informed, patient-centered care in all 108 Emergency Departments and Diagnostic & Treatment Centres in BC. After one year, the Network undertook a formative evaluation to guide its growth. Our objective is to describe the evaluation approach and early findings. Methods: The EM Network was evaluated on three levels: member demographics, online engagement and member perceptions of value and progress. For member demographics and online engagement, data were captured from member registration information on the Network's website, Google Analytics and Twitter Analytics. Membership feedback was sought through an online survey using a social network analysis tool, PARTNER (Program to Analyze, Record, and Track Networks to Enhance Relationships), and semi-structured individual interviews. This framework was developed based on literature recommendations in collaboration with Network members, including patient representatives. Results: There are currently 622 EM Network members from an eligible denominator of approximately 1400 physicians (44%). Seventy-three percent of the Emergency Departments and Diagnostic and Treatment Centres in BC currently have Network members, and since launch, the EM Network website has been accessed by 11,154 unique IP addresses. Online discussion forum use is low but growing, and Twitter following is high. There are currently 550 Twitter followers and an average of 27 ‘mentions’ of the Network by Twitter users per month. Member feedback through the survey and individual interviews indicates that the Network is respected and credible, but many remain unaware of its purpose and offerings. Conclusion: Our findings underscore that early evaluation is useful to identify development needs, and for the Network this includes increasing awareness and online dialogue. However, our results must be interpreted cautiously in such a young Network, and thus, we intend to re-evaluate regularly. Specific action recommendations from this baseline evaluation include: increasing face-to-face visits of targeted communities; maintaining or accelerating communication strategies to increase engagement; and providing new techniques that encourage member contributions in order to grow and improve content.
Procedures and tools for evaluation of reference x-ray powder patterns in the JCPDSICDD Powder Diffraction File are illustrated by a review of air-stable binary oxides. The reference patterns are evaluated using an available microcomputer version of the NBS*A1DS83 editorial program and PDF patterns retrieved directly from the CD-ROM in the program's input format. The patterns are compared to calculated and experimental diffractograms. The majority of the oxide patterns have been found to be in good agreement with the calculated and observed diffractograms, but are often missing some weak reflections routinely observed with a modern diffractometer. These weak reflections are added to the PDF pattern. For the remainder of the phases, patterns are redetermined.
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 recently reported an association of offspring educational attainment with polygenic risk scores (PRS) computed on parent’s non-transmitted alleles for educational attainment using the second GWAS meta-analysis article on educational attainment published by the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium. Here we test the replication of these findings using a more powerful PRS from the third GWAS meta-analysis article by the Consortium. Each of the key findings of our previous paper is replicated using this improved PRS (N = 2335 adolescent twins and their genotyped parents). The association of children’s attainment with their own PRS increased substantially with the standardized effect size, moving from β = 0.134, 95% CI = 0.079, 0.188 for EA2, to β = 0.223, 95% CI = 0.169, 0.278, p < .001, for EA3. Parent’s PRS again predicted the socioeconomic status (SES) they provided to their offspring and increased from β = 0.201, 95% CI = 0.147, 0.256 to β = 0.286, 95% CI = 0.239, 0.333. Importantly, the PRS for alleles not transmitted to their offspring — therefore acting via the parenting environment — was increased in effect size from β = 0.058, 95% CI = 0.003, 0.114 to β = 0.067, 95% CI = 0.012, 0.122, p = .016. As previously found, this non-transmitted genetic effect was fully accounted for by parental SES. The findings reinforce the conclusion that genetic effects of parenting are substantial, explain approximately one-third the magnitude of an individual’s own genetic inheritance and are mediated by parental socioeconomic competence.
When supplementing lamb diets with vitamin E, an equivalence factor of 1.36 is used to discriminate between RRR-α-tocopheryl acetate and all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate. However, more recent studies suggest a need for new equivalence factors for livestock animals. The current study aimed to determine the effect of RRR- and all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate supplementation on α-tocopherol deposition in lamb tissues. A total of 108 Rasa Aragonesa breed lambs were fed increasing amounts of all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate (0.25, 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 g/kg compound feed) or RRR-α-tocopheryl acetate (0.125, 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 g/kg compound feed) by adding them to a basal diet that contained 0.025 g/kg feed of all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate as part of the standard vitamin and mineral mixture. The diets were fed for the last 14 days before slaughtering at 25.8±1.67 kg BW. Within 20 min after slaughter samples of muscle, heart, liver, brain and spleen were frozen at −20°C until α-tocopherol analysis. Increased supplementation of either vitamin E sources led to a significant increase (P < 0.001) in α-tocopherol concentration in all tissues studied. The tissue with the highest α-tocopherol concentration was the liver followed by spleen, heart and muscle. At similar supplementation levels (0.25, 0.50 and 1.0 g/kg compound feed), α-tocopherol content in the selected tissues was not affected by α-tocopherol source. However, the ratios between RRR- and all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate increased with the increasing α-tocopherol supplementation (at 0.25 and 1.0 g/kg compound feed), from 1.06 to 1.16 in muscle, 1.07 to 1.15 in heart, 0.91 to 0.94 in liver and 0.98 to 1.10 in spleen. The highest relative proportion of Ʃ2S (sum of SSS-, SSR-, SRS- and SRR-α-tocopherol)-configured stereoisomers was found in the liver of lambs supplemented with all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate accounting for up to 35 to 39% of the total α-tocopherol retained, whereas the proportion of Ʃ2S-configured stereoisomers in the other tissues accounted for <14%. Increasing all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate supplementation was also found to affect the 2R-configured stereoisomer profile in muscle, heart and spleen with increasing proportions of RRS-, RSR- and RSS- at the cost of RRR-α-tocopherol. In all tissues, the relative proportion of all non-RRR-stereoisomers in lambs receiving RRR-α-tocopheryl acetate was lower than RRR-α-tocopherol. These results confirm that the relative bioavailability of RRR- and all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate is dose- and tissue-dependent and that a single ratio to discriminate the two sources cannot be used.
Our objective was to identify predictors of severe acute respiratory infection in hospitalised patients and understand the impact of vaccination and neuraminidase inhibitor administration on severe influenza. We analysed data from a study evaluating influenza vaccine effectiveness in two Michigan hospitals during the 2014–2015 and 2015–2016 influenza seasons. Adults admitted to the hospital with an acute respiratory infection were eligible. Through patient interview and medical record review, we evaluated potential risk factors for severe disease, defined as ICU admission, 30-day readmission, and hospital length of stay (LOS). Two hundred sixteen of 1119 participants had PCR-confirmed influenza. Frailty score, Charlson score and tertile of prior-year healthcare visits were associated with LOS. Charlson score >2 (OR 1.5 (1.0–2.3)) was associated with ICU admission. Highest tertile of prior-year visits (OR 0.3 (0.2–0.7)) was associated with decreased ICU admission. Increasing tertile of visits (OR 1.5 (1.2–1.8)) was associated with 30-day readmission. Frailty and prior-year healthcare visits were associated with 30-day readmission among influenza-positive participants. Neuraminidase inhibitors were associated with decreased LOS among vaccinated participants with influenza A (HR 1.6 (1.0–2.4)). Overall, frailty and lack of prior-year healthcare visits were predictors of disease severity. Neuraminidase inhibitors were associated with reduced severity among vaccine recipients.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is doing research and development in the field of megawatt-class radio frequency (RF) sources (gyrotrons) for the Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating (ECRH) systems of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) and the DEMOnstration Fusion Power Plant that will follow ITER. In the focus is the development and verification of the European coaxial-cavity gyrotron technology which shall lead to gyrotrons operating at an RF output power significantly larger than 1 MW CW and at an operating frequency above 200 GHz. A major step into that direction is the final verification of the European 170 GHz 2 MW coaxial-cavity pre-prototype at longer pulses up to 1 s. It bases on the upgrade of an already existing highly modular short-pulse (ms-range) pre-prototype. That pre-prototype has shown a world record output power of 2.2 MW already. This paper summarizes briefly the already achieved experimental results using the short-pulse pre-prototype and discusses in detail the design and manufacturing process of the upgrade of the pre-prototype toward longer pulses up to 1 s.
Research on environmental and genetic pathways to complex traits such as educational attainment (EA) is confounded by uncertainty over whether correlations reflect effects of transmitted parental genes, causal family environments, or some, possibly interactive, mixture of both. Thus, an aggregate of thousands of alleles associated with EA (a polygenic risk score; PRS) may tap parental behaviors and home environments promoting EA in the offspring. New methods for unpicking and determining these causal pathways are required. Here, we utilize the fact that parents pass, at random, 50% of their genome to a given offspring to create independent scores for the transmitted alleles (conventional EA PRS) and a parental score based on alleles not transmitted to the offspring (EA VP_PRS). The formal effect of non-transmitted alleles on offspring attainment was tested in 2,333 genotyped twins for whom high-quality measures of EA, assessed at age 17 years, were available, and whose parents were also genotyped. Four key findings were observed. First, the EA PRS and EA VP_PRS were empirically independent, validating the virtual-parent design. Second, in this family-based design, children's own EA PRS significantly predicted their EA (β = 0.15), ruling out stratification confounds as a cause of the association of attainment with the EA PRS. Third, parental EA PRS predicted the SES environment parents provided to offspring (β = 0.20), and parental SES and offspring EA were significantly associated (β = 0.33). This would suggest that the EA PRS is at least as strongly linked to social competence as it is to EA, leading to higher attained SES in parents and, therefore, a higher experienced SES for children. In a full structural equation model taking account of family genetic relatedness across multiple siblings the non-transmitted allele effects were estimated at similar values; but, in this more complex model, confidence intervals included zero. A test using the forthcoming EA3 PRS may clarify this outcome. The virtual-parent method may be applied to clarify causality in other phenotypes where observational evidence suggests parenting may moderate expression of other outcomes, for instance in psychiatry.
This work presents a fully differential wideband and low power 240 GHz multiplier-by-8 chain, manufactured in IHP's 130 nm SiGe:C BiCMOS technology with fT/fmax = 300/500 GHz. A single ended 30 GHz input signal is multiplied by 8 using Gilbert cell-based quadrupler and doubler, and then amplified with a wideband differential 3-stage cascode amplifier. To achieve wide bandwidth and optimize for power consumption, the power budget has been designed in order to operate the frequency multipliers and the output amplifier in saturation. With this architecture the presented circuit achieves a 3 dB bandwidth of 40 GHz, meaning a relative 3 dB bandwidth of 17%, and a peak saturated output power of 0 dBm. Harmonic rejections better than 25 dB were measured for the 5th, 6th, and 7th harmonics. It dissipates 255 mW from 3 V supply which results in drain efficiency of 0.4%, while occupying 1.2 mm2. With these characteristics the presented circuit suits very well as a frequency multiplier chain for driving balanced mixers in 240 GHz transceivers for radar, communication, and sensing applications.
The solar magnesium II core-to-wing ratio has been a well-studied proxy for chromospheric activity since 1978. Daily measurements at high spectral (0.1 nm) resolution began with the launch of the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) in 2003. The next generation of measurements from the Extreme Ultraviolet Sensor (EUVS) on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite 16 (GOES-16) will add high time cadence (every 30 seconds) to the observational Mg II irradiance record. We present a comparison of the two measurements during the period of overlap.
Ultraviolet (UV) Solar spectral Irradiance (SSI) has been measured from orbit on a regular basis since the beginning of the space age. These observations span four Solar Cycles, and they are crucial for our understanding of the Sun-Earth connection and space weather. SSI at these wavelengths are the main drivers for the upper atmosphere including the production and destruction of ozone in the stratosphere. The instruments that measure UV SSI not only require good preflight calibration, but also need a robust method to maintain that calibration on orbit. We will give an overview of the catalog of current and former UV SSI measurements along with the calibration philosophy of each instrument and an estimation of the uncertainties in the published irradiances.
Up to now, genetic selection in cattle has been directed in favour of muscle growth, which changes muscle characteristics, and hence meat quality. One key concern, that now needs examination, is to understand the relationships between muscle growth and muscle characteristics related to meat quality. To achieve such a goal, muscles of divergently selected animals were analysed by three complementary approaches: (i) determination of muscle biochemical characteristics, (ii) identification of differentially expressed genes using transcriptomic and proteomic tools, (iii) identification of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) within candidate genes.
Neisseria meningitidis is a gram-negative bacterium that lives as a commensal in the human nasopharynx. Meningococci are generally non-invasive, but can invade the nasopharyngeal epithelia and enter the bloodstream causing life-threatening illnesses. It is generally thought that meningococci do not survive for long outside the host, and that transmission requires relatively close contact between hosts. There are some reports, however, that meningococci can survive drying on surfaces, including glass, plastic and cloth. Our examination of N. meningitidis strains dried on glass showed differences in survival of isolates belonging to serogroups B, C and W135, including persistence of Cuban, New Zealand, and Norwegian epidemic strains up to 8 days, depending on temperature and humidity. Survival of a New Zealand epidemic strain isolate NZ98/254 under ambient conditions in the laboratory was greatest in winter suggesting that environmental factors impacted survival. For most isolates, including NZ98/254, survival under controlled conditions at 30 °C was greater at 22% than 30% relative humidity. There were also some differences in survival between carriage and invasive strains. The results suggest that N. meningitidis could be transmitted through contact with surfaces outside the host, potentially including contact through shared drinking vessels.
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.
Prodiamine is a dinitroaniline herbicide labeled for PRE control of goosegrass in warm- and cool-season turfgrass. In 2013, several golf course roughs in Maryville, TN reported poor goosegrass control (< 20%) following prodiamine treatment at 1,120 g ai ha-1. We harvested suspected prodiamine-resistant (PR) and prodiamine-susceptible (S) goosegrass phenotypes from the field and exposed them to a range of increasing prodiamine concentrations in hydroponic culture. Exposure to prodiamine at 0.001 mM reduced root growth of the S phenotype to 11% of the non-treated check. By comparison, exposure to 0.001 mM prodiamine had minimal effect on the PR phenotype, as root growth was 94% of the non-treated check. Molecular analyses revealed that PR plants contained a threonine (Thr) to isoleucine (Ile) substitution at position 239 on the α-tubulin 1 (TUA1) protein. The substitution, found in all PR plants, is the mechanism of prodiamine resistance in this phenotype. In field studies, topramezone controlled PR goosegrass 72% to 89% by 50 d after treatment (DAT) compared to only 22% to 23% for foramsulfuron. Topramezone treatment injured bermudagrass 34% to 60% from 7 to 14 DAT; however, injury was≤6% 28 DAT and 0% by the end of the study. Our results indicate that POST applications of topramezone can control dinitroaniline-resistant goosegrass. In addition, we established an easy-to-use genotyping assay to quickly screen goosegrass phenotypes for a target-site mutation (Thr-239-Ile) on TUA1 associated with resistance to dinitroaniline herbicides such as prodiamine. Future research should work to expand this assay for use with other weed species and herbicidal modes of action.
Due to their extremely small luminosity compared to the stars they orbit, planets outside our own Solar System are extraordinarily difficult to detect directly in optical light. Careful photometric monitoring of distant stars, however, can reveal the presence of exoplanets via the microlensing or eclipsing effects they induce. The international PLANET collaboration is performing such monitoring using a cadre of semi-dedicated telescopes around the world. Their results constrain the number of gas giants orbiting 1–7 AU from the most typical stars in the Galaxy. Upgrades in the program are opening regions of “exoplanet discovery space” – toward smaller masses and larger orbital radii – that are inaccessible to the Doppler velocity technique.
The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) has detected many galaxies in the infrared (IR), most of which have fairly steep 25μ to 60μ spectra. Many quasars and active galaxies exhibit a significantly flatter spectrum in the infrared. Several studies, for example, DeGrijp et al. (1985) used this characteristic to select a subsample of “warm” objects from the IRAS PSC (1985).