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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.
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.
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 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.
Physical inactivity and low birth weight (LBW) may lead to an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The extent to which LBW individuals may benefit from physical exercise training when compared with those with normal birth weight (NBW) controls is uncertain. We assessed the impact of an outdoor exercise intervention on body composition, insulin secretion and action in young men born with LBW and NBW in rural India. A total of 61 LBW and 56 NBW healthy young men were recruited into the study. The individuals were instructed to perform outdoor bicycle exercise training for 45 min every day. Fasting blood samples, intravenous glucose tolerance tests and bioimpedance body composition assessment were carried out. Physical activity was measured using combined accelerometry and heart rate monitoring during the first and the last week of the intervention. Following the exercise intervention, the LBW group displayed an increase in physical fitness [55.0 ml (O2)/kg min (52.0−58.0)−57.5 ml (O2)/kg min (54.4−60.5)] level and total fat-free mass [10.9% (8.0−13.4)−11.4% (8.0−14.6)], as well as a corresponding decline in the ratio of total fat mass/fat-free mass. In contrast, an increase in total fat percentage as well as total fat mass was observed in the NBW group. After intervention, fasting plasma insulin levels, homoeostasis model assessments (HOMA) of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and insulin secretion (HOMA-IS), improved to the same extent in both the groups. In summary, young men born with LBW in rural India benefit metabolically from exercise training to an extent comparable with NBW controls.
We assessed the role of tuberculosis (TB) disease and HIV infection on the level of physical activity. A combined heart rate and movement sensor was used to assess habitual physical activity in TB patients and non-TB controls. The association between sputum-negative TB, sputum-positive TB, HIV and physical activity estimates were assessed in multivariable linear regression models adjusted for age, sex, haemoglobin and alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP). Sputum-positive [eB 0·43, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·29–0·64] and sputum-negative (eB 0·67, 95% CI 0·47–0·94) TB as well as HIV infection (eB 0·59, 95% CI 0·46–0·75) were associated with reduced activity compared to controls. Anaemia accounted for a substantial part of the effects of HIV, while elevated AGP primarily mediated the TB effect. The level of physical activity is highly influenced by TB and HIV, and mainly mediated through anaemia of infection and associated with elevated acute phase response.
The prototype telescope and instruments for the Stellar Observations Network Group (SONG) are nearing completion at the Observatorio del Teide on Tenerife. In this contribution we describe the current status (autumn 2013) of the telescope and its instrumentation. Preliminary performance characteristics are presented for the high-resolution spectrograph based on daytime observations of the Sun and a 4 hour test series obtained for the sub-giant β Aquilae.
The Interplay of Genes and Environment across Multiple Studies (IGEMS) group is a consortium of eight longitudinal twin studies established to explore the nature of social context effects and gene-environment interplay in late-life functioning. The resulting analysis of the combined data from over 17,500 participants aged 25–102 at baseline (including nearly 2,600 monogygotic and 4,300 dizygotic twin pairs and over 1,700 family members) aims to understand why early life adversity, and social factors such as isolation and loneliness, are associated with diverse outcomes including mortality, physical functioning (health, functional ability), and psychological functioning (well-being, cognition), particularly in later life.
Ion beam sputter-deposition has been used to produce high temperature superconducting (HTSC) thin films with controlled orientation. Room temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) studies of ion beam sputter-deposited Y-Ba-Cu-O thin films indicate that the growth mode depends on whether the films are a- or c-axis oriented. The c-axis oriented films appear to grow by a screw dislocation mechanism, producing layered spirals similar to those observed in films grown by plasma sputtering and laser ablation-deposition. STM images of the a-axis oriented films show a growth mode which appears to produce layered structures perpendicular to the substrate with no spirals. Scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) studies of the a- and c-axis oriented films tend to reflect the anisotropy of the Y-Ba-Cu-O structure. Both the c-axis and the a-axis oriented films have semiconducting characteristics, possibly due to a native oxide, with a band gap estimated to be 1.4 eV. The c-axis oriented film, however, exhibits more fine structure in its density of states. This apparent anisotropie band structure reflects the anisotropie Y-Ba-Cu-O microstructure and superconducting characteristics. Investigations with x-ray photcelectron spectroscopy (XPS) establish a substantial chemical difference between the two surfaces inferring more substantial native oxides and air-induced by-products on the a-axis oriented film.
Thin films of silicon carbide have been formed on silicon field emitters by chemical reaction with ethylene (C2H4) at temperatures of 850 to 950°C using ethylene gas pressures up to 5×10-3 Torr. By controlling the reaction time and temperature, we have made SiC coatings of from ∼20 A thickness to complete transformation of tips to SiC (1-2 μm). The electron diffraction pattern of the SiC layers show the expected 20% lattice mismatch with silicon and, for those emitters completely transformed, a polycrystalline 3C-SiC polytype was identified. The small radius of curvature was maintained for both the coated and completely transformed tips, although some defects and surface roughness was introduced during the treatments.
Four litters produced by father-daughter matings (back crosses) resulting in 35 animals with a theoretical inbreeding coefficient of 25% were typed with 21 independent informative markers. The differences between the two founder animals were estimated, based on the marker information, and it was found that the founder boar had higher genetic potential for proportion of lean meat and lower genetic potential for groivth than the founder sow. The proportion of the genome of each offspring which was identical by descent was investigated. On the basis of these markers the realized inbreeding was found to vary between 7 and 47%. The linear decrease in weight at days 1, 26 and 136, average daily gain and proportion of lean meat regressed on the realized inbreeding were estimated to 0·6 kg, 2·4 kg, 18 kg, 95 g/day and 15 g/kg, respectively. For weight at day 88 a corresponding linear increase of 11 kg was observed. The joint effect of founder differences and realized inbreeding were as expected negative and statistically significant for all growth traits.
Pigs with inbreeding coefficients, ranging from 0·125 to 0·375 were analysed for effect of inbreeding on daily carcass gain, body length and meat proportion in the carcass. The foundation animals were back crosses of a Landrace boar of his daughters which were Yorkshire Landrace hybrids. The statistical model included effect of sex and slaughter weight in addition to the effect of inbreeding. A statistically significant effect of inbreeding on daily carcass gain was found with a linear decline of 1·6 g for 0·1 increase in inbreeding coefficient. There was no effect of inbreeding on body length and meat proportion. Carcass weight had a highly significant effect on body length and daily carcass gain. Effect of sex was statistically significant for meat proportion only.
Gaseous NH3 losses from pig and cattle slurry stored in eight storage tanks were measured simultaneously using wind-tunnels. The slurry was either stirred weekly (uncovered), or was allowed to develop a natural surface crust. Oil, peat, chopped cereal straw, PVC foil, leca® (pebbles of burned montmorillonitic clay) and a lid were tested as additional covers. Convective transport of ammonium to the surface layers caused NH3 volatilization losses of 3–5 g NH3-N/m2 per day from the stirred, uncovered tanks. The loss of NH3 from the stirred slurry was related to air temperature. The development of a natural surface crust reduced NH3 losses to 20% of those from stirred slurry. NH3 losses from slurry not developing a natural surface crust layer and left undisturbed were similar to the losses from stirred slurry. A 15 cm layer of straw was as effective as a surface crust layer in reducing NH3 losses. In one experiment, cracks developed in the oil cover and losses were therefore only reduced to 50% of those of uncovered slurry. Apart from this experiment, NH3 losses from slurry covered with oil, leca®, peat and foil were small.
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