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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.
A new generation of high power laser facilities will provide laser pulses with extremely high powers of 10 petawatt (PW) and even 100 PW, capable of reaching intensities of
in the laser focus. These ultra-high intensities are nevertheless lower than the Schwinger intensity
at which the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED) predicts that a large part of the energy of the laser photons will be transformed to hard Gamma-ray photons and even to matter, via electron–positron pair production. To enable the investigation of this physics at the intensities achievable with the next generation of high power laser facilities, an approach involving the interaction of two colliding PW laser pulses is being adopted. Theoretical simulations predict strong QED effects with colliding laser pulses of
focused to intensities
This project compares the degree of tracheal collapse determined by rigid and flexible bronchoscopy in paediatric patients with tracheomalacia.
A total of nine patients with tracheomalacia underwent both rigid and flexible video bronchoscopy. All patients were breathing spontaneously. Cross-sectional images of the airway were processed using the ImageJ program and analysed via colour histogram mode technique in order to delineate the luminal area. Paired t-tests (conducted using Stata software version 13.0) quantified differences between rigid and flexible bronchoscopes regarding the ratios of luminal pixels at maximum airway collapse to expansion. Correlation between both techniques in terms of airway collapse to expansion ratios was determined by calculating the Pearson correlation coefficient (R).
The difference in ratios of maximum collapse to expansion between rigid and flexible bronchoscopy was not statistically significant (p = 0.4656) and was positively correlated (R = 0.523).
The ratios suggest that rigid and flexible bronchoscopy are equally efficacious in assessing tracheomalacia severity, and may be used interchangeably in a clinical setting.
Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled ‘Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets’ (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597–2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229–237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from ‘inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]’, as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88), and are not ‘more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence’.
Evidence suggests adolescent self-esteem is influenced by beliefs of how individuals in their reference group perceive them. However, few studies examine how gender- and violence-related social norms affect self-esteem among refugee populations. This paper explores relationships between gender inequitable and victim-blaming social norms, personal attitudes, and self-esteem among adolescent girls participating in a life skills program in three Ethiopian refugee camps.
Ordinary least squares multivariable regression analysis was used to assess the associations between attitudes and social norms, and self-esteem. Key independent variables of interest included a scale measuring personal attitudes toward gender inequitable norms, a measure of perceived injunctive norms capturing how a girl believed her family and community would react if she was raped, and a peer-group measure of collective descriptive norms surrounding gender inequity. The key outcome variable, self-esteem, was measured using the Rosenberg self-esteem scale.
Girl's personal attitudes toward gender inequitable norms were not significantly predictive of self-esteem at endline, when adjusting for other covariates. Collective peer norms surrounding the same gender inequitable statements were significantly predictive of self-esteem at endline (ß = −0.130; p = 0.024). Additionally, perceived injunctive norms surrounding family and community-based sanctions for victims of forced sex were associated with a decline in self-esteem at endline (ß = −0.103; p = 0.014). Significant findings for collective descriptive norms and injunctive norms remained when controlling for all three constructs simultaneously.
Findings suggest shifting collective norms around gender inequity, particularly at the community and peer levels, may sustainably support the safety and well-being of adolescent girls in refugee settings.
Forest carbon sequestration plays an important role in reducing the build-up of greenhouse gases that are known to contribute to global climate change. However, private landowners will supply less carbon sequestration than would be socially desirable if they are unable to capture the economic value of sequestration. We examine the viability of offering landowners property tax subsidies for forest carbon sequestration (referred to as a ‘tax-based subsidy approach’). Waiving property taxes on forestland provides incentives for landowners to afforest non-forested land and/or sustain forests that are at risk of deforestation. We focus on 17 Tennessee counties and one Kentucky county, constituting one of 179 Bureau of Economic Analysis areas in the United States, as a case study. Higher forestland net return from waiving property taxes increases the share of forestland in the 18 counties, which in turn increases the accumulation of carbon in the forest ecosystem, suggesting that this is a viable approach. The annualized county-level cost of supplying forest carbon sequestration using a tax-based subsidy ranges between US$15.56 and US$563.58 per carbon tonne across the 18 counties. Relevant government agencies can use these estimates to target selected counties for more cost-effective adoption of the county-level tax-based subsidy approach.
Girls at early stages of adolescence are vulnerable to violence victimization in humanitarian contexts, but few studies examine factors that affect girls’ hope in these settings. We assessed attitudes toward traditional gender norms as an effect modifier of the relationship between violence exposure and future orientation in displaced girls.
Secondary analysis, using multivariable regression of cross-sectional data from girls ages 10–14 in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Key variables of interest were attitudes toward intimate partner violence (IPV), Children's Hope Scale (CHS) score, and exposure to physical, emotional, and sexual violence within the last 12 months. Additional covariates included age, educational status, and territory.
The interaction of exposure to violence and attitudes toward IPV magnified the association between violence exposure and lower CHS score for physical violence (β = −0.09, p = 0.040) and unwanted sexual touching (β = −0.20, p = 0.003) among girls age 10–14, when adjusting for other covariates. The interaction of exposure to violence and attitudes toward IPV magnified the association between violence exposure and lower CHS score for forced sex (β = −0.22, p = 0.016) among girls age 13–14, when adjusting for covariates. Findings for emotional violence, any form of sexual violence, and coerced sex trended toward lower CHS scores for girls who reported higher acceptance of IPV, but did not reach significance.
Findings support the utility of gender norms-transformative programming in increasing resilience of girls who have experienced sexual violence in humanitarian contexts.
The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
EVA foams, like all other polymers, also exhibit strain-rate effects and hysteresis. However, currently available approaches for predicting the mechanical response of polymeric foam subjected to an arbitrarily imposed loading history and strain-rate effect are highly limited. Especially, the strain rates in the intermediate rate domain (between 100 and 102 s–1) are extremely difficult to study. The use of data generated through the drop tower technique for implementation in constitutive equations or numerical models has not been considered in past studies. In this study, an experiment including a quasi-static compression test and drop impact tests with a high speed camera was conducted. An inverse analysis technique combined with a finite element model for material parameter identification was developed to determine the stress–strain behavior of foam at different specific strain rates. It was used in this study to simulate multiple loading and unloading cycles on foam specimens, and the results were compared with experimental measurements.
The different components of the light of the night sky have their origin in different formations of matter in the universe - encompassing a huge scale of distances ranging from a few kilometers in the earth’s atmosphere to the most distant known galaxies and beyond. Correspondingly, the borderlines to other Commissions are not very well defined and thus material relevant to Commission 21 can also be found in the reports of other Commissions on the following topics: zodiacal light and zodiacal IR emission (Comm. 22, 44), integrated starlight (33, 25), diffuse galactic light (34), extragalactic background light (47), airglow and atmospheric scattered light (50), and space-borne observations of the LONS (44). From the Commission 21 point of view the connecting link between these various fields is the special techniques utilized in the surface photometric measurements and reductions of background radiations which extend over the entire sky. One crucial problem is the separation of the LONS into its several components. The approach for solving this task is to utilize the different spatial distributions and different broad and narrow band spectral properties of each of the LONS component. Thus the successful measurement and separation of one of the LONS components requires a knowledge of the properties of all the other components. This situation has become apparent in recent years as the infrared background radiation database, provided by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), has been analyzed: both the zodiacal and galactic dust emissions have to be analyzed hand in hand, and both these components must be very accurately mastered before any conclusions are possible on the extragalactic component. It is also obvious that very similar problems are encountered in the ultraviolet and infrared wavelength regions as in the more traditional optical domain. Thus the techniques developed in one of these wavelength domains are directly applicable in the others.
A radiochemical 71Ga−71 Ge experiment to determine the integral flux of neutrinos from the sun has been constructed at the Baksan Neutrino Observatory in the USSR. Measurements have begun with 30 tonnes of gallium. The experiment is being expanded with the addition of another 30 tonnes. The motivation, experimental procedures, and present status of this experiment are presented.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
Three-phase three-dimensional (3D) microstructural reconstructions of lithium-ion battery electrodes are critical input for 3D simulations of electrode lithiation/delithiation, which provide a detailed understanding of battery operation. In this report, 3D images of a LiCoO2 electrode are achieved using focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM), with clear contrast among the three phases: LiCoO2 particles, carbonaceous phases (carbon and binder) and the electrolyte space. The good contrast was achieved by utilizing an improved FIB-SEM sample preparation method that combined infiltration of the electrolyte space with a low-viscosity silicone resin and triple ion-beam polishing. Morphological parameters quantified include phase volume fraction, surface area, feature size distribution, connectivity, and tortuosity. Electrolyte tortuosity was determined using two different geometric calculations that were in good agreement. The electrolyte tortuosity distribution versus position within the electrode was found to be highly inhomogeneous; this will lead to inhomogeneous electrode lithiation/delithiation at high C-rates that could potentially cause battery degradation.
Neurological soft signs (NSS) have long been considered potential endophenotypes for schizophrenia. However, few studies have investigated the heritability and familiality of NSS. The present study examined the heritability and familiality of NSS in healthy twins and patient–relative pairs.
The abridged version of the Cambridge Neurological Inventory was administered to 267 pairs of monozygotic twins, 124 pairs of dizygotic twins, and 75 pairs of patients with schizophrenia and their non-psychotic first-degree relatives.
NSS were found to have moderate but significant heritability in the healthy twin sample. Moreover, patients with schizophrenia correlated closely with their first-degree relatives on NSS.
Taken together, the findings provide evidence on the heritability and familiality of NSS in the Han Chinese population.
The encapsulation failure is a serious problem which leads to power degradation and life time reduction of silicon based thin film solar module. Therefore, the encapsulation material and related technology research and development become more and more important. This article describes some different junction box and middle foil encapsulation technology of the silicon based thin film solar module, different encapsulation materials and processes are compared and their impact on the manufacturing cost and module performance are discussed. The aim of this study is to find an appropriate solution of module encapsulation failure.
This paper presents experimental results on rapid freezing of water droplets injected into a low temperature environment. A heat balance method was applied to determine the ratio of the water droplets frozen at the collection after the airborne time. The experimental results show that rapid freezing of water droplets could be achieved within three seconds of airborne time. Droplet size distribution of the frozen water droplets after collection was estimated. Heat transfer during the airborne time was calculated with consideration of the droplet size distribution. At attempt was taken to compare the heat transfer obtained with some previous studies on heat transfer of spherical objects in air. The research results show that droplet size distribution is important for the prediction of heat transfer of water droplets traveling in air. The results presented in this study contribute to the understanding of heat transfer of water droplets injected into a low temperature air.
Recently, the detection of non-bulk superconductivity with unexpectedly high onset-Tcs up to 49 K in Pr-doped CaFe2As2 [(Ca,Pr)122] single crystals and the report of a Tc up to 65 K in one-unit-cell (1UC) FeSe epi-films, offer an unusual opportunity to seek an answer to the question posed in the title. Through systematic compositional, structural, resistive, and magnetic investigations on (Ca,Pr)122 single crystals, we have observed a doping-level-independent Tc, the simultaneous appearance of superparamagnetism and superconductivity, large magnetic anisotropy, and the existence of mesoscopic-2D structures in these crystals, thus providing clear evidence consistent with the proposed interface-enhanced Tc in these naturally occurring rareearth-doped Fe-based superconductors, (Ca,R)122. Similar resistive and magnetic measurements were also made on the 3–4UC FeSe ultrathin epi-films. We have detected weak links in the Meissner state below 20 K, weakly coupled small superconducting patches between 20–45 K, and collective excitations of spin and/or superconducting nature between 45–80 K. The unusual frequency dependences of the diamagnetic moment observed in the films in different temperature ranges will be presented and their implications discussed.