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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.
Decreases in Fe status have been reported in military women during initial training periods of 8–10 weeks. The present study aimed to characterise Fe status and associations with physical performance in female New Zealand Army recruits during a 16-week basic combat training (BCT) course. Fe status indicators – Hb, serum ferritin (sFer), soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), transferrin saturation (TS) and erythrocyte distribution width (RDW) – were assessed at the beginning (baseline) and end of BCT in seventy-six volunteers without Fe-deficiency non-anaemia (sFer <12 µg/l; Hb ≥120 g/l) or Fe-deficiency anaemia (sFer <12 µg/l; Hb <120 g/l) at baseline or a C-reactive protein >10 mg/l at baseline or end. A timed 2·4 km run followed by maximum press-ups were performed at baseline and midpoint (week 8) to assess physical performance. Changes in Fe status were investigated using paired t tests and associations between Fe status and physical performance evaluated using Pearson correlation coefficients. sFer (56·6 (sd 33·7) v. 38·4 (sd 23·8) µg/l) and TS (38·8 (sd 13·9) v. 34·4 (sd 11·5) %) decreased (P<0·001 and P=0·014, respectively), while sTfR (1·21 (sd 0·27) v. 1·39 (sd 0·35) mg/l) and RDW (12·8 (sd 0·6) v. 13·2 (sd 0·7) %) increased (P<0·001) from baseline to end. Hb (140·6 (sd 7·5) v. 142·9 (sd 7·9) g/l) increased (P=0·009) during BCT. At end, sTfR was positively (r 0·29, P=0·012) and TS inversely associated (r –0·32, P=0·005) with midpoint run time. There were no significant correlations between Fe status and press-ups. Storage and functional Fe parameters indicated a decline in Fe status in female recruits during BCT. Correlations between tissue-Fe indicators and run times suggest impaired aerobic fitness. Optimal Fe status appears paramount for enabling success in female recruits during military training.
Characteristic x rays have been produced for a variety of samples by bombardment with protons in the energy range from 75 keV to 5 MeV. The experiments were performed with two accelerators. For the low-energy studies (less than 150 keV), a Cockcroft-Walton accelerator was used. The higher-energy studies were done with a 5 MV Van de Graaff. The x rays were measured with high-resolution Si(Li) and Ge(Li) detectors. Yields for the cross section of characteristic K- and L-shell ionizations were measured for titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganeses iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, silver, gold, bismuth, and uranium. The experimental cross-sections have been compared to the theoretical predictions of the Born approximation for an interaction of this type.
Trace element analysis by 4-MeV proton bombardment of samples in the 10-12 gm range has also been performed. Some comments with regard to analysis with these sensitivities will be made.
The objective for this study was to determine if POST-directed applications of flumioxazin reduce fruit yield for chile pepper produced on coarse- and fine-textured soils irrigated by furrow. This objective was addressed with a multiyear (2015, 2016, 2017) field study that compared flumioxazin effects on fruit yield against a commercial standard (POST-directed carfentrazone) and the absence of a POST-directed herbicide. The field study occurred at two university research farms that differed in soil texture. On fine-textured soil, treatments included the no POST–directed herbicide control and the following four POST-directed herbicides applied to raised beds: (1) flumioxazin at 107 g ai ha–1 applied 4 wk after crop thinning, (2) carfentrazone at 35 g ai ha–1 applied 4 wk after crop thinning, (3) flumioxazin at 70 g ai ha–1 applied 4 and 6 wk after crop thinning, (4) carfentrazone at 35 g ai ha–1 applied 4 and 6 wk after crop thinning. On coarse-textured soil, treatments included the no POST–directed herbicide control and the following three POST-directed herbicides applied 4 wk after crop thinning: (1) flumioxazin at 107 g ai ha–1 applied to raised beds, (2) flumioxazin at 107 g ai ha–1 applied to furrows, (3) carfentrazone at 35 g ai ha–1 applied to raised beds. On fine-textured soil, treatment did not affect fruit yield. On coarse-textured soil, flumioxazin applied to furrows did not reduce fruit yield, but flumioxazin on raised beds reduced fruit yield of some cultivars in 2015 and 2017. Year-to-year variability in both flumioxazin-induced yield loss and soil characteristics suggested that chile pepper sensitivity to flumioxazin was negatively associated with soil organic matter content. In a follow-up greenhouse study, soil organic matter lessened flumioxazin-induced crop injury. In general, this study indicates that recommendations for POST-directed flumioxazin in New Mexico chile pepper will need to be soil-type specific.
A better understanding of the dynamics of different particulate organic matter (OM) pools in the coastal carbon budget is a key issue for quantifying the role of the coastal ocean in the global carbon cycle. To elucidate the benthic component of this carbon cycle at the land-sea interface, we investigated the carbon isotope signatures (δ13C and ∆14C) in the sediment pore waters dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in addition to the sediment OM to constrain the origin of the OM mineralized in sediments. The study site is located at the outlet of the Rhône River (Mediterranean Sea), which was chosen because this river is one of the most nuclearized rivers in Europe and nuclear 14C can serve as a tracer to follow the fate of the OM discharged by the river to the coastal sea. The ∆14C results found in the pore waters DIC show a general offset between buried and mineralized OM following a preferential mineralization model of young and fresh particles. For example, we found that the sediment OM has values with a mean ∆14C=–33‰ at sampling stations near the river mouth whereas enriched ∆14C values around +523‰ and +667‰ respectively were found for the pore waters DIC. This indicates complete mineralization of a riverine fraction of OM enriched in 14C in the river conduit during in-stream photosynthesis. In shelf sediments, the ∆14C of pore waters DIC is slightly enriched (+57‰) with sediment OM reaching –570‰. A mixing model shows that particles mineralized near the river mouth are certainly of riverine phytoplanktonic origin whereas OM mineralized on the shelf is of marine origin. This work highlights the fact that pore waters provide additional information compared to sediments alone and it seems essential to work on both pools to study the carbon budget in river prodelta.
Indigenous women and children experience some of the most profound health disparities globally. These disparities are grounded in historical and contemporary trauma secondary to colonial atrocities perpetuated by settler society. The health disparities that exist for chronic diseases may have their origins in early-life exposures that Indigenous women and children face. Mechanistically, there is evidence that these adverse exposures epigenetically modify genes associated with cardiometabolic disease risk. Interventions designed to support a resilient pregnancy and first 1000 days of life should abrogate disparities in early-life socioeconomic status. Breastfeeding, prenatal care and early child education are key targets for governments and health care providers to start addressing current health disparities in cardiometabolic diseases among Indigenous youth. Programmes grounded in cultural safety and co-developed with communities have successfully reduced health disparities. More works of this kind are needed to reduce inequities in cardiometabolic diseases among Indigenous women and children worldwide.
The mental and physical health of individuals with a psychotic illness are typically poor. Access to psychosocial interventions is important but currently limited. Telephone-delivered interventions may assist. In the current systematic review, we aim to summarise and critically analyse evidence for telephone-delivered psychosocial interventions targeting key health priorities in adults with a psychotic disorder, including (i) relapse, (ii) adherence to psychiatric medication and/or (iii) modifiable cardiovascular disease risk behaviours.
Ten peer-reviewed and four grey literature databases were searched for English-language studies examining psychosocial telephone-delivered interventions targeting relapse, medication adherence and/or health behaviours in adults with a psychotic disorder. Study heterogeneity precluded meta-analyses.
Twenty trials [13 randomised controlled trials (RCTs)] were included, involving 2473 participants (relapse prevention = 867; medication adherence = 1273; and health behaviour = 333). Five of eight RCTs targeting relapse prevention and one of three targeting medication adherence reported at least 50% of outcomes in favour of the telephone-delivered intervention. The two health-behaviour RCTs found comparable levels of improvement across treatment conditions.
Although most interventions combined telephone and face-to-face delivery, there was evidence to support the benefit of entirely telephone-delivered interventions. Telephone interventions represent a potentially feasible and effective option for improving key health priorities among people with psychotic disorders. Further methodologically rigorous evaluations are warranted.
Mental health support in Sierra Leone is sparse, and qualitative research into the feasibility of implementing psychological interventions is equally underdeveloped. Following the 2014 Ebola virus disease outbreak, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust were commissioned to develop a psychological intervention that UK clinicians could train national staff with minimal psychological experience to deliver to their peers. Following the completion of the stepped care, group-based cognitive–behavioural therapy intervention, qualitative interviews were conducted with the national team to identify key barriers and enablers to implementation of and engagement with this intervention. This article describes the key themes that came out of those interviews, and discusses the implications of these findings for future clinical teams.
It is now well accepted that exposure to adverse environmental conditions in utero can predispose a fetus to disease later in life. Using an avian model to study the programming of disease has a unique advantage as it allows isolation of the direct effects of adverse conditions on fetal physiology, without any confounding effects via the mother or placenta. However, experiments in avian models are limited by the lack of well-established surgical protocols for the adult bird, which we have established in this study. Surgery was performed on seven young adult Bovan Brown chickens (body weight 1617±214 g, mean±s.d.) in order to instrument them with femoral arterial and venous catheters and a femoral arterial flow probe. Isoflurane and lidocaine were both found to have depressive effects on chicken cardiovascular function. Optimised methods of anaesthesia, intraoperative monitoring, surgical approach, postoperative care, and experimentation are described. Chickens recovered rapidly from surgery without significant blood gas perturbation, and basal in vivo cardiovascular studies were performed following 5 days of recovery. These techniques allow detailed investigation of avian cardiometabolic function, permitting determination of the consequences in later life of direct environmental insults to fetal physiology, isolated from additional effects on maternal physiology and/or placental endocrinology.
The effects of season and husbandry on the selenium (Se) status of four flocks, located in areas of Dyfed in Wales, were monitored over a 16-month period. The Se status of each flock was assessed from the activity of the Se-dependent enzyme glutathione peroxidase (EC 1. 11. 1. 9, GSH-Px), determined at 30°C in individual blood samples. The survey was initiated in January 1981 and samples were collected at monthly intervals from 18 ewes per flock.
In this paper, first results comparing modified Longin and ninhydrin collagen extraction methodologies are presented. The goal of this study is to investigate the bones of several species with different ages, preservation conditions, and collagen contents to determine the most suitable preparation method. Different types of samples are used such as VIRI samples, previously dated bones, and background samples. Each bone has undergone elemental analysis, infrared analysis, and 14C measurement. The results are presented and the advantages and disadvantages of each preparation method are discussed. In general, results obtained by the two methods are in accordance with the consensus value for 2σ uncertainty. For VIRI I and a mammoth bone, the ninhydrin preparation gives, respectively, 8450±70 BP and 14,870±60 BP whereas the modified Longin process gives 8365±45 BP and 14,750±100 BP in agreement with the expected values. From the experimental point of view, the modified Longin process is easier to implement than the ninhydrin protocol. From this approach, we can conclude that the modified Longin process could be preferred in most cases and particularly when the amount of bone is small and the sample is not too contaminated.
This paper presents latest thinking from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ Model Risk Working Party and follows on from their Phase I work, Model Risk: Daring to Open the Black Box. This is a more practical paper and presents the contributors’ experiences of model risk gained from a wide range of financial and non-financial organisations with suggestions for good practice and proven methods to reduce model risk. After a recap of the Phase I work, examples of model risk communication are given covering communication: to the Board; to the regulator; and to external stakeholders. We present a practical framework for model risk management and quantification with examples of the key actors, processes and cultural challenge. Lessons learned are then presented from other industries that make extensive use of models and include the weather forecasting, software and aerospace industries. Finally, a series of case studies in practical model risk management and mitigation are presented from the contributors’ own experiences covering primarily financial services.
Negative symptoms significantly contribute to disability and lack of community participation for low functioning individuals with schizophrenia. Cognitive therapy has been shown to improve negative symptoms and functional outcome in this population. Elucidation of the mechanisms of the therapy would lead to a better understanding of negative symptoms and the development of more effective interventions to promote recovery. The objective of this study was to determine (1) whether guided success at a card-sorting task will produce improvement in defeatist beliefs, positive beliefs about the self, mood, and card-sorting performance, and (2) whether these changes in beliefs and mood predict improvements in unguided card-sorting.
Individuals with schizophrenia having prominent negative symptoms and impaired neurocognitive performance (N = 35) were randomized to guided success (n = 19) or a control (n = 16) condition.
Controlling for baseline performance, the experimental group performed significantly better, endorsed defeatist beliefs to a lesser degree, reported greater positive self-concept, and reported better mood than the control condition immediately after the experimental session. A composite index of change in defeatist beliefs, self-concept, and mood was significantly correlated with improvements in card-sorting.
This analogue study supports the rationale of cognitive therapy and provides a general therapeutic model in which experiential interventions that produce success have a significant immediate effect on a behavioral task, mediated by changes in beliefs and mood. The rapid improvement is a promising indicator of the responsiveness of this population, often regarded as recalcitrant, to cognitively-targeted behavioral interventions.
The main objective of this report is to present the dating process routinely applied to different types of samples at the Laboratoire de Mesure du Carbone 14 (LMC14). All the results and protocols refer to our procedures over the last 5 years. A description of the sorting and chemical pretreatments of the samples as well as the extraction and graphitization of CO2 are reported. Our last study concerning the degradation of the blank level according to the storage time of the targets between graphitization and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurement is also presented. This article also provides information on how to submit a valid laboratory sample. We give details relating to sampling procedures on site as well as contamination issues relative to the 14C dating methodology.
Evidence for a relationship between neurocognition and functional outcome in important areas of community living is robust in serious mental illness research. Dysfunctional attitudes (defeatist performance beliefs and asocial beliefs) have been identified as intervening variables in this causal chain. This study seeks to expand upon previous research by longitudinally testing the link between neurocognition and community participation (i.e. time in community-based activity) through dysfunctional attitudes and motivation.
Adult outpatients with serious mental illness (N = 175) participated, completing follow-up assessments approximately 6 months after initial assessment. Path analysis tested relationships between baseline neurocognition, emotion perception, functional skills, dysfunctional attitudes, motivation, and outcome (i.e. community participation) at baseline and follow-up.
Path models demonstrated two pathways to community participation. The first linked neurocognition and community participation through functional skills, defeatist performance beliefs, and motivation. A second pathway linked asocial beliefs and community participation, via a direct path passing through motivation. Model fit was excellent for models predicting overall community participation at baseline and, importantly, at follow-up.
The existence of multiple pathways to community participation in a longitudinal model supports the utility of multi-modal interventions for serious mental illness (i.e. treatment packages that build upon individuals’ strengths while addressing the array of obstacles to recovery) that feature dysfunctional attitudes and motivation as treatment targets.
Subarcsecond infrared and radio observations yield important information about the formation of super star clusters from their surrounding gas. We discuss the general properties of ionized and molecular gas near young, forming SSCs, as illustrated by the prototypical young, forming super star cluster nebula in the dwarf galaxy NGC 5253. This super star cluster appears to have a gravitationally bound nebula, and the lack of molecular gas suggests a very high star formation efficiency, consistent with the formation of a large, bound cluster.