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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.
To characterise the dissemination patterns of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) in a community, we conducted a study utilising molecular and fundamental descriptive epidemiology. The subjects, consisted of women having community-acquired acute urinary tract infection (UTI), were enrolled in the study from 2011 to 2012. UPEC isolates were subjected to antibacterial-susceptibility testing, O serogrouping, phylotyping, multilocus-sequence typing with phylogenetic-tree analysis and pulsed-field-gel electrophoresis (PFGE). From the 209 unique positive urinary samples 166 UPEC were isolated, of which 129 were fully susceptible to the tested antibiotics. Of the 53 sequence types (STs), the four most prevalent STs (ST95, ST131, ST73 and ST357) accounted for 60% of all UPEC strains. Antimicrobial resistance was less frequently observed for ST95 and ST73 than for the others. A majority of rare STs and a few common STs constituted the diversity pattern within the population structure, which was composed of the two phylogenetically distinct clades. Eleven genetically closely related groups were determined by PFGE, which accounted for 42 of the 166 UPEC isolates, without overt geo-temporal clustering. Our results indicate that a few major lineages of UPEC, selected by unidentified factors, are disseminated in this community and contribute to a large fraction of acute UTIs.
Diet, obesity and adipokines play important roles in diabetes and CVD; yet, limited studies have assessed the relationship between diet and multiple adipokines. This cross-sectional study assessed associations between diet, adiposity and adipokines in Mexican Americans. The cohort included 1128 participants (age 34·7±8·2 years, BMI 29·5±5·9 kg/m2, 73·2 % female). Dietary intake was assessed by 12-month food frequency questionnaire. Adiposity was measured by BMI, total percentage body fat and percentage trunk fat using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Adiponectin, apelin, C-reactive protein (CRP), dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-IV), IL-1β, IL-1ra, IL-6, IL-18, leptin, lipocalin, monocyte chemo-attractant protein-1 (MCP-1), resistin, secreted frizzled protein 4 (SFRP-4), SFRP-5, TNF-α and visfatin were assayed with multiplex kits or ELISA. Joint multivariate associations between diet, adiposity and adipokines were analysed using canonical correlations adjusted for age, sex, energy intake and kinship. The median (interquartile range) energy intake was 9514 (7314, 11912) kJ/d. Overall, 55 % of total intake was accounted for by carbohydrates (24 % from sugar). A total of 66 % of the shared variation between diet and adiposity, and 34 % of diet and adipokines were explained by the top canonical correlation. The diet component was most represented by sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), fruit and vegetables. Participants consuming a diet high in SSB and low in fruits and vegetables had higher adiposity, CRP, leptin, and MCP-1, but lower SFRP-5 than participants with high fruit and vegetable and low SSB intake. In Mexican Americans, diets high in SSB but low in fruits and vegetables contribute to adiposity and a pro-inflammatory adipokine profile.
Previous studies have shown that the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) is affected by adverse maternal nutrition during pregnancy. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a maternal low-protein diet on proinflammatory cytokines, reactive oxygen species and RAS components in kidney samples isolated from adult male offspring. We hypothesized that post-weaning losartan treatment would have beneficial effects on RAS activity and inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in these animals. Pregnant Sprague–Dawley rats were fed with a control (20% casein) or low-protein diet (LP) (6% casein) throughout gestation. After weaning, the LP pups were randomly assigned to LP and LP-losartan groups (AT1 receptor blockade: 10 mg/kg/day until 20 weeks of age). At 20 weeks of age, blood pressure levels were higher and renal RAS was activated in the LP group. We also observed several adverse effects in the kidneys of the LP group, including a higher number of CD3, CD68 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cells and higher levels of collagen and reactive oxygen species in the kidney. Further, our results revealed that post-weaning losartan treatment completely abolished immune cell infiltration and intrarenal RAS activation in the kidneys of LP rats. The prevention of augmentation of angiotensin (Ang II) concentration abolished inflammatory and fibrotic events, indicating that Ang II via the AT1 receptor is essential for pathological initiation. Our results suggest that the prenatal programming of hypertension is dependent on the up-regulation of local RAS and presence of immune cells in the kidney.
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.
Three ice cores were recovered on or near Mount Logan, Yukon, Canada, at 3017, 4135 and 5340 ma.s.l. in 2002. Prior to ice-core drilling, we collected snow-pit and shallow core samples from Mount Logan in 2001 to study seasonal and spatial variations of snow chemistry. We dug snow pits at six sites between 2420 and 5340 m a.s.l. before the beginning of the melt season, with the exception of a pit at 3180 m a.s.l., where the melt season had just started but had affected only the near-surface stratigraphy. Three of the pits were extended deeper with a shallow core. The snow-pit and core samples were analyzed for ion chemistry and δ18O. A series of depth profiles of ions and δ18O shows spatial variations, though characteristic peaks can usually be traced across all the profiles. Concentrations and deposition fluxes of Na+ and Cl−, which are mainly of sea-salt origin, decrease with altitude. On the other hand, deposition fluxes of NO3−, SO42–, Ca2+ and NH4+ show a weak positive relationship with elevation below the summit plateau. Stable isotopes (δ18O) decrease with altitude, with a distinctive jump between 3200 and 4500 m a.s.l., as was reported previously. Stable isotopes (δ18O), Cl−, CH3SO3− (MSA), Na+ and Ca2+ show clear seasonal variations, which would enable us to date the cores by annual-layer counting.
A deep ice core drilled to 2503 m depth at Dome Fuji, Antarctica, contains 25 visible tephra layers during the past 340 ka. The thickness of tephra layers is in the range 1-24 mm. The thickness and duration at deposition, determined by a simple ice-flow model, suggests that a violent volcanic eruption caused ash to fall onto the Antarctic ice sheet for ~5 years and to form a ~100 mm thick tephra layer at 117 ka BE Two tephra layers at depths of 573 and 2202 m probably originated from volcanoes in the South Sandwich Islands, Southern Ocean, given the size of tephra shards, >20μm in diameter, and their major chemical composition. Only eight of the 25 tephra layers can also be recognized in the Vostok (Antarctica) ice core, but all correspond to the Vostok tephras if we consider cloudy bands to be volcanic.
An updated compilation of published and new data of major-ion (Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Na, NO3, SO4) and methylsulfonate (MS) concentrations in snow from 520 Antarctic sites is provided by the national ITASE (International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition) programmes of Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and the national Antarctic programme of Finland. The comparison shows that snow chemistry concentrations vary by up to four orders of magnitude across Antarctica and exhibit distinct geographical patterns. The Antarctic-wide comparison of glaciochemical records provides a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the fundamental factors that ultimately control the chemistry of snow or ice samples. This paper aims to initiate data compilation and administration in order to provide a framework for facilitation of Antarctic-wide snow chemistry discussions across all ITASE nations and other contributing groups. The data are made available through the ITASE web page (http://www2.umaine.edu/itase/content/syngroups/snowchem.html) and will be updated with new data as they are provided. In addition, recommendations for future research efforts are summarized.
The thickness of supraglacial debris on the Khumbu Glacier, Nepal Himalaya, has been mapped by a combination of direct measurements and morphological and lithological studies. All three processes, englacial, supraglacial, and subglacial, must be considered in establishing the distribution of debris. Taking advantage of the lithological characteristics of the debris and their bedrock source, the denudation rate of the schistose bedrock was estimated to be about 0.02 mm a−1. A rough estimate of the production rate of supraglacial debris indicated that most of the present debris has formed since the last advance of the glacier, which took place a few hundred years B.P.
We have obtained B-band photographic surface photometry of ∼ 2000 galaxies in the Pisces-Perseus region. Combining these photometry data with redshift and HI 21 cm line-width data for spiral galaxies in the region, we have studied the Hubble constant and large-scale peculiar motions. Taking biases into account quantitatively we obtain H0 = 80 ±9+17−22 km/s−1Mpc−1. The prevalent infalling motion in the region is found to be still controversial if the biases are carefully considered.
Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) are the incretin hormones secreted from the intestine in response to enteral feeding to stimulate insulin secretion. We investigated the relationship serum GIP and GLP-1 levels with gestational age, and insulin secretion in preterm infants. Serum GIP and GLP-1 levels were measured at birth and at 1, 2 and 4 weeks after birth in 30 infants, including 12 born before 30th week of gestation (early group) and 18 born after 30th week of gestation (late group). Blood glucose and serum insulin levels were measured, and the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI) was also calculated. The levels of GLP-1 at 2 and 4 weeks were significantly higher in the early group than those in the late group. The levels of GIP were not significantly different between two groups. At 4 weeks, serum insulin level was significantly higher and QUICKI was significantly lower in the early group. Furthermore, GLP-1 levels were significantly correlated with QUICKI and the serum insulin levels in all infants at 4 weeks. In preterm infants, enteral feeding to premature intestine may be associated with GLP-1 secretion. GLP-1 is also related to stimulated insulin secretion in early postnatal period.
We have compiled a data base of V-band two-dimensional luminosity distribution for 261 galaxies in the Virgo and the Ursa Major regions (Watanabe 1983) using the 105-cm Schmidt telescope at the Kiso Observatory, Tokyo Astronomical Observatory. This is one of the largest collections of homogeneous surface photometry available to date, though the sample is biased for bright and large galaxies with m(V)≤14mag and/or D2 6≥2′. Among the sample galaxies we have selected some 200 certain members (V0<3500km/s) of the Virgo cluster and the Ursa Major clouds and performed various analyses on them to investigate systematic properties of galaxies. The two clusterings lie at nearly equal distance of (m-M)∼31.1 (Aaronson and Mould 1983). In the present paper we discuss the result of spheroid (bulge)/disk decomposition and velocity-luminosity relation for galaxies.