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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.
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.
At least in conventional hydrostatic ice-sheet models, the numerical error associated with grounding line dynamics can be reduced by modifications to the discretization scheme. These involve altering the integration formulae for the basal traction and/or driving stress close to the grounding line and exhibit lower – if still first-order – error in the MISMIP3d experiments. MISMIP3d may not represent the variety of real ice streams, in that it lacks strong lateral stresses, and imposes a large basal traction at the grounding line. We study resolution sensitivity in the context of extreme forcing simulations of the entire Antarctic ice sheet, using the BISICLES adaptive mesh ice-sheet model with two schemes: the original treatment, and a scheme, which modifies the discretization of the basal traction. The second scheme does indeed improve accuracy – by around a factor of two – for a given mesh spacing, but
km resolution is still necessary. For example, in coarser resolution simulations Thwaites Glacier retreats so slowly that other ice streams divert its trunk. In contrast, with
km meshes, the same glacier retreats far more quickly and triggers the final phase of West Antarctic collapse a century before any such diversion can take place.
We describe an X-ray polarimeter which will be flown on the SPECTRUM-X-Gamma mission. The instrument exploits three distinct physical processes to measure polarization: Bragg reflection from a graphite crystal, Thomson scattering from a metallic lithium target, and photoemission from a Cesium Iodide photocathode. These three processes allow polarization measurements over an energy band of 0.3 keV to 12 keV. The polarimeter will make possible sensitive measurements of several hundred known X-ray sources. X-ray polarization measurements will allow us to constrain the geometry of gas flow in X-ray binaries, identify nonthermal emission in supernova remnants, test current models for X-ray emission in radio pulsars, determine the radiation mechanisms in active galactic nuclei, and search for inertial frame dragging (Lense-Thirring effect) around the putative black hole in Cygnus X-1.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
As part of the Z-PAndAS Keck II DEIMOS survey of resolved stars in our neighboring galaxy, Andromeda (M31), we have built up a unique data set of measured velocities and chemistries for thousands of stars in the Andromeda stellar halo, particularly probing its rich and complex substructure. In this contribution, we will discuss the structural, dynamical and chemical properties of Andromeda's dwarf spheroidal galaxies, and how there is no observational evidence for a difference in the evolutionary histories of those found on and off M31's vast plane of satellites. We will also discuss a possible extension to the most significant merger event in M31 - the Giant Southern Stream - and how we can use this feature to refine our understanding of M31's mass profile, and its complex evolution.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
The value of Google Flu Trends (GFT) remains unclear after it overestimated the proportion of physician visits related to influenza-like illness (ILI) in the United States in 2012–2013. However, GFT estimates (%GFT) have not been examined nationally in Canada nor compared with positivity for respiratory viruses other than influenza. For 2010–2014, we compared %GFT for Canada to Public Health Agency of Canada ILI consultation rates (%PHAC) and to positivity for influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus (hMPV), and rhinoviruses. %GFT correlated well with %PHAC (ρ = 0·77–0·90) and influenza A positivity (ρ = 0·64–0·96) and overestimated the 2012–2013 %PHAC peak by 0·99 percentage points. %GFT peaks corresponded temporally with peaks in positivity for influenza A and rhinoviruses (all seasons) and RSV and hMPV when their peaks preceded influenza peaks. In Canada, %GFT represented traditional surveillance data and corresponded temporally with patterns in circulating respiratory viruses.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
This study evaluated the efficacy of 3 common hospital disinfectants to inactivate influenza virus on elastomeric respirators. Quaternary ammonium/isopropyl alcohol and bleach detergent wipes eliminated live virus, whereas 70% isopropyl alcohol alone was ineffective.
This brief report investigated coping strategies and their perceived effectiveness in response to a social stressor for 7–12 year olds with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASDs). Ninety-eight participants completed a self-report coping scale in response to a self-identified socially stressful situation. Responses yielded three categories of use and perceived effectiveness: (1) strategies used frequently and viewed as effective, (2) strategies not used frequently and not perceived as effective, and (3) strategies used frequently but not perceived as effective. Respondents reported high frequency use and high perceived effectiveness of six strategies that are generally considered as positive/engagement oriented coping. They also indicated low frequency use and low perceived effectiveness of five strategies broadly regarded as negative and avoidant/disengagement coping. The last cluster of four strategies, identified as frequently used but not effective, consisted of strategies less clearly categorised as positive/engaged vs. negative/disengaged. Implications for future research and clinical considerations are proposed.
The last part of SpS5 dealt with the circumstellar environment. Structures are indeed found around several types of massive stars, such as blue and red supergiants, as well as WRs and LBVs. As shown in the last years, the potential of IR for their study is twofold: first, IR can help discover many previously unknown nebulae, leading to the identification of new massive stars as their progenitors; second, IR can help characterize the nebular features. Current and new IR facilities thus pave the way to a better understanding of the feedback from massive stars.
This study investigated the relationships among stress, intrapersonal resiliency factors (self-esteem, locus of control, and optimism) and quality of life [QOL] (physical health and mental health) among caregivers of children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASDs). Participants consisted of 113 caregivers of children with HFASDs (males = 38.1%, females = 61.9%; age range = 27–62; 93.6% Caucasians) and 47 caregivers of typically developing children (males = 29.8%; females = 70.2%; age range = 30–56; 93.3% Caucasians). They completed a set of self-rating surveys on perceived locus of control, self-esteem, optimism, and QOL. Within-group inferential statistical analyses were applied. For the HFASD group analyses, two simultaneous regression analyses were used to study the independent effects of the three intrapersonal variables on the physical health and mental health QOL of the caregivers. Intrapersonal factors predicted self-reported mental health QOL but not physical health QOL in caregivers of children with HFASDs.