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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.
An outbreak of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157 occurred in multiple prefectures of Japan in November 2009. We conducted two case–control studies with trace-back and trace-forward investigations to determine the source. The case definition was met by 21 individuals; 14 (66.7%) were hospitalised, but no haemolytic uraemic syndrome, acute encephalopathy or deaths occurred. Median age was 23 (range 12–48) years and 14 cases were male (66.7%). No significant associations with food were found in a case–control study by local public health centres, but our matched case–control study using Internet surveys found that beef hanging tender (or hanger steak), derived from the diaphragm of the cattle, was significantly associated with illness (odds ratio = 15.77; 95% confidence interval, 2.00–124.11). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis of isolates from patients and the suspected food showed five different patterns: two in faecal and food samples, and another three in patient faecal samples only, although there were epidemiological links to the meat consumed at the restaurants. Trace-back investigation implicated a common food processing company from outside Japan. Examination of the logistics of the meat processing company suggested that contamination did not occur in Japan. We concluded that the source of the outbreak was imported hanging tender. This investigation revealed that Internet surveys could be useful for outbreak investigations.
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.
An X-ray transmission method has been developed to obtain a continuous profile of bulk densities of ice cores. Intensities of X-rays transmitted through an ice-core sample were continuously measured by an X-ray detector during translation of the sample across the X-ray beam. A thick section of an ice core with a constant thickness was prepared by band-sawing followed by microtome planing. The X-ray intensity profile obtained was converted to a density profile using a calibration curve for X-ray absorption vs ice thickness. Using this method, spatial resolution of the density profile was down to 1 mm. X-ray radiographs were also taken on a two-dimensional detector imaging plate, in order to observe layer structures of the ice cores.
The method was applied to Dome Fuji (Antarctica) ice cores from the surface to 110 m depth. From the density profile obtained we calculated the power spectrum of the density variation by the discrete Fourier transform, and obtained several peaks at different frequencies. The center period in the spectrum was close to the annual accumulation thickness at the drill site.
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.
A comprehensive study of ice-crystal fabrics and textures was conducted on the Dome F (Antarctica) ice core. Crystal ,-axis orientations, crystal sizes and crystal shape were measured on thin sections with an automatic ice-fabric analyzer. The general feature of textural and fabric development through a 2500 m long core was obtained by a 20 m interval study. Crystal size steadily increases with depth except for depths of about 500,1800, 2000, 2200 and 2300 m, at which depths crystal size decreases suddenly. There is a clear correlation between crystal-size and ´18O values. Crystals tend to elongate horizontally with depth, and the aspect ratio (long axis vs short axis of a grain) increases twofold at 1600 m depth and fluctuates below that depth. The .-axis orientation fabrics gradually change with depth from a random orientation pattern near the surface to a strong vertical single maximum at 2500 m. These are very similar to those from the GRIP (Greenland) core The observations of crystal shape and the fabric measurements indicate that nucleation-recrystallization does not take place at Dome F.
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 geophysical metronome (Milankovitch components of the past surface temperature variations) and the isotope–temperature transfer function deduced from the borehole temperature profile at Vostok station, Antarctica, are applied to date the 2500 mdeep ice core from Dome Fuji station, Antarctica, and to reconstruct paleoclimatic conditions at the drilling site on the basis of the local δ18O isotope record. Special attention is paid to consistency of this depth–age relation with the mass-balance reconstruction and predictions of ice-flow modeling. the present-day ice mass-balance rate at Dome Fuji is estimated as 3.2 cm a–1. the ice age at the borehole bottom (590m above the bedrock) is around 335 ± 4.5 kyr and may reach 2000 kyr at about 3000 mdepth.The difference in the ice-sheet surface temperatures between Holocene optimum and Last Glacial Maximum is found to be 17.8˚C at the temporal isotope/temperature slope, about 30% lower than the modern geographical estimates. A good agreement between modeled and measured (preliminary data) borehole temperatures is obtained at the geothermal flux 0.059 Wm–2 and ice-fusion temperature (–2˚C) at the ice–rock interface with minimum (zero) melt rates.
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.
The Following design of a Pulsar Survey System with a Huge Interferometric Array is discussed. (1) A Huge Array of 320m × 320m with 256(= 16 × 16) spherical dishes of 20m in diameter, (2) RF is 1.4 GHz, (3) Receivers are frequency modified GPS(1.57542, 1.2276GHz) ones, (4) Phase and Delay Tracking, (5) Phase Calibration using Differential GPS(GPS signal × 2 → CW), (6) (2+1+2)D FFT /256 pixel Imaging + 256 ch Filtering + Dispersion Removal and Period finding(17M point floating 2DFFT by DSP), (8) Observing time required for the same sensitivity to Arecibo τ/τA: 0.88(Timing), 0.003(Survey).
Gyrokinetic simulations of electromagnetic turbulence in magnetically confined torus plasmas including tokamak and heliotron/stellarator are reviewed. Numerical simulation of turbulence in finite beta plasmas is an important task for predicting the performance of fusion reactors and a great challenge in computational science due to multiple spatio-temporal scales related to electromagnetic ion and electron dynamics. The simulation becomes further challenging in non-axisymmetric plasmas. In finite beta plasmas, magnetic perturbation appears and influences some key mechanisms of turbulent transport, which include linear instability and zonal flow production. Linear analysis shows that the ion-temperature gradient (ITG) instability, which is essentially an electrostatic instability, is unstable at low beta and its growth rate is reduced by magnetic field line bending at finite beta. On the other hand, the kinetic ballooning mode (KBM), which is an electromagnetic instability, is destabilized at high beta. In addition, trapped electron modes (TEMs), electron temperature gradient (ETG) modes, and micro-tearing modes (MTMs) can be destabilized. These instabilities are classified into two categories: ballooning parity and tearing parity modes. These parities are mixed by nonlinear interactions, so that, for instance, the ITG mode excites tearing parity modes. In the nonlinear evolution, the zonal flow shear acts to regulate the ITG driven turbulence at low beta. On the other hand, at finite beta, interplay between the turbulence and zonal flows becomes complicated because the production of zonal flow is influenced by the finite beta effects. When the zonal flows are too weak, turbulence continues to grow beyond a physically relevant level of saturation in finite-beta tokamaks. Nonlinear mode coupling to stable modes can play a role in the saturation of finite beta ITG mode and KBM. Since there is a quadratic conserved quantity, evaluating nonlinear transfer of the conserved quantity from unstable modes to stable modes is useful for understanding the saturation mechanism of turbulence.
The interactive effect of personal factors and social factors upon suicide risk is unclear. We conducted prospective cohort study to investigate whether the impact of the economic crisis in 1997–1998 upon suicide risk differed according to Neuroticism and Psychoticism personality traits.
The Miyagi Cohort Study in Japan with a follow-up for 19 years from 1990 to 2008 has 29 432 subjects aged 40–64 years at baseline who completed a questionnaire about various health habits and the Japanese version of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire – Revised Short Form in 1990.
The suicide mortality rate increased from 4.6 per 100 000 person-years before 1998 to 27.8 after 1998. Although both Neuroticism and Psychoticism were significantly associated with an increased risk of mortality during the whole period from 1990 to 2008, the impact of the economic crisis upon suicide risk differed between the Neuroticism and Psychoticism personality traits. Compared with the lowest category, the hazard ratios (HRs) for the highest Neuroticism increased from 0.66 before 1998 to 2.45 after 1998. On the other hand, the HRs for the highest Psychoticism decreased from 7.85 before 1998 to 2.05 after 1998.
The impact of the 1997–1998 economic crisis upon suicide risk differed according to personality. Suicide risk increased among these with higher Neuroticism after the economic crisis, but this was not the case for other personality subscales.
Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) has been detected in Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) on core shrouds and primary water re-circulation piping made of low carbon stainless steels. Material hardening strongly affects SCC propagation behavior, and SCC growth rates increase with increasing hardness of austenitic stainless steels caused by cold work or neutron irradiation.
Research work has been conducted in the authors’ laboratories with the aim of improving SCC resistance using chemical composition control of stainless steels. It has been previously reported that high stacking fault energy (SFE) materials showed better SCC resistance than low SFE materials due to hardening being suppressed in high SFE materials. In the present study, SCC growth rate (CGR) tests were performed using 15% cold worked Types 316L and 25Cr-20Ni stainless steels in a simulated BWR water environment. The 25Cr-20Ni stainless steel used has high SFE value due to chemical composition control and measured SCC growth rates were lower than those of low SFE stainless steels.
However, oxidation behavior is one of the more important factors influencing SCC of austenitic stainless steels in addition to material hardening behavior, and the influence of the chemical composition control necessary to increase SFE on oxidation behavior in BWR primary coolants is still unclear. In this study, therefore, immersion tests using Types 316L and 25Cr-20Ni stainless steel specimens were also conducted in the simulated BWR water environment. The surface oxide films on the specimens were then analyzed with micro-Raman spectroscopy and glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy in order to help clarify the oxidation behavior.
The results of these tests and analyses showed that the NiFe2O4 content of the outer oxide layers on the high SFE stainless steels was higher than that on the low SFE stainless steels. The inner oxide film on the 25Cr-20Ni stainless steel also had a high chromium content.
Based on the above results, SCC resistance and oxidation behavior of high SFE austenitic stainless steels in a simulated BWR water environment will be discussed.
Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) is a severe invasive infection characterized by the sudden onset of shock, multi-organ failure, and high mortality. In Japan, appropriate notification measures based on the Infectious Disease Control law are mandatory for cases of STSS caused by β-haemolytic streptococcus. STSS is mainly caused by group A streptococcus (GAS). Although an average of 60–70 cases of GAS-induced STSS are reported annually, 143 cases were recorded in 2011. To determine the reason behind this marked increase, we characterized the emm genotype of 249 GAS isolates from STSS patients in Japan from 2010 to 2012 and performed antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The predominant genotype was found to be emm1, followed by emm89, emm12, emm28, emm3, and emm90. These six genotypes constituted more than 90% of the STSS isolates. The number of emm1, emm89, emm12, and emm28 isolates increased concomitantly with the increase in the total number of STSS cases. In particular, the number of mefA-positive emm1 isolates has escalated since 2011. Thus, the increase in the incidence of STSS can be attributed to an increase in the number of cases associated with specific genotypes.
Rhazya stricta is an endangered medicinal plant that is under severe human pressure as a result of commercial harvesting. As a model of habitat fragmentation, we selected the Kohat Plateau in the Pakistani Himalaya, where populations are fragmented, with less than 100 individuals per population. We hypothesized that the populations may be threatened by rapid habitat fragmentation and by unsustainable utilization of the plant. We analysed P450-based analogue functional genomic markers and amplified fragment length polymorphism markers from six populations of R. stricta on the Kohat Plateau, and examined their variations both within and among the populations. Both the marker groups revealed lower genetic differentiation among the populations and higher genetic differentiation within the populations as a result of high gene flow. The results confirmed that habitat fragmentation is being caused by severe human pressure, and although signs of genetic erosion are not yet visible, they seem likely to become visible in the future. Therefore, the conservation of R. stricta populations is necessary.
Using a newly developed rapid test, an outbreak of human metapneumovirus (HMPV) infection in a long-term care facility was detected within only 2 days after the onset of symptoms in a putative index case. The outbreak was almost under control within 8 days mainly by zoning patients, with the exception of two cases of HMPV that were diagnosed 16 and 17 days after the onset of the outbreak. According to an immunological diagnosis as well as the rapid test, it was eventually proven that 18 patients had HMPV infections. We suspected that even asymptomatic residents, who had not been completely separated from the facility population, were a source of infection. That suggested that all asymptomatic residents should be tested and that the separation of the infected patients should be absolute, if an outbreak of HMPV infection is suspected in such a facility.
It is difficult to get a real scale image of the solar system through lecture. A scale model is a classical and one of good solutions (e.g. Handa et al.2003, Handa et al.2008). Through this model, people living in or visiting to the city can physically understand the scale of the solar system. This scale gives 1 cm for Earth's diameter and 115 m for 1 AU. However, some gadget is required to make it attractive for public citizens.