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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.
The dynamics of a conducting liquid film flowing down a cylindrical fibre, subjected to a radial electric field, is investigated using a long-wave model (Ding et al., J. Fluid Mech., vol. 752, 2014, p. 66). In this study, to account for the complicated interactions between droplets, we consider two large droplets in a periodic computational domain and find two distinct types of travelling wave solutions, which consist of either two identical droplets (type I) or two slightly different droplets (type II). Both are ‘relative’ equilibria, i.e. steady in a frame moving at their phase speed, and are stable in smaller domains when the electric field is weak. We also study relative periodic orbits, i.e. temporally recurrent dynamic solutions of the system. In the presence of the electric field, we show how these invariant solutions are linked to the dynamics, where the system can evolve into one of the steady travelling wave states, into an oscillatory state, or into a ‘singular structure’ (Wray et al., J. Fluid Mech., vol. 735, 2013, pp. 427–456; Ding et al., J. Fluid Mech., vol. 752, 2014, p. 66). We find that the oscillation between two similarly sized large droplets in the oscillatory state is well represented by relative periodic orbits. Varying the electric field strength, we demonstrate that relative periodic solutions arise as the dynamically important solution once the type-I or type-II travelling wave solutions lose stability. Oscillation can be either enhanced or impeded as the electric field’s strength increases. When the electric field is strong, no relative periodic solutions are found and a spike-like singular structure is observed. For the case where the electric field is not present, the oscillation is instead caused by the interaction between a large droplet and a nearby much smaller droplet. We show that this oscillation phenomenon originates from the instability of the type-I travelling wave solution in larger domains, and that the oscillatory state can again be represented by an exact relative periodic orbit. The relative periodic orbit solution is also compared with experimental study for this case. The present study demonstrates that the relative periodic solutions are better at capturing the wave speed and oscillatory dynamics than the travelling wave solutions in the unsteady flow regime.
We numerically study the impact of a compound drop on a hydrophobic substrate using a ternary-fluid diffuse-interface method, aiming to understand how the presence of the inner droplet affects the spreading dynamics and maximal spreading of the compound drop. First, it is interesting to see that the numerical results for an impacting pure drop agree well with the universal rescaling of maximal spreading ratio proposed by Lee et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 786, 2016, R4). Second, two flow regimes have been identified for an impacting compound drop: namely jammed spreading and joint rim formation. The maximal spreading ratio of the compound drop is found to depend on the volume fraction of the inner droplet
, the surface tension ratio
, the Weber number and the flow regime. Moreover, we propose a universal rescaling of maximal spreading ratio for compound drops, by integrating the one for pure drops with a corrected Weber number that takes
and the flow regime into account. The predictions of the universal rescaling are in good agreement with the numerical results for impacting compound drops.
Litter size has a great impact on the profit of swine producers. Uterine development is an important determinant of reproduction efficiency and could hence affect litter size. Chinese Erhualian pig is one of the most prolific breeds in the world, even though large phenotypic variation in litter size was observed within Erhualian sows. To dissect the genetic basis of the phenotypic variation, we herein conducted genome-wide association studies for total number born and number born alive (NBA) of Erhualian sows. In total, one significant single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (P<1.78e−06) and 11 suggestive SNPs (P<3.57e−05) were identified on 10 chromosomes, confirming seven previously reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) and uncovering six QTL for litter size or uterus length. One locus on Sus scrofa chromosome (SSC) 13 (79.28 to 90.43 Mb) harbored a cluster of suggestive SNPs associated with multiparous NBA. The SNP (rs81447100) within this region was confirmed to be significantly (P<0.05) associated with litter size in Erhualian (n=313), Sutai (n=173) and Yorkshire (n=488) populations. Retinol binding protein 2 and retinol binding protein 1 functionally related to the development of uterus were located in a region of 2 Mb around rs81447100. Moreover, four genes related to embryo implantation and development were also detected around other significant SNPs. Taken together, our findings provide a potential marker (rs81447100) for the genetic improvement of litter size not only in Chinese Erhualian pigs but also in European commercial pig breeds like Yorkshire, and would facilitate the final identification of causative variant(s) underlying the effect of SSC13 QTL on litter size.
Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of the population regarding severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in endemic areas of Lu'an in China were assessed before and after an intervention programme. The pre-intervention phase was conducted using a sample of 425 participants from the 12 selected villages with the highest rates of endemic SFTS infection. A predesigned interview questionnaire was used to assess KAP. Subsequently, an intervention programme was designed and applied in the selected villages. KAP was re-assessed for each population in the selected villages using the same interview questionnaire. Following 2 months of the programme, 339 participants had completed the re-assessed survey. The impact of the intervention programme was evaluated using suitable statistical methods. A significant increase in the KAP and total KAP scores was noted following the intervention programme, whereas the proportion of correct knowledge, the positive attitudes and the effective practices toward SFTS of respondents increased significantly. The intervention programme was effective in improving KAP level of SFTS in populations that were resident in endemic areas.
The sealed tube Zn reduction method has been applied for small-mass samples ranging from 15 to 100 μg carbon preparation for accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon (14C) measurements at the AMS-14C Preparation Lab in Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (GIGCAS). The volume of the sealed reactor tube is reduced to ~0.75 cm3 in order to increase the yield of graphite. Graphite targets are measured at the Keck Carbon Cycle AMS Facility at the University of California, Irvine (KCCAMS). The targets generate a maximum 12C+1 current of about 0.5 μA per 1 μg C. The modern-carbon background is estimated to be 0.25–0.60 μg C, and dead-carbon background to be ~0.3–0.9 μg C. Both modern-carbon background and dead-carbon background are size dependent, so the results can be corrected. The precision of the small-mass modern carbon standard samples is±15–25‰ for the size of ~15–20 μg C,±5–10‰ for ~20–50 μg C, and±3–10‰ for 50–100 μg C. Further reduction of dead-carbon and modern-carbon contamination is needed in preparation of small-mass samples at GIGCAS.
An outbreak of acute hepatitis recently occurred in a nursing home in Zhejiang Province, China. The objectives of this study were to confirm the outbreak and identify the aetiology, source and transmission patterns. All residents and staff in or near the nursing home during the period from 1 October 2014 to 21 May 2015 were investigated regarding hygiene and for epidemiological information including water and food (eating meat especially pork products). Serum and stool specimens were collected for detection of hepatitis E virus (HEV) antibodies using ELISA and RNA using RT–PCR. Samples that were RNA positive were genotyped. Of 185 senior residents and 24 staff in the nursing home, there were 37 laboratory-confirmed cases during the outbreak. Of these cases, 12 patients (three deaths) were symptomatic with jaundice, a common clinical symptom for hepatitis E infection. HEV strains were isolated from three cases and they formed a single cluster within genotype 4d. A case-control study was conducted to investigate potential risk factors for the outbreak and the results revealed that cases more often washed their dishes and rinsed their mouths using tap water than the controls (P < 0·05). Based on hygiene investigation and meteorological information, it is likely that HEV-infected sewage and faeces contaminated the water network on rainy days. Collectively, these results suggest that the outbreak of HEV genotype 4 infection was most likely caused by contaminated tap water rather than food.
The historical evolution of an ancient forest that developed at Gaoyao, south China, can be divided into 4 stages of radiocarbon intervals (1.1–1.5, 2.0–3.5, 3.6–4.0, and 4.3–4.9 ka) in which the last 3 stages all developed in a wetland and formed humic layers of 2.0, 0.5, and 0.7 m depth, respectively. The humic layers were interrupted by 2 white-gray silty clay layers that most likely formed during climate fluctuations. Four drought events were identified during the evolution of the ancient forest, occurring around 4.3, 3.6, 2.0, and 1.1 ka, respectively, with durations of ∼1000 14C yr. These events are consistent with other records both in low- and high-latitude areas, in particular with the little ice ages occurring since the mid-Holocene. Precipitation likely increased from 5.0 to 3.6 ka in south China, then decreased, which is probably the main cause for the development as well as the demise of the ancient forest.
This paper examines the carbon isotopes (13C, 14C) of soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil CO2 from an evergreen broadleaf forest in southern China during the rainy season. The distribution of SOC δ13C, and SOC content with depth, exhibits a regular decomposition of SOC compartments with different turnover rates. Labile carbon is the main component in the topsoil (0–12 cm) and has a turnover rate between 0.1 and 0.01 yr–1. In the middle section (12–35 cm), SOC was mainly comprised of mediate carbon with turnover rates ranging between 0.01 and 0.025. Below 35 cm depth (underlayer section), the SOC turnover rate is slower than 0.001 yr–1, indicating that passive carbon is the main component of SOC in this section. The total production of humus-derived CO2 is 123.84 g C m–2 yr–1, from which 88% originated in the topsoil. The middle and underlayer sections contribute only 10% and 2% to the total humus-derived CO2 production, respectively. Soil CO2 δ13C varies from –24.7‰ to –24.0‰, showing a slight isotopic depth gradient. Similar to soil CO2 δ13C, Δ14C values, which range from 100.0‰ to 107.2‰, are obviously higher than that of atmospheric CO2 (60–70‰) and SOC in the middle and underlayer section, suggesting that soil CO2 in the profile most likely originates mainly from SOC decomposition in the topsoil. A model of soil CO2 Δ14C indicates that the humus-derived CO2 from the topsoil contributes about 65–78% to soil CO2 in each soil gas sampling layer. In addition, the humus-derived CO2 contributes ∼81% on average to total soil CO2 in the profile, in good agreement with the field observation. The distribution and origin of soil 14CO2 imply that soil CO2 will be an important source of atmospheric 14CO2 well into the future.
While radiocarbon is widely applied in dating ancient samples, recent studies reveal that 14C concentrations in modern samples can also yield precise ages due to the atmospheric testing of thermonuclear devices between 1950 and 1963. 14C concentrations in both enamel and organic matter of 13 teeth from 2 areas in China were examined to evaluate and improve this method of forensic investigation. Choosing enamel near the cervix of the tooth can reduce the error caused by the difference between the sample formation time and whole enamel formation time because tooth enamel formations take a long time to complete. A proper regional data set will be helpful to get an accurate result when calculating the age of the sample (T1) by the CALIBomb program. By subtracting the enamel formation time (t), the birth date of an individual (T2) can be confirmed by enamel F14C from 2 teeth formed at different ages. Calculated enamel formation dates by 14C concentration are basically consistent with corresponding actual values, with a mean error of 1.9 yr for all results and 0.2 yr for the samples formed after AD 1960. This method is more effective for dating samples completed after AD 1960. We also found that 14C concentrations in organic matter of tooth roots are much lower than atmospheric concentrations in root formation years, suggesting that the organic material keeps turning over even after tooth formation is complete. This might be a potential tool for identification of death age to extract a proper component for 14C dating. We also observed that δ13C values between hydroxyapatite and organic matter indicate that isotopic fractionation during the biomineralization is 8–9%‰ more positive in mineral fractions than in organic matter.
The molecular mechanism underlying the yellow seed trait has been a subject of quality breeding in Brassica. Thus, uncovering the biosynthetic pathway of proanthocyanidin (PA) accumulation in the Brassica seed coat is a promising research programme. Arabidopsis thaliana BANYULS (BAN) encodes anthocyanidin reductase, which is involved in seed coat pigmentation. In the current study, 2 and 4 BAN homologues were isolated using one pair of primers from Brassica nigra and Brassica juncea, respectively. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis showed that BAN was expressed abundantly in the seed coat of black seeds and in the embryos of all lines, but not in the seed coat of yellow seeds. Primers incorporating B genome-specific nucleotide variations were designed according to previously published BAN gene sequences of Brassica species to discern the BAN sequence located in B genome origin of Brassica using allele-specific PCR amplification. Proanthocyanidins were also detected by p-dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde staining and a butanol–hydrochloric acid (BuOH–HCl) colorimetric assay in the seed coat of black seeds, but not in the seed coat of yellow seeds. Anthocyanins were not also detected in the seed coat of Brassica species by the BuOH–HCl assay. Both transcriptional and chemical analyses suggested that BAN genes could be involved in both the biosynthesis of PAs and colour formation in the seed coat of Brassica species, whereas no expression of the BAN gene could block biosynthesis of PAs in the yellow seed coat.
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.
The concentrations of 10Be and 14C and values of δ13C in samples collected during a major dust storm in Beijing on 16–17 April 2006 were studied. The 10Be concentrations ranged from 1.69 × 108 to 2.07 × 108 atom/g, 14C ages for black carbon (BC) ranged from 3001 to 5181 yr BP and for total inorganic carbon (TIC) from 8464 to 9119 yr BP, and δ13C values for BC ranged from -23.15% to -23.80% and for TIC from -5.39% to -5.98%. A comparison of BC content and δ13C value between the dust, surface soil in the dust source region, and aerosols in Beijing indicated that BC in the dust deposited in Beijing is significantly incorporated by aerosol BC during the dust transportation. Based on the 14C ages of BC, the proportion of fossil-fuel-derived BC was 0.35–0.49 of the total. In contrast to BC, the TIC deposited in Beijing can be firmly related to the source area and δ13C was not significantly modified during its transportation. According to the 14C ages of TIC, the proportion of the secondary carbonate in the dust was from 0.63 to 0.70. The results confirm that 14C of TIC is another useful tracer to indicate the source region of dust besides the content and δ13C value of TIC from the arid and semi-arid regions of China.
Mangrove ecosystems are highly productive and play an important role in tropical and global coastal carbon (C) budgets. However, sedimentary organic carbon (SOC) storage and turnover in mangrove forests are still poorly understood. Based on C isotopic measurements of sediment cores of 2 mangrove stands in southern China, SOC density was 431.77 Mg ha−1 at site 1 (a Aegiceras corniculatum-dominated high tidal stand) and 243.65 Mg ha−1 in site 2 (a Bruguiera gymnorrhiza + Kandelia candel-dominated middle tidal stand). SOC δ13C values at both mangrove sites ranged from -29.4% to −26.0%. SOC δ13C was enriched with depth at 20–50 cm at site 1, which possibly resulted from preferential microbial decomposition. SOC δ13C at site 2 experienced frequent tidal flushing, and presented relatively stable values with depth. A bomb-14C-based SOC turnover model indicated that turnover times of SOC at 20–50 cm at site 1 were 4.44–26.04 yr. Modern C input from abundant roots might account for the very short SOC turnover times at these subsurface layers. As a result, our study suggested that tidal processes had a great influence on SOC storage and turnover in mangrove forests.
From October 2010 to November 2011, the urban atmospheric CO2 concentration in Guangzhou ranged from 550 to 460 ppm, with mean monthly concentration fluctuating between 530 and 470 ppm. A lower concentration was observed in summer and autumn, while a higher concentration occurred in spring and winter. The urban atmospheric CO2 δ13C value varied between −9.00 and −13.10%, with mean monthly value fluctuating between −9.60 and −11.80%. There was no significant relationship between the CO2 concentration and δ13C value, reflecting the influence from the fossil-fuel-derived CO2 on the urban atmospheric CO2. The urban atmospheric CO2 Δ14C value fluctuated dramatically from 29.1 ± 2.5% to −85.2 ± 3. 1%, with a mean annual value of −16.4 ± 3.0%. A similar seasonal variation of Δ14C value with the concentrations was observed: the higher Δ14C values mainly appeared in summer and autumn (July to September), with a mean value of about −5.2 ± 2.9%, while lower Δ14C values occurred in spring and winter (December to April), about −27.1 ± 3.2% average. Based on the atmospheric Δ14C values, the calculated fossil-fuel-derived CO2 concentrations range between 1 and 58 ppm, with the mean annual concentration around 24 ppm. Similarly, a lower fossil-fuel-derived CO2 concentration appeared in summer and autumn (July to September) with a mean value of ∼17 ppm, while the higher fossil-fuel-derived CO2 concentration occurred in spring and winter (December to April) with an average value of ∼29 ppm. A comparison of the CO2 concentrations before and after the Guangzhou Asian Games (in November 2010) and the Spring Festival of 2011 confirmed that human activities can greatly decrease the fossil-fuel-derived CO2 emissions to the urban atmosphere in Guangzhou.
We investigate the cavity formation during the impact of spheres and cylinders into a liquid pool by using a combination of experiments, simulations and theoretical analysis, with particular interest in contact-line pinning and its relation with the subsequent cavity evolution. The flows are simulated by a Navier–Stokes diffuse-interface solver that allows for moving contact lines. On the basis of agreement on experimentally measured quantities such as the position of the pinned contact line and the interface shape, we investigate flow details that are not accessible experimentally, identify the interface regions in the cavity formation and examine the geometric effects of impact objects. We connect wettability, inertia, geometry of the impact object, interface bending and contact-line position with the contact-line pinning by analysing the force balance at a pinned meniscus, and the result compares favourably with those from simulations and experiments. In addition to adjusting the interface bending, the object geometry also has a significant effect on the magnitude of low pressure in the liquid and the occurrence of flow separation. As a result, it is easier for an object with sharp edges to generate a cavity than a smooth object. A theoretical model based on the Rayleigh–Besant equation is developed to provide a quantitative description of the radial expansion of the cavity after the pinning of the contact line. The accuracy of the solution is greatly affected by the geometrical information on the interface connected to the pinned meniscus, showing the dependence of the global cavity dynamics on the local flows around the pinned contact line. Vertical ripple propagation on the cavity wall is found to follow the dispersion relation for the perturbation evolution on a hollow jet.
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.
Solar flares produce radiations in very broad wavelengths. Spectra can supply us abundant information about the local plasma, such as temperature, density, mass motion and so on. Strong chromospheric lines, like the most studied Hα and Ca II 8542 Å lines are formed under conditions of departures from local thermodynamic equilibrium in the lower atmosphere subject to flare heating. Understanding how these lines are formed is very useful for us to correctly interpret the observations. In this paper, we try to figure out the response of chromospheric lines heated by different periodic non-thermal electron beams. Our results are based on radiative hydrodynamic simulations. We vary the periods of electron beam injection from 1.25 s to 20 s. We compare the response times to different heating parameters. Possible explanations are discussed.
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.