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The causes of the beaching and death of sea turtles have not been fully clarified and continue to be studied. Mild, moderate and severe lesions caused by spirorchiidiosis have been seen for decades in different organs and were recently defined as the cause of death of a loggerhead turtle. In the present study, eyes and optic nerves were analysed in green sea turtles with spirorchiidiosis and no other debilitating factors. Injuries to the optic nerve and choroid layer were described in 235 animals (90%) infected with spirorchiids. Turtles with ocular spirorchiidiosis are approximately three times more likely to be cachectic than turtles with spirorchiidiosis without ocular involvement.
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.
The possibility that life, primitive or advanced, might exist in other places of the Universe has occupied the minds of scientists and lay-people for thousands of years. It is only in the last 25 years, however, that we have finally begun to search for answers to this profound question using experimental techniques. The goal of Astronomy is to understand the origin and evolution of planets, stars, galaxies and of the Universe as a whole. The appearance of life is an integral part of this whole process and our picture of the Universe will never be complete until we will comprehend also the significance of life in the process of Cosmic Evolution.
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.
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.
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.
It is paramount to understand the epidemiology of chronic hepatitis B to inform national policies on vaccination and screening/testing as well as cost-effectiveness studies. However, information on the national (Scottish) prevalence of chronic hepatitis B by ethnic group is lacking. To estimate the number of people with chronic hepatitis B in Scotland in 2009 by ethnicity, gender and age, the test data from virology laboratories in the four largest cities in Scotland were combined with estimates of the ethnic distribution of the Scottish population. Ethnicity in both the test data and the Scottish population was derived using a name-based ethnicity classification software (OnoMAP; Publicprofiler Ltd, UK). For 2009, we estimated 8720 [95% confidence interval (CI) 7490–10 230] people aged ⩾15 years were living with chronic hepatitis B infection in Scotland. This corresponds to 0·2% (95% CI 0·17–0·24) of the Scottish population aged ⩾15 years. Although East and South Asians make up a small proportion of the Scottish population, they make up 44% of the infected population. In addition, 75% of those infected were aged 15–44 years with almost 60% male. This study quantifies for the first time on a national level the burden of chronic hepatitis B infection by ethnicity, gender and age. It confirms the importance of promoting and targeting ethnic minority groups for hepatitis B testing.
Delta-doped boron marker layers in silicon have been used to test further the relationship between B transient enhanced diffusion (TED) and the flux of silicon interstitials released during the annealing stage following self implantation. We present new data which address a number of questions raised by the present models. We show that in our experiments bulk trapping of interstitials is significant only for low implant fluences (∼1012 cm −2). The origin of the observed diffusion-like profiles for the interstitial flux is instead found to lie in local trapping within the δ-doped layers themselves. Boron trapped in immobile clusters may be associated with Si interstitials in approximately a 1:1 ratio; nevertheless this trapping contribution alone may not entirely account for the observed gradient. We suggest that some part of the observed TED response with depth is attributable to local trapping of silicon interstitials within the boron doped layers.
In primary care frequent attenders with medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) pose a clinical and health resource challenge. We sought to understand these presentations in terms of the doctor–patient relationship, specifically to test the hypothesis that such patients have insecure emotional attachment.
We undertook a cohort follow-up study of 410 patients with MUS. Baseline questionnaires assessed adult attachment style, psychological distress, beliefs about the symptom, non-specific somatic symptoms, and physical function. A telephone interview following consultation assessed health worry, general practitioner (GP) management and satisfaction with consultation. The main outcome was annual GP consultation rate.
Of consecutive attenders, 18% had an MUS. This group had a high mean consultation frequency of 5.24 [95% confidence interval (CI) 4.79–5.69] over the follow-up year. The prevalence of insecure attachment was 28 (95% CI 23–33) %. A significant association was found between insecure attachment style and frequent attendance, even after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, presence of chronic physical illness and baseline physical function [odds ratio (OR) 1.96 (95% CI 1.05–3.67)]. The association was particularly strong in those patients who believed that there was a physical cause for their initial MUS [OR 9.52 (95% CI 2.67–33.93)]. A possible model for the relationship between attachment style and frequent attendance is presented.
Patients with MUS who attend frequently have insecure adult attachment styles, and their high consultation rate may therefore be conceptualized as pathological care-seeking behaviour linked to their insecure attachment. Understanding frequent attendance as pathological help seeking driven by difficulties in relating to caregiving figures may help doctors to manage their frequently attending patients in a different way.
Observed co-morbidity among the mood and anxiety disorders has led to the development of increasingly sophisticated dimensional models to represent the common and unique features of these disorders. Patients often present to primary care settings with a complex mixture of anxiety, depression and somatic symptoms. However, relatively little is known about how somatic symptoms fit into existing dimensional models.
We examined the structure of 91 anxiety, depression and somatic symptoms in a sample of 5433 primary care patients drawn from 14 countries. One-, two- and three-factor lower-order models were considered; higher-order and hierarchical variants were studied for the best-fitting lower-order model.
A hierarchical, bifactor model with all symptoms loading simultaneously on a general factor, along with one of three specific anxiety, depression and somatic factors, was the best-fitting model. The general factor accounted for the bulk of symptom variance and was associated with psychosocial dysfunction. Specific depression and somatic symptom factors accounted for meaningful incremental variance in diagnosis and dysfunction, whereas anxiety variance was associated primarily with the general factor.
The results (a) are consistent with previous studies showing the presence and importance of a broad internalizing or distress factor linking diverse emotional disorders, and (b) extend the bounds of internalizing to include somatic complaints with non-physical etiologies.
A critical regime has been identified for ion implanted silicon where only slight changes in temperature can dramatically affect the levels of residual damage. In this regime decreases of only 5° C are sufficient to induce a crystalline-to-amorphous transformation in material which only exhibited the build-up of extended defects at higher temperatures. Traditional models of damage accumulation and amorphization have proven inapplicable to this regime which exists whenever dynamic defect annealing and damage production are closely balanced. Irradiating ion flux, mass and fluence have all been shown to influence the temperature— which varies over a range of 300° C for ion species ranging from C to Xe—at which the anomalous behaviour occurs. The influence of ion fluence suggests that complex defect accumulation plays an important role in amorphization. Results are presented which further suggest that the process is nucleation limited in this critical regime.
Variable energy positron annihilation and Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy have been used to investigate the evolution of secondary defects during the annealing of self-ion irradiated silicon. Evidence supporting the existence of both vacancy- and interstitially-based defects after high temperature anneals is presented. Dopant type and irradiation temperature have both been shown to influence the structure of the defects whose onset can be manipulated via the implantation flux.
Significant progress has been made in the past year in the use of high energy (MeV) ion irradiation to tune the bandgap and therefore emission wavelengths of single and multiple quantum well structures. These shifts are attributable to compositional mixing across the well and barrier layer interfaces, a process that is driven by the vacancy flux, released during the anneal stage, from radiation defects. We present data from a series of measurements in both GaAs- and InP-based QW structures to demonstrate the importance of the implantation parameters chosen (ion species, energy, flux, fluence and implant temperature). The dramatic difference in the response of these two systems with regard to the implant depth is believed to be associated with the very different diffusivities of the Gp III site vacancies. Prospects for implementing the irradiation approach as a spatially selective, planar process in integrated optoelectronic circuitry look very attractive and are illustrated for both passive and active components by reference to recent results from tuned wavelength lasers.
This paper provides a brief overview of some issues relating to the microstructure of irradiated silicon which are of importance to the semiconductor industry. The nature of ion-induced disorder and conditions for amorphization are initially treated since the starting microstructure can strongly influence subsequent annealing behaviour, particularly removal of residual defects, dopant diffusion and electrical activation. The use of implantation-induced disorder as a means of removing metallic impurities, so called gettering, is also an issue of major current interest for improved performance of devices. Some new gettering results are discussed.
Delta-doped boron marker layers in silicon have been used to test further the relationship between B transient enhanced diffusion (TED) and the flux of silicon interstitials released during the annealing stage following self implantation. We present new data which address a number of questions raised by the present models. We show that in our experiments bulk trapping of interstitials is significant only for low implant fluences (˜1012 cm2). The origin of the observed diffusion-like profiles for the interstitial flux is instead found to lie in local trapping within the δ-doped layers themselves. Boron trapped in immobile clusters may be associated with Si interstitials in approximately a 1:1 ratio; nevertheless this trapping contribution alone may not entirely account for the observed gradient. We suggest that some part of the observed TED response with depth is attributable to local trapping of silicon interstitials within the boron doped layers.
A critical regime has been identified for ion implanted silicon where only
slight changes in temperature can dramatically affect the levels of residual
damage. In this regime decreases of only 5° C aie sufficient to induce a
crystalline-to-amorphous transformation in material which only exhibited the
build-up of extended defects at higher temperatures. Traditional Models of
damage accumulation and amorphization have proven inapplicable to this
regime which exists whenever dynamic defect annealing and damage production
are closely balanced. Irradiating ion flux, Mass and fluence have all been
shown to influence the temperature—which varies over a range of 300° C for
ion species ranging from C to Xe—at which the anomalous behaviour occurs.
The influence of ion fluence suggests that complex defect accumulation plays
an important role in amorphization. Results are presented which further
suggest that the process is nucleation limited in this critical regime.
Significant progress has been realized in the use of quantum well intermixing (QWI) as a method for tailoring the bandgap energies of optoelectronic devices. Intermixing can be driven by an ion implantation process, an approach that appeals because of its simplicity, its planarity and its adaptability to selective area processing. Despite its success, the advantages of irradiation induced QWI need to be tested further and we report here current results of three research activities which address a) the existence or not of a simple scaling relationship which connects intermixing in a given QW structure for any ion species; b) reproducibility of intermixing in identical QW structures which have been obtained from different growth systems; and c) intermixing for above the well versus through the well implantation.
We report the growth of InGaN/AIGaN MQWs on c-plane sapphire by electron cyclotron resonance assisted molecular beam epitaxy (ECR-MBE). Two types of structures were investigated; one employing a GaN and the other a A1GaN barrier layer. The first structure consists of five periods of 80 Å thick In0.09Ga0.91N wells separated by 90 Å thick GaN barriers. The second structure consists of|seven periods of 120 Å thick In0.35Ga0.65N wells and Al0.1Ga0.9N barriers. The substrate temperature was kept constant during the growth of both the wells and the barriers, thus avoiding the need for any temperature cycling during the growth, which may lead to interfacial contamination. The films were characterized by cross sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM), room temperature photoluminescence (PL) and sub-micron resolution luminescence microscopy. TEM images show sharp and abrupt interfaces, thus confirming the high interfacial quality of the MQW structures. Both structures exhibit strong RT luminescence emission peaking at 387 nm (FWHM = 16nm) for the In0.09Ga0.91N/GaN structure and at 463 nm (FWHM = 28nm) for the In0.35Ga0.65N/A10.1Ga0 9N structure. The high resolution luminescence microscopy studies reveal that the radiative recombination for the InGaN quantum wells is 60–70 times more efficient than for the underlying GaN film.
The microstructure of carbonaceous materials strongly affect their ability to electrochemically intercalate lithium . The fractional intercalation capacity (x in LixC 6) for various types of amorphous and graphitic carbons can vary over a range between 0 to 1. Capacities exceeding that of graphite (372 mAh/g or LiC6) can be obtained from chemically doped (i.e., with phosphorous ) materials or from carbonized organic precursors pyrolyzed at low temperatures (<900°C) . Additional chemical effects apparently influence the carbon electrochemical behavior in these cases.
An optically pumped mid-infrared vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser based on an active region with a “W” configuration of type-II antimonide quantum wells is reported. The emission wavelength of 2.9 ym has a weak temperature variation (dλ/dT ≈ 0.07 – 0.09 nm/K), and the multimode linewidth is quite narrow (2.5–4 nm). Lasing is observed up to T = 280 K in pulsed mode and up to 160 K cw. Under cw excitation at T = 78 K, the threshold pump power is as low as 4 mW for a 6 am spot, and the differential power conversion efficiency is 4.5%.