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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 assess the safety of, and subsequent allergy documentation associated with, an antimicrobial stewardship intervention consisting of test-dose challenge procedures prompted by an electronic guideline for hospitalized patients with reported β-lactam allergies.
Retrospective cohort study.
Large healthcare system consisting of 2 academic and 3 community acute-care hospitals between April 2016 and December 2017.
We evaluated β-lactam antibiotic test-dose outcomes, including adverse drug reactions (ADRs), hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs), and electronic health record (EHR) allergy record updates. HSR predictors were examined using a multivariable logistic regression model. Modification of the EHR allergy record after test doses considered relevant allergy entries added, deleted, and/or specified.
We identified 1,046 test-doses: 809 (77%) to cephalosporins, 148 (14%) to penicillins, and 89 (9%) to carbapenems. Overall, 78 patients (7.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 5.9%–9.2%) had signs or symptoms of an ADR, and 40 (3.8%; 95% CI, 2.8%–5.2%) had confirmed HSRs. Most HSRs occurred at the second (ie, full-dose) step (68%) and required no treatment beyond drug discontinuation (58%); 3 HSR patients were treated with intramuscular epinephrine. Reported cephalosporin allergy history was associated with an increased odds of HSR (odds ratio [OR], 2.96; 95% CI, 1.34–6.58). Allergies were updated for 474 patients (45%), with records specified (82%), deleted (16%), and added (8%).
This antimicrobial stewardship intervention using β-lactam test-dose procedures was safe. Overall, 3.8% of patients with β-lactam allergy histories had an HSR; cephalosporin allergy histories conferred a 3-fold increased risk. Encouraging EHR documentation might improve this safe, effective, and practical acute-care antibiotic stewardship tool.
Good education requires student experiences that deliver lessons about practice as well as theory and that encourage students to work for the public good—especially in the operation of democratic institutions (Dewey 1923; Dewy 1938). We report on an evaluation of the pedagogical value of a research project involving 23 colleges and universities across the country. Faculty trained and supervised students who observed polling places in the 2016 General Election. Our findings indicate that this was a valuable learning experience in both the short and long terms. Students found their experiences to be valuable and reported learning generally and specifically related to course material. Postelection, they also felt more knowledgeable about election science topics, voting behavior, and research methods. Students reported interest in participating in similar research in the future, would recommend other students to do so, and expressed interest in more learning and research about the topics central to their experience. Our results suggest that participants appreciated the importance of elections and their study. Collectively, the participating students are engaged and efficacious—essential qualities of citizens in a democracy.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and fetal exposure to a maternal high-fat diet (HFD) independently increase the risk of developing obesity in adulthood. Excess glucocorticoids increase obesity. We hypothesized that surgically induced IUGR combined with an HFD would increase adiposity and glucocorticoids more than in non-IUGR offspring combined with the same HFD, findings that would persist despite weaning to a regular diet. Non-IUGR (N) and IUGR (I) rat offspring from dams fed either regular rat chow (R) or an HFD (H) were weaned to either a regular rat chow or an HFD. For non-IUGR and IUGR rats, this study design resulted in three diet groups: offspring from dams fed a regular diet and weaned to a regular diet (NRR and IRR), offspring rats from dams fed an HFD and weaned to a regular diet (NHR and IHR) and offspring from dams fed an HFD and weaned to an HFD (NHH and IHH). Magnetic resonance imaging or fasting visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue collection occurred at postnatal day 60. IHH male rats had greater adiposity than NHH males, findings that were only partly normalized by weaning to a regular chow. IHH male rats had a 10-fold increase in serum corticosterone levels. IHH female rats had increased adiposity and serum triglycerides. We conclude that IUGR combined with an HFD throughout life increased adiposity, glucocorticoids and triglycerides in a sex-specific manner. Our data suggest that one mechanism through which the perinatal environment programs increased adiposity in IHH male rats may be via increased systemic glucocorticoids.
To investigate the effectiveness and usability of automated procedural guidance during virtual temporal bone surgery.
Two randomised controlled trials were performed to evaluate the effectiveness, for medical students, of two presentation modalities of automated real-time procedural guidance in virtual reality simulation: full and step-by-step visual presentation of drillable areas. Presentation modality effectiveness was determined through a comparison of participants’ dissection quality, evaluated by a blinded otologist, using a validated assessment scale.
While the provision of automated guidance on procedure improved performance (full presentation, p = 0.03; step-by-step presentation, p < 0.001), usage of the two different presentation modalities was vastly different (full presentation, 3.73 per cent; step-by-step presentation, 60.40 per cent).
Automated procedural guidance in virtual temporal bone surgery is effective in improving trainee performance. Step-by-step presentation of procedural guidance was engaging, and therefore more likely to be used by the participants.
The bird cherry-oat aphid Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) is one of the most important wheat pests with polyphagia and autumn migrants. And, chemosensory genes were thought to play a key role in insect searching their hosts, food and mate. However, a systematic identification of the chemosensory genes in this pest has not been reported. Thus, in this study, we identified 14 odorant-binding proteins, nine chemosensory proteins, one sensory neuron membrane protein, 15 odorant receptors, 19 gustatory receptors and 16 ionotropic receptors from R. padi transcriptomes with a significantly similarity (E-value < 10−5) to known chemosensory genes in Acyrthosiphon pisum and Aphis gossypii. In addition, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was employed to determine the expression profiles of obtained genes. Among these obtained genes, we selected 23 chemosensory genes to analyze their expression patterns in different tissues, wing morphs and host plants. We found that except RpOBP1, RpOBP3, RpOBP4 and RpOBP5, the rest of the selected genes were highly expressed in the head with antennae compared with body without head and antennae. Besides that, the stimulation and depression of chemosensory genes by plant switch indicated that chemosensory genes might be involved in the plant suitability assessment. These results not only provide insights for the potential roles of chemosensory genes in plant search and perception of R. padi but also provide initial background information for the further research on the molecular mechanism of the polyphagia and autumn migrants of it. Furthermore, these chemosensory genes are also the candidate targets for pest management control in future.
We apply a novel pre-flare tracking of sunspot groups towards improving the estimation of flare onset time by focusing on the evolution of the 3D magnetic field construction of AR 11429. The 3D magnetic structure is based on potential field extrapolation encompassing a vertical range from the photosphere through the chromosphere and transition region into the low corona. The basis of our proxy measure of activity prediction is the so-called weighted horizontal gradient of magnetic field (WGM) defined between spots of opposite polarities close to the polarity inversion line of an active region. The temporal variation of the distance of the barycenter of the opposite polarities is also found to possess potentially important diagnostic information about the flare onset time estimation as function of height similar to its counterpart introduced initially in an application at the photosphere only in Korsós et al. (2015). We apply the photospheric pre-flare behavioural patterns of sunspot groups to the evolution of their associated 3D-constructed AR 11429 as function of height. We found that at a certain height in the lower solar atmosphere the onset time may be estimated much earlier than at the photosphere or at any other heights. Therefore, we present a tool and recipe that may potentially identify the optimum height for flare prognostic in the solar atmosphere allowing to improve our flare prediction capability and capacity.
The present study investigated alteration of brain resting-state activity induced by antidepressant treatment and attempted to investigate whether treatment efficacy can be predicted at an early stage of pharmacological treatment.
Forty-eight first-episode medication-free patients diagnosed with major depression received treatment with escitalopram. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was administered prior to treatment, 5 h after the first dose, during the course of pharmacological treatment (week 4) and at endpoint (week 8). Resting-state activity was evaluated in the course of the 8-week treatment and in relation to clinical improvement.
Escitalopram dynamically modified resting-state activity in depression during the treatment. After 5 h the antidepressant induced a significant decrease in the signal in the occipital cortex and an increase in the dorsolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortices and middle cingulate cortex. Furthermore, while remitters demonstrated more obvious changes following treatment, these were more modest in non-responders suggesting possible tonic and dynamic differences in the serotonergic system. Changes after 5 h in the caudate, occipital and temporal cortices were the best predictor of clinical remission at endpoint.
This study revealed the possibility of using the measurement of resting-state neural changes a few hours after acute administration of antidepressant to identify individuals likely to remit after a few weeks of treatment.
We examined functional outcomes and quality of life of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) with integrated fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy boost (FSRT) for brain metastases treatment. Methods Eighty seven people with 1-3 brain metastases were enrolled on this Phase II trial of WBRT (30Gy/10)+simultaneous FSRT, (60Gy/10). Results Mean (Min-Max) baseline KPS, Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) and FACT-BR quality of life were 83 (70-100), 28 (21-30) and 143 (98-153). Lower baseline MMSE (but not KPS or FACT-Br) was associated with worse survival after adjusting for age, number of metastases, primary and extra-cranial disease status. Crude rates of deterioration (>10 points decrease from baseline for KPS and FACT-Br, MMSE fall to<27) ranged from 26-38% for KPS, 32-59% for FACT-Br and 0-16%for MMSE depending on the time-point assessed with higher rates generally noted at earlier time points (<6months post-treatment). Using a linear mixed models analysis, significant declines from baseline were noted for KPS and FACT-Br (largest effects at 6 weeks to 3 months) with no significant change in MMSE. Conclusions The effects on function and quality of life of this integrated treatment of WBRT+simultaneous FSRT were similar to other published series combining WBRT+SRS.
The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
The natural boundary integral equation (NBIE) is developed to calculate potential derivatives for potential problems with anisotropic media. Firstly, the governing equation of the two-dimensional anisotropic potential problem is transformed into standard Laplace equation by a coordinate transformation method. Then a potential derivative boundary integral equation named as NBIE is extended to solve the anisotropic potential problem. The most important virtue of the NBIE is that the singularity of the integral kernel function is reduced by one order in comparison with the conventional potential derivative boundary integral equation(CDBIE). Therefore the new potential derivative boundary integral equation only contains strongly singular integrals rather than hyper-singular integrals. Thus the NBIE can calculate more accurate potential derivative results for both boundary nodes and interior points. Moreover, in combination with the analytical integral regularization algorithm of nearly singular integrals, the NBIE can obtain more accurate potential derivatives of interior points very close to the boundary than the CDBIE. Numerical examples on heat conduction in anisotropic media demonstrate the accuracy and efficiency of the NBIE.
Metsulfuron is used for POST control of spotted spurge in many warm-season turfgrasses. A suspected resistant (R) biotype of spotted spurge was collected from turfgrass in Georgia with a history of exclusive metsulfuron use. Research was conducted to evaluate the resistance level of this biotype to metsulfuron, efficacy of other mechanisms of action for control, and the molecular basis for resistance. Compared with a susceptible (S) biotype, the R biotype required >90 and >135 times greater metsulfuron rates to reach 50% injury and reduce biomass 50% from the nontreated, respectively. The R biotype was also resistant to trifloxysulfuron but was injured equivalent to the S biotype from dicamba, glyphosate, and triclopyr. Gene sequencing of the R biotype revealed a Trp574 to Leu substitution that has conferred resistance to acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitors in previous research. This is the first report of ALS resistance in spotted spurge. More importantly, this is the first report of a herbicide-resistant broadleaf weed from a turfgrass system in the United States.
In the past triennium members of the Commission 20 have been very active in studying positions and motions of minor planets, comets and satellites including rings by observational and theoretical investigations, as it is described in this report In fact observers have been producing tremendous amount of astrometric data, much more than we could imagine twenty years ago, when we heard many complains and appeals to observers for needs of more observations, particularly, for minor planets and satellites. Technically, several new devices to detect faint objects and to measure their positions more effectively, have been developed. Theoreticians have faced many interesting and important problems to explain observational facts with several powerful methods developed recently.
A radiochemical 71Ga−71 Ge experiment to determine the integral flux of neutrinos from the sun has been constructed at the Baksan Neutrino Observatory in the USSR. Measurements have begun with 30 tonnes of gallium. The experiment is being expanded with the addition of another 30 tonnes. The motivation, experimental procedures, and present status of this experiment are presented.
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.
Incorporation of properly designed nanostructures in solar cells improves light trapping and consequently their power conversion efficiencies. Due to its unique structure, a silicon nanowire (SiNW) matrix provides excellent light trapping and thus offers a promising approach for cost-effective, stable and efficient silicon thin film photovoltaics. Moreover, by decoupling the light absorption and carrier collection directions, radial junction solar cells built around the SiNWs allow the use of very thin active layers. As a matter of fact, radial PIN junctions with 9.2% power conversion efficiency have already been demonstrated on glass substrates with only 100 nm thick intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon layers. The most straightforward way to further improve the short circuit current density is to use an active layer with a lower band gap. In this work, the performances of devices with two different low band gap materials, e.g., hydrogenated microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) and hydrogenated amorphous silicon germanium alloy (a-SiGe:H) are presented. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a-SiGe:H radial junction solar cell.