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Childhood obesity rates are higher among Indigenous compared with non-Indigenous Australian children. It has been hypothesized that early-life influences beginning with the intrauterine environment predict the development of obesity in the offspring. The aim of this paper was to assess, in 227 mother–child dyads from the Gomeroi gaaynggal cohort, associations between prematurity, Gestation Related-Optimal Weight (GROW) centiles, maternal adiposity (percentage body fat, visceral fat area), maternal non-fasting plasma glucose levels (measured at mean gestational age of 23.1 weeks) and offspring BMI and adiposity (abdominal circumference, subscapular skinfold thickness) in early childhood (mean age 23.4 months). Maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations were positively associated with infant birth weight (P=0.005) and GROW customized birth weight centiles (P=0.008). There was a significant association between maternal percentage body fat (P=0.02) and visceral fat area (P=0.00) with infant body weight in early childhood. Body mass index (BMI) in early childhood was significantly higher in offspring born preterm compared with those born at term (P=0.03). GROW customized birth weight centiles was significantly associated with body weight (P=0.01), BMI (P=0.007) and abdominal circumference (P=0.039) at early childhood. Our findings suggest that being born preterm, large for gestational age or exposed to an obesogenic intrauterine environment and higher maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations are associated with increased obesity risk in early childhood. Future strategies should aim to reduce the prevalence of overweight/obesity in women of child-bearing age and emphasize the importance of optimal glycemia during pregnancy, particularly in Indigenous women.
Disc galaxies forming in a LambdaCDM cosmology often experience violent mergers. The fact that disc galaxies are ubiquitous suggests that quiescent histories are not necessary. Modern cosmological simulations can now obtain realistic populations of disc galaxies, but it is still unclear how discs manage to survive massive mergers. Here we use a suite of hydrodynamical cosmological simulations to elucidate the fate of discs encountering massive mergers. We follow the changes in the post-merger disc-to-total ratios (D/T) of simulated galaxies and examine the relations between their present-day morphology, assembly history and gas fractions. We find that approximately half of present-day disc galaxies underwent at least one merger with a satellite more massive the host's stellar component and a third had mergers with satellites three times as massive. These mergers lead to a sharp, but often temporary, decrease in the D/T of the hosts, implying that discs are usually disrupted but then quickly re-grow. To do so, high cold gas fractions are required post-merger, as well as a relatively quiescent recent history (over a few Gyrs before z = 0). Our results show that discs can form via diverse merger pathways and that quiescent histories are not the dominant mode of disc formation.
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.
We report detections of thermal X-ray line emission and proper motions in the supernova remnant (SNR) RX J1713.7-3946, the prototype of the small class of synchrotron dominated SNRs. Based on deep XMM-Newton observations, we find clear line features including Ne Lyα, Mg Heα, and Si Heα from the central portion of the remnant. The metal abundance ratios suggest that the thermal emission originates from core-collapse SN ejecta arising from a relatively low-mass (≲20 M⊙) progenitor. In addition, using XMM-Newton observations on a 13 yr time interval, we have measured expansion in the southeastern rim to be ~0.75″ yr−1 or ~3500 km s−1 at a distance of 1 kpc. Given this, we derive an upstream density to be ~0.01 cm−3, compatible with the lack of thermal X-rays from the shocked ambient medium. We also estimate the age of the remnant to be ~1200–1600 yr, roughly consistent with the idea that RX J1713.7-3946 is the remnant of SN 393.
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.
This study aims to develop an expedited radiotherapy (RT) process and evaluate its time savings in women requiring whole breast RT.
Material and methods
An inter-professional RT team streamlined the computed tomography (CT) simulation and treatment pathway for a ‘QuickStart’ process. Target delineation was performed by an advanced practice radiation therapist and approved by the radiation oncologist (RO) for planning. Automated breast planning software was used for treatment planning and standard quality checks were performed. To assess time savings, the initial 25 QuickStart patients were matched with women who underwent whole breast simulation on the same day (±3 days), treated using the conventional process.
A total of 73 post-lumpectomy women were treated through the QuickStart process; the median consent-to-RT was 2 days (range: 0–13) and the mean CT simulation-to-RT treatment was 2 hours and 42 minutes (SD 0:30). In the subgroup analysis, QuickStart patients saved an average of 11 days from CT simulation-to-RT and had shorter median wait-times for both surgery/chemotherapy-to-RT (60 versus 38 days; p=0·002) and consultation-to-RT (7 versus 20 days; p<0·001).
Through inter-professional team efforts and the application of automated planning software, we have achieved a process that significantly decreases patient wait-times while maintaining the quality of whole breast RT.
Background: Clinical perfectionism is a risk and maintaining factor for anxiety disorders, depression and eating disorders. Aims: The aim was to examine the psychometric properties of the 12-item Clinical Perfectionism Questionnaire (CPQ). Method: The research involved two samples. Study 1 comprised a nonclinical sample (n = 206) recruited via the internet. Study 2 comprised individuals in treatment for an eating disorder (n = 129) and a community sample (n = 80). Results: Study 1 factor analysis results indicated a two-factor structure. The CPQ had strong correlations with measures of perfectionism and psychopathology, acceptable internal consistency, and discriminative and incremental validity. The results of Study 2 suggested the same two-factor structure, acceptable internal consistency, and construct validity, with the CPQ discriminating between the eating disorder and control groups. Readability was assessed as a US grade 4 reading level (student age range 9–10 years). Conclusions: The findings provide evidence for the reliability and validity of the CPQ in a clinical eating disorder and two separate community samples. Although further research is required the CPQ has promising evidence as a reliable and valid measure of clinical perfectionism.
To estimate and compare the impact on healthcare costs of 3 alternative strategies for reducing bloodstream infections in the intensive care unit (ICU): methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nares screening and isolation, targeted decolonization (ie, screening, isolation, and decolonization of MRSA carriers or infections), and universal decolonization (ie, no screening and decolonization of all ICU patients).
Cost analysis using decision modeling.
We developed a decision-analysis model to estimate the health care costs of targeted decolonization and universal decolonization strategies compared with a strategy of MRSA nares screening and isolation. Effectiveness estimates were derived from a recent randomized trial of the 3 strategies, and cost estimates were derived from the literature.
In the base case, universal decolonization was the dominant strategy and was estimated to have both lower intervention costs and lower total ICU costs than either screening and isolation or targeted decolonization. Compared with screening and isolation, universal decolonization was estimated to save $171,000 and prevent 9 additional bloodstream infections for every 1,000 ICU admissions. The dominance of universal decolonization persisted under a wide range of cost and effectiveness assumptions.
A strategy of universal decolonization for patients admitted to the ICU would both reduce bloodstream infections and likely reduce healthcare costs compared with strategies of MRSA nares screening and isolation or screening and isolation coupled with targeted decolonization.
Kochia is a troublesome weed in the western Great Plains and many accessions have evolved resistance to one or more herbicides. Dicamba-resistant soybean is being developed to provide an additional herbicide mechanism of action for POST weed control in soybean. The objective of this study was to evaluate variation in response to dicamba among kochia accessions collected from across Nebraska. Kochia plants were grown in a greenhouse and treated when they were 8 to 12 cm tall. A discriminating experiment with a single dose of 420 g ae ha−1 of dicamba was conducted on 67 accessions collected in Nebraska in 2010. Visual injury estimates were recorded at 21 d after treatment (DAT) and accessions were ranked from least to most susceptible. Four accessions representing two of the most and least susceptible accessions from this screening were subjected to dose-response experiments using dicamba. At 28 DAT, visible injury estimates were made and plants were harvested to determine dry weight. An 18-fold difference in dicamba dose was necessary to achieve 90% injury (I90) between the least (accession 11) and most susceptible accessions. Approximately 3,500 g ha−1 of dicamba was required in accession 11 to reach a 50% dry weight reduction (GR50). There was less than twofold variation among the three more susceptible accessions for both the I90 and GR90 parameters, suggesting that most kochia accessions will be similarly susceptible to dicamba. At 110 DAT, accession 11 had plants that survived doses of 35,840 g ha−1, and produced seed at doses of 17,420 g ha−1. The identification of one resistant accession among the 67 accessions screened, and the fact that dicamba doses greater than 560 g ha−1 were required to achieve GR80 for all accessions suggest that repeated use of dicamba for weed control in fields where kochia is present may quickly result in the evolution of dicamba-resistant kochia populations.