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The aim of this study is to analyse the changing patterns in the transmission of COVID-19 in relation to changes in Vietnamese governmental policies, based on epidemiological data and policy actions in a large Vietnamese province, Bac Ninh, in 2021. Data on confirmed cases from January to December 2021 were collected, together with policy documents. There were three distinct periods of the COVID-19 pandemic in Bac Ninh province during 2021. During the first period, referred to as the ‘Zero-COVID’ period (01/04–07/04/2021), there was a low population vaccination rate, with less than 25% of the population receiving its first vaccine dose. Measures implemented during this period focused on domestic movement restrictions, mask mandates, and screening efforts to control the spread of the virus. The subsequent period, referred to as the ‘Transition’ period (07/05–10/22/2021), witnessed a significant increase in population vaccination coverage, with 80% of the population receiving their first vaccine dose. During this period, several days passed without any reported COVID-19 cases in the community. The local government implemented measures to manage domestic actions and reduce the time spent in quarantine, and encouraged home quarantining for the close contacts of cases with COVID-19. Finally, the ‘New-normal’ stage (10/23–12/31/2021), during which the population vaccination coverage with a second vaccine dose increased to 70%, and most of the mandates for the prevention and control of COVID-19 were reduced. In conclusion, this study highlights the importance of governmental policies in managing and controlling the transmission of COVID-19 and provides insights for developing realistic and context-specific strategies in similar settings.
Several grass and broadleaf weed species around the world have evolved multiple-herbicide resistance at alarmingly increasing rates. Research on the biochemical and molecular resistance mechanisms of multiple-resistant weed populations indicate a prevalence of herbicide metabolism catalyzed by enzyme systems such as cytochrome P450 monooxygenases and glutathione S-transferases and, to a lesser extent, by glucosyl transferases. A symposium was conducted to gain an understanding of the current state of research on metabolic resistance mechanisms in weed species that pose major management problems around the world. These topics, as well as future directions of investigations that were identified in the symposium, are summarized herein. In addition, the latest information on selected topics such as the role of safeners in inducing crop tolerance to herbicides, selectivity to clomazone, glyphosate metabolism in crops and weeds, and bioactivation of natural molecules is reviewed.
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 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.
Patients with predominantly unilateral parkinsonian signs may provide a unique opportunity to evaluate the cerebral representation of cognitive functions characteristically affected in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Twenty hemiparkinsonian patients (ten left and ten right) and 10 healthy controls, matched for age and education, were studied with neuropsychological tests and positron emission tomography. Both right and left hemiparkinsonians evidenced impairments in visuospatial and verbal episodic memory function, but had no deficits in executive abilities, compared to controls. None of the neuropsychological test scores distinguished right from left hemiparkinsonians. Glucose metabolic profiles were identical for the three groups in all cortical areas assessed; in the subcortex however, lenticular hypermetabolism contralateral to the predominant side of motor involvement was evident in the left hemiparkinsonian group. Correlational analysis revealed that higher glucose metabolic rates in the basal ganglia of these hemiparkinsonians were associated with lower visuospatial test scores. In frontal and parietal cortex, decreasing glucose metabolism was positively associated with neurobehavioral function; in temporal cortex, measures of attention and memory decreased with increasing glucose metabolic rates.
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.
Analysis of longitudinal data for 145 children [51 healthy, 40 with cystic fibrosis (CF), and 54 with congenital heart disease (CHD)] was conducted: (a) to ascertain whether behavioral problems evident in older medically compromised children would be reported as early as 2–3 years-of-age; and (b) to test theoretical predictions concerning the role of infant-mother attachment in the etiology of behavior problems. As predicted, children with a medical diagnosis received higher scores from parents on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), primarily on the Internalizing scale. Reports of somatic symptoms did not account for this effect. Contrary to predictions, children with CHD were reported to have more behavior problems than those with CF. Secure attachment was associated with lower CBCL scores for internalizing problems regardless of medical status. The increase in behavior problem reports associated with insecure attachment was shown to reflect an effect of avoidance rather than insecurity per se. The importance of distinguishing effects of different types of insecurity and the need for meta-analytic strategies to do so is emphasized.
Although consumers have a high opinion of locally grown produce, they do not consider origin as important as other factors in produce selection. Inconvenience is a major barrier to purchasing local produce. In a rural community in Maine, the Farm Fresh Project tested an intervention designed to exploit consumers' high regard for locally grown produce and also overcome the inconvenience of buying it. Each week for six weeks in the summer of 1997, employees at three worksites were offered tastings of locally grown produce, information about the produce, and an opportunity to order it at their workplaces. Changes in purchases of locally grown produce were compared with changes among employees at three matched control worksites. More than a quarter of workers at intervention worksites ordered produce through the project. Significant numbers of employees at intervention worksites who had not bought locally grown produce earlier in the summer bought it at outlets in the community during the four weeks following the intervention. Visits to the community farmers' market, purchases at roadside stands, pick-your-own purchases, and purchases of locally grown produce, both overall and at locations other than at the farmers' market, increased significantly in the intervention group. Among workers at control sites, only roadside stand purchases increased significantly. It appears that the opportunity to taste and purchase locally grown produce at a convenient venue, the workplace, motivated consumers to overcome barriers to purchasing locally grown produce at less convenient venues outside of the workplace. Temporary farm stands at workplaces may offer a promising new direct market for farmers.
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