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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.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
We have studied the effects of epitaxial strains on structural phase transition behavior of fully-commensurate single crystal thin films of SrRuO3 using in situ temperature-dependent reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) and ex situ temperature-dependent x-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements. From RHEED measurements on compressively-strained (110) SrRuO3 grown on (001) SrTiO3 substrate, it was found that the surface of SrRuO3 showed no orthorhombic distortion even at room temperature (25°C) below the thickness of 10 monolayers (MLs). The orthorhombic transition temperature (TC) was determined to be 90°C at the thickness of 13 ML;s and then systematically increased up to 238°C at 35 ML. More interestingly, however, tensilely-strained SrRuO3 films grown on (110) DyScO3 and (110) GdScO3 substrates have simple cubic perovskite structure at room temperature irrespectively of SrRuO3 thicknesses. The shift of TC is very dramatic, considering that the orthorhombic transition temperature of SrRuO3 is known to be 547°C in bulk form. These unique transition behaviors were also confirmed by temperature-dependent four-circle x-ray diffraction measurements. TC of 35 ML thick SrRuO3 on SrTiO3 were determined to be 250°C and which was consistent with that determined from RHEED measurements.
This study evaluated tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukins 10 and 12, and interferon-γ levels, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and clusters of differentiation 17c and 86 expression in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
Twenty-four patients with unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss, and 24 individuals with normal hearing and no history of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (who were attending the clinic for other problems), were enrolled. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and clusters of differentiation 11c and 86 were isolated and analysed. Plasma and supernatant levels of tumour necrosis factor-α, interferon-γ, and interleukins 10 and 12 were measured.
There were no significant differences with respect to age and gender. Monocyte population, mean tumour necrosis factor-α level and cluster of differentiation 86 expression were significantly increased in the study group compared to the control group. However, interferon-γ and interleukin 12 levels were significantly decreased. The difference in mean interleukin 10 level was not significant.
Increases in tumour necrosis factor-α level and monocyte population might play critical roles in sudden sensorineural hearing loss. This warrants detailed investigation and further studies on the role of dendritic cells in sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
The present study aimed to compare the anti-biofilm activities of four commonly available antiseptic eardrops against biofilms from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and quinolone-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa in vitro.
The anti-biofilm activities of 50 per cent Burow's solution, vinegar with water (1:1), 2 per cent acetic acid solution, and 4 per cent boric acid solution were evaluated using biofilm assays. Additionally, the anti-biofilm activities of the four antiseptic solutions against tympanostomy tube biofilms were compared using a scanning electron microscope.
The inhibition of biofilm formation from methicillin-resistant S aureus and quinolone-resistant P aeruginosa occurred after treatment with 4 per cent boric acid solution, 2 per cent acetic acid solution, and vinegar with water (1:1). However, 50 per cent Burow's solution did not exhibit effective anti-biofilm activity.
The results indicate that 4 per cent boric acid solution and vinegar with water (1:1) are potent inhibitors of biofilms from methicillin-resistant S aureus and quinolone-resistant P aeruginosa, and provide safe pH levels for avoiding ototoxicity.
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.
Since 2011, Oukaimeden Observatory (OUCA) has become one of the active NEO search facilities in the word. Its discovery statistics shows that the MOSS (Morocco Oukaimeden Sky Survey) project received credits for more than 2,145 new designations, including 3 NEOs and 4 comets. Its excellent astro-climactic characteristics are partly behind the success. The average number of observable nights is around 280 nights per year, while median seeing is 0.8-0.9 arcsec. We completed construction of a new telescope at the site in March 2015. It is Optical Wide-field Patrol (OWL) facility designed and built by Korea Space Science Institute (KASI). The primary objective of this facility is to monitor national space assets of Korea; either wide-field imaging- or fast data acquisition- capabilities enable the 0.5m telescope to conduct observation programs to catalog and follow-up various transient events in the night sky. We present the seeing condition, the OWL system and preliminary results obtained at OWL@Oukaimeden during the past several months.
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.
Information is lacking on the integrated evaluation of mortality rates in healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Our aim was to differentiate the risk factors responsible for the incidence from those for the case-fatality rates in association with HAIs. We therefore examined the time trends of both incidence and case-fatality rates over a 20-year period at a tertiary-care teaching medical centre in Taiwan and the mortality rate was expressed as the product of the incidence rate and the case-fatality rate. During the study period the overall mortality rate fell from 0·46 to 0·32 deaths/1000 patient-days and the incidence rate fell from 3·41 to 2·31/1000 patient-days, but the case-fatality rate increased marginally from 13·5% to 14·0%. The independent risk factors associated with incidence of HAIs were age, gender, infection site, admission type, and department of hospitalization. Significant prognostic factors for HAI case-fatality were age, infection site, intensive care, and clinical department. We conclude that the decreasing trend for the HAI mortality rate was accompanied by a significant decline in the incidence rate and this was offset by a slightly increasing trend in the case-fatality rate. This deconstruction approach could provide further insights into the underlying complex causes of mortality for HAIs.
Since 1994, the KHNP has developed a vitrification technology to treat the LILW generated from Korean nuclear power plant. To vitrify the LILW including combustible Dry Active Waste (DAW) and Ion Exchange Resin (IER) containing Zeolite, two borosilicate glasses are formulated. One of the formulated glass, DG2, is for the DAW vitrification solely and the other one, AG8W1, is for the blended wastes (DAW & IER) vitrification in a commercial vitrification facility in HanUl (former Ulchin) nuclear power plant. The physicochemical properties of the two glasses have been evaluated. To evaluate the processability of the glasses, the viscosities and electrical conductivities of the glass melts were measured in the laboratory within a temperature range between 950 and 1,350 degrees C, respectively. The liquidus temperatures of the glasses were evaluated using a gradient furnace for DG2 and data from heat treatment for AG8W1. The Mössbauer spectroscopy for AG8W1 was employed to evaluate the relations between the redox equilibria of iron. In addition, to verify the waste acceptance criteria for the final disposal of the vitrified forms, the compressive strengths of the vitrified forms were tested after an immersion test, a thermal cycling test, and an irradiation test. To verify the chemical durability of the glasses, several tests such as PCT, ISO, VHT, Soxhlet, MCC-1, and ANS16.1 were carried out. The PCT showed leach rates of B, Na, Li and Si were much less than those of the benchmark glass. The ISO test was performed at 90 degrees C for 1,022 days and Cumulative Fraction Leached of all elements in the glasses were analyzed. According to the VHT, the glasses had an outstanding chemical resistance under humid environment at 200 degrees C for 7 days. The Soxhlet leaching was performed on rectangular glass samples at 98 degrees C for 30 days. To analyze the forward dissolution rates of major glass elements, the MCC-1 was conducted at temperatures of 40, 70, and 90 degrees C for three weeks in pH buffer solutions ranging from pH 4 to 11. The processability of the glasses was in the desired ranges. And the product quality of the glasses met all regulatory guidelines. Using two glasses, the CCIM commissioning tests in the UVF were successfully performed and they showed good workability.
The lower dielectric constant (k) insulator is required for faster, smaller, and higher performance integrated circuit of the microprocessor and other advanced semiconductor devices that are so important to modern electronics and information technologies. Aromatic polyimides are among the candidate materials of low k due to their high thermal stability, mechanical strength and chemical resistance.
In this work, we show an 2,6-di-tert-butyl-9,10-diphenylanthracene core based novel polyimide which has been designed to have the lower polar imide concentration compared to that of conventional polyimides as well as the synthesis and characterization of its constitutional units, diamine and dianhydride.
The meso-scale hexagonally packed order structures were obtained by solvent casting from the immiscible polymer blend solutions. The order structures were the result of phase separation occurred at the evaporation front during the solvent casting, the so-called dissipative system. The order domains were flat spheres or ellipses on the matrix surface depending on the combination of polymer blends and solvent, the diameter of spheres were tunable from 0.5 to 3 μm by the casting condition, such as the solvent used for mixing and the evaporation rate. Three blend systems, NBR/SBR, NBR/BR and PMMA/BR, formed two dimensional order structures with the domain size in μm-scale by solvent casting from those homogeneous solutions. The conditions to obtain the two dimensional meso-scale order structure were evaluated.
Excimer fluorescence of two-component thin films made of pyrene (Py) and polystyrene (PS) can be quenched by the vapor of nitro-aromatic and nitro-ester explosives with a high selectivity and sensitivity. Normally, an electrospun film can be quenched in minutes by the vapor of the explosives. In order to understand the origin of the mechanism, we have investigated the fluorescence quenching rate of the binary thin films as functions of the molecular weights (MW) of the polystyrene (from 2,500 to 900,000 g/mol) and film thicknesses (110nm and 610 nm) in presence of the vapor of 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT, a type of nitro-explosives). The diffusion coefficients of 2, 4-DNT in the solid films are found nearly independent of MW but have strong dependence on the film thicknesses.
The Clostridium-related poultry disease, necrotic enteritis (NE), causes substantial economic losses on a global scale. In the present study, a mixture of two plant-derived phytonutrients, Capsicum oleoresin and turmeric oleoresin (XT), was evaluated for its effects on local and systemic immune responses using a co-infection model of experimental NE in commercial broilers. Chickens were fed from hatch with a diet supplemented with XT, or with a non-supplemented control diet, and either uninfected or orally challenged with virulent Eimeria maxima oocysts at 14 d and Clostridium perfringens at 18 d of age. Parameters of protective immunity were as follows: (1) body weight; (2) gut lesions; (3) serum levels of C. perfringens α-toxin and NE B-like (NetB) toxin; (4) serum levels of antibodies to α-toxin and NetB toxin; (5) levels of gene transcripts encoding pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the intestine and spleen. Infected chickens fed the XT-supplemented diet had increased body weight and reduced gut lesion scores compared with infected birds given the non-supplemented diet. The XT-fed group also displayed decreased serum α-toxin levels and reduced intestinal IL-8, lipopolysaccharide-induced TNF-α factor (LITAF), IL-17A and IL-17F mRNA levels, while cytokine/chemokine levels in splenocytes increased in the XT-fed group, compared with the animals fed the control diet. In conclusion, the present study documents the molecular and cellular immune changes following dietary supplementation with extracts of Capsicum and turmeric that may be relevant to protective immunity against avian NE.
To report a patient with maxillary pneumosinus dilatans and facial deformity treated by reduction osteoplasty and reconstruction.
This study describes the successful management of facial deformity in a 17-year-old male with maxillary pneumosinus dilatans. The patient's facial deformity of the maxillary sinus, which had been slowly progressing over a 10-year period, was managed by reduction osteoplasty and reconstruction using the maxillary bone, conchal cartilage and Tutoplast-processed fascia lata via a sublabial approach. This treatment yielded satisfactory functional and aesthetic outcomes.
As pneumosinus dilatans of the maxillary sinus is uncommon, there is no established surgical treatment protocol. This surgical technique was less invasive than other described procedures and revealed good cosmetic results.