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The colour-word Emotional Stroop task (ES task) has been proposed to assess the interferences between emotion and attention. Using this task, first, we examined how attention (using reaction times) can be modified by emotionally relevant words in schizophrenics as compared with controls as a function of the emotional significance of the word; second, we tested the assumption that schizophrenics with the most negative symptoms will show higher impairment in relationship to negative emotional words. In general, schizophrenics were slower to react. In both groups, mean reaction times were slower for emotional as compared with neutral words. No significant differences were observed between negative and positive words either in schizophrenics (n = 21) or in controls (n = 20). Even in the most negative schizophrenic patients, there were no differences between negative and positive words. There were no significant interactions between type of stimulus and any clinical variables (PANSS negative or non negative categorization, etc.). Also, there were no statistically significant correlations between reaction times and neuroleptic dosage or anhedonia scores. In conclusion, schizophrenia patients showed the same degree of interference from emotional words as compared with controls. Moreover, patients with a higher level of negative symptoms did not differently experience positive and negative words.
The “Puente project”, rises up the adherence rate with 38% (1). The aim of the study was to analyse the economic impact of this disease management prgramme of patients with a schizophrenic disorder.
Subjects and methods
“Puente” stands for a programme of LAAP with active outreaching of patients with schizophrenia. The details of the data collection and the subjects have been described elsewhere (1).The hospitalisation rate and the length of stay of the 117 case control pairs have been compared. The cost of hospitalisation in Belgium, recently adjusted by De Ridder et al. (2), have been used in order to map the differences.
The number of hospital days totalised by 23 cases, was 2,152 days, in comparison to 6,371 realised by 42 controls,wich gives 18,6 hospital days per year for the cases and 38.9 days for the controls. Given an hospital cost per day in Belgium of 163.8 € per day, a crude saving of 3,328.5 € per case per year can be realised, correespondng with a net diminution of 2,428.5 € per patient year. Enrolling 1,675 cases per year, creates a saving of 4,066,533 € per year, an equivalent of 24,826 hospital days, or the cost of a psychiatric hospital of 85 beds occupied at 80%.
The Puente programme realised a substantial drop in public patient expenditure of 3,328.5 € per patient year. This is a very strong argument to implement, to finance and to support “Puente” like disease programmes in Belgium.
Major depression is a significant problem for people with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and its treatment remains difficult. A promising approach to treat depression is Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), a relatively new therapeutic approach rooted in mindfulness based stress-reduction (MBSR) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). We conducted this study to examine the effectiveness of MBCT in reducing depression symptoms among people who have a TBI.
Twenty individuals diagnosed with major depression were recruited from a rehabilitation clinic and completed the 8-week MBCT intervention. Instruments used to measure depression symptoms included: BDI-II, PHQ-9, HADS, SF-36 (Mental Health subscale), and SCL-90 (Depression subscale). They were completed at baseline and post-intervention.
All instruments indicated a statistically significant reduction in depression symptoms post-intervention (p < .05). For example, the total mean score on the BDI-II decreased from 25.2 (9.8) at baseline to 18.2 (11.7) post-intervention (p=.001). Using a PHQ threshold of 10, the proportion of participants with a diagnosis of major depression was reduced by 59% at follow-up (p=.012).
Most participants reported reductions in depression symptoms after the intervention such that many would not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of major depression. This intervention may provide an opportunity to address a debilitating aspect of TBI and could be implemented concurrently with more traditional forms of treatment, possibly enhancing their success. The next step will involve the execution of multi-site, randomized controlled trials to fully demonstrate the value of the intervention.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) may lead to persistent depression symptoms. We conducted several pilot studies to examine the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions to deal with this issue; all showed strong effect sizes. The logical next step was to conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT).
We sought to determine the efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for people with depression symptoms post-TBI (MBCT-TBI).
Using a multi-site RCT design, participants (mean age = 47) were randomized to intervention or control arms. Treatment participants received a group-based, 10-week intervention; control participants waited. Outcome measures, administered pre- and post-intervention, and after three months, included: Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R). The Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale (PHLMS) captured present moment awareness and acceptance.
BDI-II scores decreased from 25.47 to 18.84 in treatment groups while they stayed relatively stable in control groups (respectively 27.13 to 25.00; p = .029). We did not find statistically significant differences on the PHQ-9 and SCL-90R post- treatment. However, after three months, all scores were statistically significantly lower than at baseline (ps < .01). Increases in mindfulness were associated with decreases in BDI-II scores (r = -.401, p = .025).
MBCT-TBI may alleviate depression symptoms up to three months post-intervention. Greater mindfulness may have contributed to the reduction in depression symptoms although the association does not confirm causality. More work is required to replicate these findings, identify subgroups that may better respond to the intervention, and refine the intervention to maximize its effectiveness.
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.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound is a burgeoning tool in clinical medicine and its utility has been demonstrated in a variety of contexts. It may be especially useful in rural areas where access to other imaging equipment (such as CT) is limited. However, there exists debate about the utility of teaching ultrasound theory and technique to medical undergraduates, particularly those in their first two years of study. This study evaluated the efficacy of teaching undergraduate-tailored ultrasound training sessions to first and second-year medical students at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), a rural-focused medical institution. Methods: Sixty students participated in tailored ultrasound teaching sessions that involved both lecture and hands-on components. Participating students were assessed following each session, as well as at study completion, in terms of ultrasound knowledge, anatomy, pathology, orientation, and interpretation of computerized tomography (CT) scans (transferability). Participants’ performance was measured against a control group of their peers. Program evaluation was completed using Likert-type scales to determine participant comfort with ultrasound before and after the training, and areas of strength and improvement. Results: Participating students showed statistically significant improvement in ultrasound interpretation and anatomical orientation with trends toward improved anatomy and pathology knowledge, and ability to interpret computerized tomography (CT) scans compared to controls. Students participating in the course expressed improved comfort with ultrasound techniques and desire for future integration of ultrasound into their training, but noted that increasing frequency of training sessions might have improved retention and confidence. Conclusion: Results suggest that using an undergraduate-focused and system-specific ultrasound training course yields retention in ultrasound interpretation ability and objective improvement in relational anatomy knowledge. Trends toward improvement in general anatomy, pathology and CT interpretation suggest areas of future study.
Self-similar solutions to the compressible Euler equations with nonlinear conduction are considered as particular instances of unsteady radiative deflagration – or ‘ablation’ – waves with the goal of characterizing the actual hydrodynamic properties that such flows may present. The chosen family of solutions, corresponding to the ablation of an initially quiescent perfectly cold and homogeneous semi-infinite slab of inviscid compressible gas under the action of increasing external pressures and radiation fluxes, is well suited to the description of the early ablation of a target by gas-filled cavity X-rays in experiments of high energy density physics. These solutions are presently computed by means of a highly accurate numerical method for the radiative conduction model of a fully ionized plasma under the approximation of a non-isothermal leading shock wave. The resulting set of solutions is unique for its high fidelity description of the flows down to their finest scales and its extensive exploration of external pressure and radiative flux ranges. Two different dimensionless formulations of the equations of motion are put forth, yielding two classifications of these solutions which are used for carrying out a quantitative hydrodynamic analysis of the corresponding flows. Based on the main flow characteristic lengths and on standard characteristic numbers (Mach, Péclet, stratification and Froude numbers), this analysis points out the compressibility and inhomogeneity of the present ablative waves. This compressibility is further analysed to be too high, whether in terms of flow speed or stratification, for the low Mach number approximation, often used in hydrodynamic stability analyses of ablation fronts in inertial confinement fusion (ICF), to be relevant for describing these waves, and more specifically those with fast expansions which are of interest in ICF. Temperature stratification is also shown to induce, through the nonlinear conductivity, supersonic upstream propagation of heat-flux waves, besides a modified propagation of quasi-isothermal acoustic waves, in the flow conduction regions. This description significantly departs from the commonly admitted depiction of a quasi-isothermal conduction region where wave propagation is exclusively ascribed to isothermal acoustics and temperature fluctuations are only diffused.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: To build a multisite de-identified database of female adolescents, aged 12–21 years (January 2011–December 2012), and their subsequent offspring through 24 months of age from electronic health records (EHRs) provided by participating Community Health. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: We created a community-academic partnership that included New York City Community Health Centers (n=4) and Hospitals (n=4), The Rockefeller University, The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science and Clinical Directors Network (CDN). We used the Community-Engaged Research Navigation model to establish a multisite de-identified database extracted from EHRs of female adolescents aged 12–21 years (January 2011–December 2012) and their offspring through 24 months of age. These patients received their primary care between 2011 and 2015. Clinical data were used to explore possible associations among specific measures. We focused on the preconception, prenatal, postnatal periods, including pediatric visits up to 24 months of age. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The analysis included all female adolescents (n=122,556) and a subset of pregnant adolescents with offspring data available (n=2917). Patients were mostly from the Bronx; 43% of all adolescent females were overweight (22%) or obese (21%) and showed higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure, blood glucose levels, hemoglobin A1c, total cholesterol, and triglycerides levels compared with normal-weight adolescent females (p<0.05). This analysis was also performed looking at the nonpregnant females and the pregnant females separately. Overall, the pregnant females were older (mean age=18.3) compared with the nonpregnant females (mean age=16.5), there was a higher percentage of Hispanics among the pregnant females (58%) compared with the nonpregnant females (43.9%). There was a statistically significant association between the BMI status of mothers and infants’ birth weight, with underweight/normal-weight mothers having more low birth weight (LBW) babies and overweight/obese mothers having more large babies. The odds of having a LBW baby was 0.61 (95% CI: 0.41, 0.89) lower in obese compared with normal-weight adolescent mothers. The risk of having a preterm birth before 37 weeks was found to be neutral in obese compared with normal-weight adolescent mothers (OR=0.81, 95% CI: 0.53, 1.25). Preliminary associations are similar to those reported in the published literature. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: This EHR database uses available measures from routine clinical care as a “rapid assay” to explore potential associations, and may be more useful to detect the presence and direction of associations than the magnitude of effects. This partnership has engaged community clinicians, laboratory, and clinical investigators, and funders in study design and analysis, as demonstrated by the collaborative development and testing of hypotheses relevant to service delivery. Furthermore, this research and learning collaborative is examining strategies to enhance clinical workflow and data quality as well as underlying biological mechanisms. The feasibility of scaling-up these methods facilitates studying similar populations in different Health Systems, advancing point-of-care studies of natural history and comparative effectiveness research to identify service gaps, evaluate effective interventions, and enhance clinical and data quality improvement.
Objectives: Peer-review publication is a critical step to the translation and dissemination of research results into clinical practice guidelines, health technology assessment (HTA) and payment policies, and clinical care. The objective of this study was to examine current views of journal editors regarding: (i) The value of real-world evidence (RWE) and how it compares with other types of studies; (ii) Education and/or resources journal editors provide to their peer reviewers or perceive as needed for authors, reviewers, and editors related to RWE.
Methods: Journal editors’ views on the value of RWE and editorial procedures for RWE manuscripts were obtained through telephone interviews, a survey, and in-person, roundtable discussion.
Results: In total, seventy-nine journals were approached, resulting in fifteen telephone interviews, seventeen survey responses and eight roundtable participants. RWE was considered valuable by all interviewed editors (n = 15). Characteristics of high-quality RWE manuscripts included: novelty/relevance, rigorous methodology, and alignment of data to research question. Editors experience challenges finding peer reviewers; however, these challenges persist across all study designs. Journals generally do not provide guidance, assistance, or training for reviewers, including for RWE studies. Health policy/health services research (HSR) editors were more likely than specialty or general medicine editors to participate in this study, potentially indicating that HSR researchers are more comfortable/interested in RWE.
Conclusions: Editors report favorable views of RWE studies provided studies examine important questions and are methodologically rigorous. Improving peer-review processes across all study designs, has the potential to improve the evidence base for decision making, including HTA.
Measurements are reported of the target neutralization current, the target charge, and the tangential component of the magnetic field generated as a result of laser–target interaction by pulses with the energy in the range of 45–92 mJ on target and the pulse duration from 39 to 1000 fs. The experiment was performed at the Eclipse facility in CELIA, Bordeaux. The aim of the experiment was to extend investigations performed for the thick (mm scale) targets to the case of thin (μm thickness) targets in a way that would allow for a straightforward comparison of the results. We found that thin foil targets tend to generate 20–50% higher neutralization current and the target charge than the thick targets. The measurement of the tangential component of the magnetic field had shown that the initial spike is dominated by the 1 ns pulse consistent with the 1 ns pulse of the neutralization current, but there are some differences between targets of different types on sub-ns scale, which is an effect going beyond a simple picture of the target acting as an antenna. The sub-ns structure appears to be reproducible to surprising degree. We found that there is in general a linear correlation between the maximum value of the magnetic field and the maximum neutralization current, which supports the target-antenna picture, except for pulses 100s of fs long.
Ecoevolutionary processes affecting hosts, vectors and pathogens are important drivers of zoonotic disease emergence. In this study, we focused on nephropathia epidemica (NE), which is caused by Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) whose natural reservoir is the bank vole, Myodes glareolus. We questioned the possibility of NE emergence in a French region that is considered to be NE-free but that is adjacent to a NE-endemic region. We first confirmed the epidemiology of these two regions and we demonstrated the absence of spatial barriers that could have limited dispersal, and consequently, the spread of PUUV into the NE-free region. We next tested whether regional immunoheterogeneity could impact PUUV chances to circulate and persist in the NE-free region. We showed that bank voles from the NE-free region were sensitive to experimental PUUV infection. We observed high levels of immunoheterogeneity between individuals and also between regions. Antiviral gene expression (Tnf and Mx2) reached higher levels in bank voles from the NE-free region. During experimental infections, anti-PUUV antibody production was higher in bank voles from the NE-endemic region. These results indicated a lower susceptibility to PUUV for bank voles from this NE-free region, which might limit PUUV persistence and therefore, the risk of NE.
Previous research has shown relatively diminished medial prefrontal cortex activation and heightened psychophysiological responses during the recollection of personal events in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the origin of these abnormalities is unknown. Twin studies provide the opportunity to determine whether such abnormalities reflect familial vulnerabilities, result from trauma exposure, or are acquired characteristics of PTSD.
In this case–control twin study, 26 male identical twin pairs (12 PTSD; 14 non-PTSD) discordant for PTSD and combat exposure recalled and imagined trauma-unrelated stressful and neutral life events using a standard script-driven imagery paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging and concurrent skin conductance measurement.
Diminished activation in the medial prefrontal cortex during Stressful v. Neutral script-driven imagery was observed in the individuals with PTSD, relative to other groups.
Diminished medial prefrontal cortex activation during Stressful v. Neutral script-driven imagery may be an acquired characteristic of PTSD. If replicated, this finding could be used prospectively to inform diagnosis and the assessment of treatment response.
In immunocastrated (IC) pigs, revaccination (V2) increases lipid deposition (LD) because of increased voluntary feed intake; but little is known on associated effect of diet composition on partitioning of nutrients in IC pigs. Digestibility measurements, N and energy balances in respiration chambers were performed in two subsequent stages in four replicates of two male littermates to determine the changes between 85 (stage 1) and 135 (stage 2) kg live weight due to combined effect of IC, growth and increased feed intake (IC/growth). During stage 1, pigs received a standard low-fat diet (LF diet; 2.5% dry matter (DM) of fat fed at 2.27 MJ metabolizable energy (ME)/kg BW0.60 per day), whereas during stage 2, feed intake was increased to 2.47 MJ ME/kg BW0.60 per day and one littermate was fed LF diet whereas the second received a fat-enriched diet (HF diet; 8.9% DM of fat) to determine the effect of increased dietary fat content on energy utilization in IC pigs. Results from N balance and measurements of gas exchanges were used to calculate respiratory quotient (RQ), heat production (HP), nutrient contribution to fat retention, components of HP, protein deposition (PD) and LD. Nutrients and energy apparent digestibility coefficients, methane losses and N retention (P<0.05) increased with IC/growth. Despite higher ME intake, total HP remained similar (1365 kJ/kg of BW0.60 per day; P=0.47) with IC/growth. Consequently, total retained energy (RE) increased with IC/growth (from 916 to 1078 kJ/kg of BW0.60 per day; P<0.01) with a higher fat retention (625 to 807 kJ/kg BW0.60 per day; P<0.01), originating mainly from carbohydrates associated with a higher lipogenesis (536 to 746 kJ/kg BW0.60 per day; P<0.01) and RQ (1.095 to 1.145; P<0.01). Both PD (from 178 to 217 g/day; P=0.02) and LD (from 227 to 384 g/day; P<0.01) increased due to IC/growth. Feeding HF diet after IC was associated with increased crude fat digestibility (P<0.01) and increased RE as fat (807 to 914 kJ/kg BW0.60 per day; P=0.03), originating mainly from dietary fat (P<0.01) and resulting in increased LD (384 to 435 g/day; P<0.01) and lower RQ (from 1.145 to 1.073; P<0.01). Altogether, present results indicate that increased fatness of IC pigs is a result of increased daily LD caused by higher energy intake and lower basal metabolic rate. In addition, LD is further enhanced by dietary energy enrichment with fat after V2.
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.
Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of brain amyloid beta is now
clinically available in several countries including the United States and
the United Kingdom, but not Canada. It has become an established technique
in the field of neuroimaging of aging and dementia, with data incorporated
in the new consensus guidelines for the diagnosis of Alzheimer disease and
predementia Alzheimer’s disease–related conditions. At this point, there are
three US Food and Drug Administration– and European Union–approved tracers.
Guided by appropriate use criteria developed in 2013 by the Alzheimer’s
Association and the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, the
utility of amyloid imaging in medical practice is now supported by a growing
body of research. In this paper, we aimed to provide an update on the 2012
Canadian consensus guidelines to dementia care practitioners on proper use
of amyloid imaging. We also wished to generate momentum for the industry to
submit a new drug proposal to Health Canada. A group of local, national, and
international dementia experts and imaging specialists met to discuss
scenarios in which amyloid PET could be used appropriately. Peer-reviewed
and published literature between January 2004 and May 2015 was searched.
Technical and regulatory considerations pertaining to Canada were
considered. The results of a survey of current practices in Canadian
dementia centers were considered. A set of specific clinical and research
guidelines was agreed on that defines the types of patients and clinical
circumstances in which amyloid PET could be used in Canada. Future research
directions were also outlined, notably the importance of studies that would
assess the pharmaco-economics of amyloid imaging.
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.
Selection of animals for improved feed efficiency can affect sustainability of animal production because the most efficient animals may face difficulties coping with challenges. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of an inflammatory challenge (using an intravenous injection of complete Freund’s adjuvant – CFA) in piglets from two lines of pigs divergently selected during the fattening period for a low (RFI−) or a high (RFI+) residual feed intake (RFI; difference between actual feed intake and theoretical feed requirements). Nitrogen and energy balances (including heat production – HP – and its components: activity-related HP – AHP, thermic effect of feeding, and resting HP) were measured individually in thirteen 20-kg BW castrated male piglets (six and seven from RFI+ and RFI− line, respectively) fed at the same level (1.72 MJ ME/kg BW0.60 per day) from 3 days before to 3 days after CFA injection. Dynamics of dietary U-13C-glucose oxidation were estimated from measurements of 13CO2 production on the day before and 3 days after the CFA injection. Oxidation of dietary nutrients and lipogenesis were calculated based on HP and O2 consumption and CO2 production. The data were analyzed as repeated measurements within piglets in a mixed model. Before CFA injection, RFI− piglets had a lower resting energy expenditure than RFI+ piglets, which tended to increase energy retention because of a higher energy retention as fat. The CFA injection did not affect feed intake from the day following CFA injection onwards but it increased energy retention (P=0.04). Time to recover 50% of 13C from dietary glucose as expired 13CO2 was higher in RFI+ piglets before inducing inflammation but decreased after to the level of RFI− piglets (P<0.01). Oxidation of U-13C-glucose tended to slightly increased in RFI− piglets and to decreased in RFI+ piglets (P=0.10) because of CFA. Additionally, RFI− piglets had a lower respiratory quotient during the 1st day following the CFA injection whereas RFI+ piglets tended to have a higher respiratory quotient. In conclusion, selection for RFI during the fattening period also affected the energy metabolism of pigs during earlier stages of growth. The effects of CFA injection were moderated in both lines but the most efficient animals (RFI−) exhibited a marked re-orientation of nutrients only during the 1st day after CFA, and seemed to recover thereafter, whereas the less efficient piglets expressed a more prolonged alteration of their metabolism.
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.
Fasting heat production (FHP) is used for characterizing the basal metabolic rate of animals and the corresponding maintenance energy requirements and in the calculation of net energy value of feeds. In broilers, the most recent FHP estimates were obtained in the 1980s in slow-growing and fatter birds than nowadays. The FHP values (n=73; six experiments) measured in 3 to 6-week-old modern lines of broilers weighing 0.6 to 2.8 kg and growing at 80 to 100 g/day were used to update these literature values. Each measurement was obtained in a group of fasting broilers (5 to 14 birds) kept in a respiration chamber for at least 24 h. The FHP estimate corresponds to the asymptotic heat production corrected for zero physical activity obtained by modeling the decrease in heat production during the fasting day. The compilation of these data indicates that FHP was linearly related to the BW0.70 (in kg), which can be considered as the metabolic BW of modern broilers. The 0.70 exponent differs from the conventional value of 0.75 used for mature animals. The FHP per kg of BW0.70 ranged between 410 and 460 kJ/day according to the experiment (P<0.01). An experiment conducted with a shorter duration of fasting (16 h) indicated that FHP values are higher than those obtained over at least 24 h of fasting. Our values are similar to those obtained previously on fatter and slow-growing birds, even though the comparison is difficult since measurement conditions and methodologies have changed during the last 30 years. The FHP values obtained in our trials represent a basis for energy nutrition of modern broilers.
The Magnetized Dusty Plasma Experiment (MDPX) device is a newly constructed research instrument for the study of dusty (complex) plasmas. The MDPX device is envisioned as an experimental platform in which the dynamical behavior of all three charged plasma components, the electrons, ions, and charged microparticles (i.e., the ‘dust’) will be significantly influenced by the magnetic force. This brief paper will provide a short overview of the design, magnetic performance, and initial plasma measurements in the MDPX device.