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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.
The aim of the present study is to use the syndemic framework to investigate the risk of contracting HIV in the US population. Cross-sectional analyses are from The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We extracted and aggregated data on HIV antibody test, socio-demographic characteristics, alcohol use, drug use, depression, sexual behaviours and sexually transmitted diseases from cycle 2009–2010 to 2015–2016. We carried out weighted regression among young adults (20–39 years) and adults (40–59 years) separately. In total, 5230 men and 5794 women aged 20–59 years were included in the present analyses. In total, 0.8% men and 0.2% women were tested HIV-positive. Each increasing HIV risk behaviour was associated with elevated odds of being tested HIV-positive (1.15, 95% CI 1.15–1.15) among young adults and adults (1.61, 95% CI 1.61–1.61). Multi-faceted, community-based interventions are urgently required to reduce the incidence of HIV in the USA.
The objective was to compare the performance of the updated Charlson comorbidity index (uCCI) and classical CCI (cCCI) in predicting 30-day mortality in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB). All cases of SAB in patients aged ⩾14 years identified at the Microbiology Unit were included prospectively and followed. Comorbidity was evaluated using the cCCI and uCCI. Relevant variables associated with SAB-related mortality, along with cCCI or uCCI scores, were entered into multivariate logistic regression models. Global model fit, model calibration and predictive validity of each model were evaluated and compared. In total, 257 episodes of SAB in 239 patients were included (mean age 74 years; 65% were male). The mean cCCI and uCCI scores were 3.6 (standard deviation, 2.4) and 2.9 (2.3), respectively; 161 (63%) cases had cCCI score ⩾3 and 89 (35%) cases had uCCI score ⩾4. Sixty-five (25%) patients died within 30 days. The cCCI score was not related to mortality in any model, but uCCI score ⩾4 was an independent factor of 30-day mortality (odds ratio, 1.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–3.74). The uCCI is a more up-to-date, refined and parsimonious prognostic mortality score than the cCCI; it may thus serve better than the latter in the identification of patients with SAB with worse prognoses.
This work is part of the interlaboratory collaboration to study the stability of organic solar cells containing PCDTBT polymer as a donor material. The varieties of the OPV devices with different device architectures, electrode materials, encapsulation, and device dimensions were prepared by seven research laboratories. Sets of identical devices were aged according to four different protocols: shelf lifetime, laboratory weathering under simulated illumination at ambient temperature, laboratory weathering under simulated illumination, and elevated temperature (65 °C) and daylight outdoor weathering under sunlight. The results generated in this study allow us to outline several general conclusions related to PCDTBT-based bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells. The results herein reported can be considered as practical guidance for the realization of stabilization approaches in BHJ solar cells containing PCDTBT.
Aberration-corrected STEM has become a standard analytical technique in the field of nanoscience. As “designer materials” have become more in demand in academic circles, verification of a desired product makes atomic-resolutionanalysis mandatory. Industry currently faces the same trend where tailor-made materials are customized for a given application. Here we show several examples where quantifiable atomic-scale manipulation of nanomaterials can have a dramatic impact on structure and, by extension, functionality.
Vaccination remains a mainstay of companion animal population health. However, how vaccine use at a population level complies with existing guidelines is unknown. Here we use electronic health records to describe vaccination in dogs, cats and rabbits attending a large sentinel network of UK veterinary practices. In total, 77.9% (95% CI: 77.6–78.1) of animals had recorded vaccinations. The percentage of animals with recorded vaccinations was higher in dogs, neutered animals, in insured dogs and cats and in purebred dogs. Vaccination rates varied in different regions of Great Britain in all species. Dogs and cats belonging to owners living in less deprived areas of England and Scotland were more likely to be recorded as vaccinated. In the vaccinated population, cats received more core vaccines per year of life (0.86) than dogs (0.75), with feline leukaemia vaccines almost as frequent as core vaccines. In dogs, leptospira vaccines were more frequent than core vaccines. This descriptive study suggests a substantial proportion of animals are not benefiting from vaccine protection. For the first time, we identify potential factors associated with variations in recorded vaccination frequency, providing a critical baseline against which to monitor future changes in companion animal vaccination and evidence to inform future targeted health interventions.
Electroejaculation (EE) is stressful and probably painful; thus the administration of anaesthesia is recommended to decrease those negative effects. However, anaesthesia has a direct risk of provoking death, but sedation is less risky than anaesthesia. At the same time, α2-adrenergic agonists may improve semen quality. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to compare the physiological and behavioural responses indicative of stress and possibly pain, and the semen quality in electroejaculated untreated, anaesthetised or sedated goat bucks. Semen was collected from eight bucks using three different procedures in all them (EE in untreated bucks, EE under sedation or EE under general anaesthesia). The number of vocalizations during EE and the behavioural pattern before and after procedures were recorded. Pain visual analogue scale (VAS) score was also determined during EE. Rectal temperature, heart rate, serum cortisol concentration, biochemical and haematological parameters were measured before and after each procedure, and sperm characteristics were determined. Bucks vocalised more often when untreated than sedated or anaesthetised (P<0.02). The pain VAS score was greater when bucks were untreated than sedated or anaesthetised (P<0.002). The rectal temperature, heart rate, total protein, albumin and haemoglobin concentrations were greater when bucks were untreated than anaesthetised or sedated (P<0.02). Serum cortisol increased after EE (P=0.0006), without differences between procedures. The frequency and duration of lying down after EE were greater when bucks were anaesthetised than sedated or untreated (P<0.05), and were also greater when bucks were sedated than untreated (P<0.05). The number of times that the animal tried to stand up after EE was greater when bucks were anaesthetised than sedated or untreated (P<0.02). The sperm mass motility was greater when bucks were anaesthetised or sedated than when they were untreated (P=0.048). When animals were sedated, the ejaculate contained more spermatozoa with functional plasma membrane (P=0.03) and morphologically normal (P=0.05) than when they were untreated. In conclusion, general anaesthesia and sedation decreased the stress and probably the pain response provoked by EE and especially sedation improved the quality of the semen collected.
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.
Ticks represent a large global reservoir of zoonotic disease. Current surveillance systems can be time and labour intensive. We propose that the passive surveillance of companion animal electronic health records (EHRs) could provide a novel methodology for describing temporal and spatial tick activity. A total of 16 58 857 EHRs were collected over a 2-year period (31 March 2014 and 29 May 2016) from companion animals attending a large sentinel network of 192 veterinary clinics across Great Britain (the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network – SAVSNET). In total, 2180 EHRs were identified where a tick was recorded on an animal. The relative risk of dogs presenting with a tick compared with cats was 0·73 (95% confidence intervals 0·67–0·80). The highest number of tick records were in the south central regions of England. The presence of ticks showed marked seasonality with summer peaks, and a secondary smaller peak in autumn for cats; ticks were still being found throughout most of Great Britain during the winter. This suggests that passive surveillance of companion animal EHRs can describe tick activity temporally and spatially in a large cohort of veterinary clinics across Great Britain. These results and methodology could help inform veterinary and public health messages as well as increase awareness of ticks and tick-borne diseases in the general population.
Aims were to assess the efficacy of metacognitive training (MCT) in people with a recent onset of psychosis in terms of symptoms as a primary outcome and metacognitive variables as a secondary outcome.
A multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trial was performed. A total of 126 patients were randomized to an MCT or a psycho-educational intervention with cognitive-behavioral elements. The sample was composed of people with a recent onset of psychosis, recruited from nine public centers in Spain. The treatment consisted of eight weekly sessions for both groups. Patients were assessed at three time-points: baseline, post-treatment, and at 6 months follow-up. The evaluator was blinded to the condition of the patient. Symptoms were assessed with the PANSS and metacognition was assessed with a battery of questionnaires of cognitive biases and social cognition.
Both MCT and psycho-educational groups had improved symptoms post-treatment and at follow-up, with greater improvements in the MCT group. The MCT group was superior to the psycho-educational group on the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale (BCIS) total (p = 0.026) and self-certainty (p = 0.035) and dependence self-subscale of irrational beliefs, comparing baseline and post-treatment. Moreover, comparing baseline and follow-up, the MCT group was better than the psycho-educational group in self-reflectiveness on the BCIS (p = 0.047), total BCIS (p = 0.045), and intolerance to frustration (p = 0.014). Jumping to Conclusions (JTC) improved more in the MCT group than the psycho-educational group (p = 0.021). Regarding the comparison within each group, Theory of Mind (ToM), Personalizing Bias, and other subscales of irrational beliefs improved in the MCT group but not the psycho-educational group (p < 0.001–0.032).
MCT could be an effective psychological intervention for people with recent onset of psychosis in order to improve cognitive insight, JTC, and tolerance to frustration. It seems that MCT could be useful to improve symptoms, ToM, and personalizing bias.
This study aimed to examine the association between vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 biomarkers and plasma fatty acids in European adolescents. A subsample from the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence study with valid data on B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters, and all the other covariates used in the analyses such as BMI, Diet Quality Index, education of the mother and physical activity assessed by a questionnaire, was selected resulting in 674 cases (43 % males). B-vitamin biomarkers were measured by chromatography and immunoassay and fatty acids by enzymatic analyses. Linear mixed models elucidated the association between B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters (changes in fatty acid profiles according to change in 10 units of vitamin B biomarkers). DHA, EPA) and n-3 fatty acids showed positive associations with B-vitamin biomarkers, mainly with those corresponding to folate and vitamin B12. Contrarily, negative associations were found with n-6:n-3 ratio, trans-fatty acids and oleic:stearic ratio. With total homocysteine (tHcy), all the associations found with these parameters were opposite (for instance, an increase of 10 nmol/l in red blood cell folate or holotranscobalamin in females produces an increase of 15·85 µmol/l of EPA (P value <0·01), whereas an increase of 10 nmol/l of tHcy in males produces a decrease of 2·06 µmol/l of DHA (P value <0·05). Positive associations between B-vitamins and specific fatty acids might suggest underlying mechanisms between B-vitamins and CVD and it is worth the attention of public health policies.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
The light of the night sky consists of atmospheric components (airglow, light scattered in the atmosphere) and – even in the case of spaceborne observations – of zodiacal, galactic and extragalactic light. Although all components are of similar importance, investigations on zodiacal light have profitted most by the space age since their object of research, the interplanetary dust cloud, became accessible to direct in-situ measurements. Lunar samples and measurements by micrometeoroid detectors provide individual and eventually detailed information on impact events, which however are limited in number and therefore restricted in statistical significance. Zodiacal light investigations involve scattered light of many particles in large volume elements and therefore provide global information about physical properties and spatial distribution of interplanetary dust grains, however just in terms of average values. Therefore both sources of information are complementary and a synthesis can only be achieved by synoptic interpretation of zodiacal light, micrometeoroid, and meteoroid investigations also including dynamical aspects. Measurements of zodiacal light (and emission) from rockets, manned or non manned spacecraft, and deep space probes gained drastically in importance compared to ground based observations. On the other hand investigations on airglow have become more and more a topic of geophysics Caeronomy). They remain relevant however to astronomy as far as photometric features are concerned. These general trends continued in the last triennium and have influenced the activities of our commission.
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.
Due to its wide band-gap, Al2O3 is known to have a moderate leakage current and a good dielectric strength . Moreover, this dielectric has a fair permittivity and so constitutes interesting candidate as dielectric for Metal-Insulator-Metal (MIM) capacitor. Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) allows obtaining a dense and thin Al2O3 amorphous layer. ALD limits problems of interlayer diffusion because Al2O3 is deposited underneath 400°C  which is essential when MIM are co-integrated with temperature sensitive structures.
The aim of our investigation is to attempt to tie aluminum oxide properties dielectric with reliability from the help of capacitors of the entire wafer. In this way, conduction mechanism analysis and capacitance measurements were statistically led on the wafer. We particularly focus our study on the quantification of defects and their influence on the leakage current in planar capacitor. Firstly, to estimate the fixed oxide charges densities in the bulk of Al2O3 and to analyze conduction mechanism, Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (MOS) (Al/Al2O3/HR-Si) is developed. Then, a MIM stack (Al/TiN/Al2O3/TiN/HR-Si) is developed in order to evaluate the leakage current and the electrical reliability of thin films Al2O3 based MIM capacitors. Different performances are observed according to the area on the wafer. That could be explained by the quality of the Al2O3 layer and the interfaces between TiN and the oxide.
Our aim is to study the Star Formation Rate (SFR) by galaxy components such as bulges, bars and disks in a representative sample of nearby galaxies. A 2-dimensional (2D) photometric decomposition approach (GASP2D) is used to obtain these components. The availability of IFS data for the CALIFA galaxies makes possible to go one step further as we can apply the previous decompositions over 3D datacubes to disentangle the spatial distribution of the SFR over different components free from the limitations associated to narrow-band imaging.
The intensity ratios of HCO+/HCN and HNC/HCN (1-0) reveal the relative influence of star formation and active galactic nuclei (AGN) or black holes on the circum-nuclear gas of a galaxy, allowing the identification of X-ray dominated regions (XDRs) and Photon-dominated regions (PDRs). It is not always clear in the literature how this intensity ratio calculation has been, or should be performed. This paper discusses ratio calculation methods for interferometric data.