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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.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: To investigate the prognostic value of left ventricular mitral annular longitudinal displacement (LD) measured with color tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) in a large population suffering from acute coronary syndrome (ACS). METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: In total, 501 ACS patients underwent an echocardiography within 9 days after a percutaneous coronary intervention. Regional LD was obtained from the 6 mitral annular regions with TDI and GLD was calculated as an average. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: During a median follow-up time of 4.4 years 46 ACS patients suffered CVD. Mean value of GLD in the population was 8.11mm (±2.4). GLD and LD obtained from the inferior wall remained significant independent predictors after multivariate adjustment for clinical parameters, GLD (HR: 1.43, 95% CI: 1.12–1.82, p=0.014, per 1mm decrease), inferior LD (HR: 1.38, 95% CI: 1.14–1.66, p=0.001). Furthermore, inferior wall LD was the primary source of prognostic information in GLD since only inferior LD remained significant when both measures were included in the same model: GLD (HR: 0.95, 95% CI: 0.64–1.40, p=0.781); inferior LD (HR: 1.60, 95% CI: 1.15–2.22, p=0.005). Of all walls, only inferior wall LD remained as an independent predictor after multivariate adjustment. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: GLD provides independent prognostic information in ACS patients over and beyond all conventional echocardiographic measures. Regional inferior LD was the primary source of prognostic information gained from GLD. GLD proved to be a better predictor of cardiovascular events than conventional echocardiographic measures. This could lead to better risk stratification in the clinical setting and open up for earlier intervention in high-risk individuals.
We present an indentation-scope that interfaces with confocal microscopy, enabling direct observation of the three-dimensional (3D) microstructural response of coatings on substrates. Using this method, we compared microns-thick polymer coatings on glass with and without silica nanoparticle filler. Bulk force data confirmed the >30% modulus difference, while microstructural data further revealed slip at the glass-coating interface. Filled coatings slipped more and about two times faster, as reflected in 3D displacement and von Mises strain fields. Overall, these data indicate that silica-doping of coatings can dramatically alter adhesion. Moreover, this method compliments existing theoretical and modeling approaches for studying indentation in layered systems.
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.
Alternatives to surgical castration are needed, due to stress and pain caused by castration of male pigs. One alternative is production of entire male pigs. However, changed behaviour of entire males compared with castrated males might adversely affect the welfare of entire males and changes in management procedures and production system might be needed. Elements from the organic pig production system might be beneficial in this aspect. The aim of this article is to investigate the effect of grouping strategy including social mixing and group size on levels of mounting behaviour and skin lesions, hypothesising that procedures that disrupt the social stability (e.g. regrouping) will have a larger negative effect in small groups compared with large groups. Approximately 1600 organic entire male pigs of the breed (Landrace×Yorkshire)×Duroc were reared in parallel in five organic herds, distributed across four batches in a 2×2 factorial design in order to test the influence of social mixing (presence or absence of social mixing at relocation) and group size (15 and 30 animals). Animals were able to socialise with piglets from other litters during the lactation period, and were all mixed across litters at weaning. A second mixing occurred at insertion to fattening pens for pigs being regrouped. Counting of skin lesions (1348 or 1124 pigs) and registration of mounting behaviour (1434 or 1258 pigs) were done on two occasions during the experimental period. No interactive effects were found between social mixing and group size on either skin lesions or mounting frequency. Herd differences were found for both mounting frequency and number of skin lesions. No association between skin lesions and mounting were revealed. Social mixing and group size were shown as interacting effects with herds on mounting frequency (P<0.0001), but with no consistent pattern across all herds. In addition, no effect of social mixing was found on mean number of skin lesions, but more lesions were observed in large groups (P<0.036). This could indicate that keeping entire male pigs in groups of 30 animals as compared with smaller groups of 15 may marginally decrease the welfare of these animals.
The gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiota has been identified as an important reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) that can be horizontally transferred to pathogenic species. Maternal GIT microbes can be transmitted to the offspring, and recent work indicates that such transfer starts before birth. We have used culture-independent genetic screenings to explore whether ARGs are already present in the meconium accumulated in the GIT during fetal life and in feces of 1-week-old infants. We have analyzed resistance to β-lactam antibiotics (BLr) and tetracycline (Tcr), screening for a variety of genes conferring each. To evaluate whether ARGs could have been inherited by maternal transmission, we have screened perinatal fecal samples of the 1-week-old babies’ mothers, as well as a mother–infant series including meconium, fecal samples collected through the infant’s 1st year, maternal fecal samples and colostrum. Our results reveal a high prevalence of BLr and Tcr in both meconium and early fecal samples, implying that the GIT resistance reservoir starts to accumulate even before birth. We show that ARGs present in the mother may reach the meconium and colostrum and establish in the infant GIT, but also that some ARGs were likely acquired from other sources. Alarmingly, we identified in both meconium and 1-week-olds’ samples a particularly elevated prevalence of mecA (>45%), six-fold higher than that detected in the mothers. The mecA gene confers BLr to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and although its detection does not imply the presence of this pathogen, it does implicate the young infant’s GIT as a noteworthy reservoir of this gene.
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.
To investigate the extent to which the level of androstenone and skatole decreases with a decrease in live weight and/or age at slaughter of entire male pigs produced under organic standards, 1174 entire male pigs were raised in parallel in five organic herds, distributed across four batches in summer and winter. The median androstenone level was high for organic entire male pigs (1.9 µg/g), but varied greatly both within and between herds. Median skatole level was 0.05 µg/g, also with a wide range both within and between herds. Decreasing live weight over the range of 110±15.6 kg s.d. was found to decrease androstenone as well as skatole concentration, however, with different patterns of association. Age did not have significant direct effect on either androstenone or skatole levels. Androstenone levels were higher during winter than summer (P<0.0001), but no difference in skatole was found between seasons. The study concludes that decreasing live weight at slaughter could be an applicable management tool to reduce risk of boar taint and the level of tainted carcasses for a future production of entire male pigs within the organic pig production system, although further studies are needed as great variation in boar taint was found also for low weight animals.
Production of entire male pigs could be a future strategy for organic pig production. However, production of entire males leads to increased risk of carcasses with elevated boar taint levels. It is hypothesized that skatole levels in pig meat are affected by faecal soiling and that organic housing facilities can increase the risk of pigs being heavily soiled. Therefore, the overall aim of this study was to investigate if increased pig and pen soiling increases skatole concentration in entire male pigs. In five herds, 1174 organic entire male pigs were reared in four batches across two seasons, summer and winter. Measurements of pig and pen soiling, as well as fat skatole and androstenone concentration and human nose sensory tests of fat odour, were performed. Skatole and androstenone concentrations varied greatly within and between herds with a 10% and 90% percentile for the overall population of 0.02 and 2.25 µg/g for skatole and 0.53 and 4.84 µg/g for androstenone. Human nose positive tests averaged 18.3% with great variation between herds and seasons. Pen soiling had significant effects on pig soiling. Moreover, outdoor pen soiling significantly affected skatole concentration in interactions with herd and season (P<0.001 and P=0.003) and affected human nose positive risk in interaction with herd (P=0.005). Soiling on indoor pen areas did not affect skatole levels and no effect on androstenone was found for any pen area. Soiling of pigs affected both skatole and androstenone levels, with the size of the head and abdomen body areas covered in manure showing significant positive effects on skatole concentration. No effect of density of the manure layer was found on either boar taint measure. Herd significantly affected both skatole and androstenone in fat as well as the human nose positive risk. The human nose test revealed no effect from pig soiling. A large variation in the different boar taint measures was found for both high and low scores of pen and pig soiling, and only a small difference in skatole and androstenone concentrations between the high and low soiling categories was found. Therefore, while increasing the hygiene management could be a strategy for reducing boar taint in production of organic entire male pigs, it should be emphasized that other factors would also need to be considered.
Animal slurry is separated in order to avoid excessive nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) fertilization of crops in the field. To enhance fertilizer efficiency further, slurry and its separation products may be acidified, for instance in animal houses. The current study quantified the effects of these treatments, both individually and in combination, on fertilizer efficiency, energy production and heavy metal accumulation as a result of manure management. Acidification increased the availability of N to plants in the manure applied, and provided a better match between plant-available NPK in the manure and separation fraction applied to fields and crop need. Total biogas production was not affected by separation, whereas acidification reduced biogas production because the process was inhibited by a low pH and a high sulphur concentration. The amount of copper applied per hectare in the liquid manure to the wheat field was lower than the amount taken up and more zink and copper was applied in the solid fraction to maize field than taken up. The transportation and field application of solids and liquids did not increase management costs when compared to the transportation of slurry alone, but the investment and running costs of separators and manure acidification increased overall management costs.
This study assesses the contribution of different sources of human campylobacteriosis in Denmark using two different source-attribution approaches. In total, 794 non-human isolates and 406 isolates from human cases (domestic, travel related, and cases with unknown travel history) were collected. Isolates were characterized by multilocus sequence typing, flaA typing and susceptibility to antibiotics. Both models used indicate that the major burden of human campylobacteriosis in Denmark originates from the domestic broiler chicken reservoir. The second most important reservoir was found to be cattle. The Asymmetric Island model attributed 52% [95% credibility interval (CrI) 37–67] to Danish chicken, 17% (95% CrI 3–33) to imported chicken, and 17% (95% CrI 7–28) to cattle. Similarly, the Campylobacter source-attribution model apportioned 38% (95% CrI 28–47) to Danish chicken, 14% (95% CrI 10–18) to imported chicken, and 16% (95% CrI 7–25) to cattle. The addition of flaA type as an extra discriminatory typing parameter did not change the attribution of cases markedly.
The collaborative London based non-governmental organization network ELRHA (Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance) supports partnerships between higher education institutions and humanitarian organizations worldwide with the objective to enhance the professionalization of the humanitarian sector. While coordination and control of the humanitarian sector has plagued the response to every major crisis, concerns highlighted by the 2010 Haitian earthquake response further catalyzed and accelerated the need to ensure competency-based professionalization of the humanitarian health care work force. The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative sponsored an independent survey of established academically affiliated training centers in North America that train humanitarian health care workers to determine their individual training center characteristics and preferences in the potential professionalization process. The survey revealed that a common thread of profession-specific skills and core humanitarian competencies were being offered in both residential and online programs with additional programs offering opportunities for field simulation experiences and more advanced degree programs. This study supports the potential for the development of like-minded academic affiliated and competency-based humanitarian health programs to organize themselves under ELRHA's regional “consultation hubs” worldwide that can assist and advocate for improved education and training opportunities in less served developing countries.
Burkle Jr FM, WallsAE, HeckJP, SorensenBS, CranmerHH, JohnsonK, LevineAC, KaydenS, CahillB, VanRooyenMJ. Academic Affiliated Training Centers in Humanitarian Health, Part I: Program Characteristics and Professionalization Preferences of Centers in North America. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013:28(2):1-8.
Blood lipid response to a given dietary intervention could be determined by the effect of diet, gene variants or gene–diet interactions. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether variants in presumed nutrient-sensitive genes involved in lipid metabolism modified lipid profile after weight loss and in response to a given diet, among overweight European adults participating in the Diet Obesity and Genes study. By multiple linear regressions, 240 SNPs in twenty-four candidate genes were investigated for SNP main and SNP–diet interaction effects on total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and TAG after an 8-week low-energy diet (only main effect), and a 6-month ad libitum weight maintenance diet, with different contents of dietary protein or glycaemic index. After adjusting for multiple testing, a SNP–dietary protein interaction effect on TAG was identified for lipin 1 (LPIN1) rs4315495, with a decrease in TAG of − 0·26 mmol/l per A-allele/protein unit (95 % CI − 0·38, − 0·14, P= 0·000043). In conclusion, we investigated SNP–diet interactions for blood lipid profiles for 240 SNPs in twenty-four candidate genes, selected for their involvement in lipid metabolism pathways, and identified one significant interaction between LPIN1 rs4315495 and dietary protein for TAG concentration.
The in utero origins of breast cancer are an increasing focus of
research. However, the long time period between exposure and disease diagnosis,
and the lack of standardized perinatal data collection makes this research
challenging. We assessed perinatal factors, as proxies for in
utero exposures, and breast cancer risk using pooled,
population-based birth and cancer registry data. Birth registries provided
information on perinatal exposures. Cases were females born in Norway, Sweden or
Denmark who were subsequently diagnosed with primary, invasive breast cancer
(n = 1419). Ten controls for each case were selected from
the birth registries matched on country and birth year (n =
14,190). Relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated
using unconditional regression models. Breast cancer risk rose 7% (95% CI
2–13%) with every 500 g (roughly 1 s.d.) increase in birth
weight and 7% for every 1 s.d. increase in birth length (95% CI
1–14%). The association with birth length was attenuated after adjustment
for birth weight, while the increase in risk with birth weight remained with
adjustment for birth length. Ponderal index and small- and
large-for-gestational-age status were not better predictors of risk than either
weight or length alone. Risk was not associated with maternal education or age,
gestational duration, delivery type or birth order, or with several pregnancy
complications, including preeclampsia. These data confirm the positive
association between birth weight and breast cancer risk. Other pregnancy
characteristics, including complications such as preeclampsia, do not appear to
be involved in later breast carcinogenesis in young women.
This paper shows that control of foodborne disease outbreaks may be challenging even after establishing the source of infection. An outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium U323 infections occurred in Denmark from March to September 2010, involving 172 cases. Before the detection of human cases, several positive isolates of the outbreak strain had been found in a particular pig slaughterhouse and thus early traceback, investigation and control measures were possible. Several batches of pork and pork products were recalled and the slaughterhouse was closed twice for disinfection. No single common food item was identified as the outbreak source, but repeated isolation of the outbreak strain from the slaughterhouse environment and in pork and products as well as patient interviews strongly suggested different pork products as the source of infection. Furthermore, a matched case-control study identified a specific ready-to-eat spreadable pork sausage (teewurst) as the source of a sub-outbreak (matched odds ratio 17, 95% confidence interval 2·1–130).
The objective of this study was to explore the importance of including genetic progress in milk yield when evaluating different reproductive strategies in a dairy herd by simulation modeling. The model used in this study was SimHerd V, a dynamic and mechanistic Monte Carlo simulation model of a dairy herd including young stock. A daily increasing trend describing genetic milk yield potential of the sire population was included in the model. The inaccuracy of assuming that replacement heifers have the same (milk yield) potential as the cows present in the herd was hereby dealt with. Improving estrus detection rate from 0.45 to 0.80 increased gross margin (GM) per cow-year by €20 when genetic progress was not included in the model. When genetic progress was included in the model, then the same improvement in estrus detection decreased the GM per cow-year by €7.4. This reduced effect was explained by a lower replacement rate in consequence of the improved estrus detection and thereby a slower genetic progress in the herd. There was a reduced effect of including genetic progress on GM when surplus heifers were sold selectively based on breeding values. Repeated insemination with sexed semen on the superior half of all heifers reduced GM by €8 per cow-year when genetic progress was not included and increased the GM by €16 per cow-year when genetic progress was included in the model. Including genetic progress reduced the losses caused by lower conception and estrus detection rates and had a minimal effect with regard to postponing first insemination. This study has proven that it is important to include genetic progress in decisions on reproduction strategies in a dairy herd.