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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 completion of a laser safety course remains a core surgical curriculum requirement for otolaryngologists training in the UK. This project aimed to develop a comprehensive laser safety course utilising both technical and non-technical skills simulation.
Otolaryngology trainees and consultants from the West of Scotland Deanery attended a 1-day course comprising lectures, two high-fidelity simulation scenarios and a technical simulation of safe laser use in practice.
The course, and in particular the use of simulation training, received excellent feedback from otolaryngology trainees and consultants who participated. Both simulation scenarios were validated for future use in laser simulation.
The course has been recognised as a laser safety course sufficient for the otolaryngology Certificate of Completion of Training. To the authors’ knowledge, this article represents the first description of using in situ non-technical skills simulation training for teaching laser use in otolaryngology.
This chapter rounds off Section 2. In it, one of the authors, Jonathan Montgomery, begins by highlighting his view of the recurrent themes that arise from all eight chapters in this section.
Then, one of the editors, Alex Haslam, responds by substantially agreeing with Jonathan Montgomery. However, Haslam takes the opportunity to clarify one of the points that Montgomery makes with the intention of drawing attention to a key issue that runs like an artery through the body of this book. This concerns the nature of personalised healthcare and how this should best be understood and delivered. Haslam cautions that, in the process of developing personalised care, we should avoid the temptation to reduce peoples’ maladies to their individual conditions.
Waterhemp [Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) J. D. Sauer] and Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) are troublesome weeds of row-crop production in the United States. Their dioecious reproductive systems ensure outcrossing, facilitating rapid evolution and distribution of resistances to multiple herbicides. Little is known, however, about the genetic basis of dioecy in Amaranthus species. In this work, we use restriction site–associated DNA sequencing (RAD-Seq) to investigate the genetic basis of sex determination in A. tuberculatus and A. palmeri. For each species, approximately 200 plants of each sex were sampled and used to create RAD-Seq libraries. The resulting libraries were separately bar-coded and then pooled for sequencing with the Illumina platform, yielding millions of 64-bp reads. These reads were analyzed to identify sex-specific and sex-biased sequences. We identified 345 male-specific sequences from the A. palmeri data set and 2,754 male-specific sequences in A. tuberculatus. An unexpected 723 female-specific sequences were identified in a subset of the A. tuberculatus females; subsequent research, however, indicated female specificity of these markers was limited to the population from which they were identified. Primer sets designed to specifically amplify male-specific sequences were tested for accuracy on multiple, geographically distinct populations of A. tuberculatus and A. palmeri, as well as other Amaranthus species. Two primer sets for A. palmeri and four primer sets for A. tuberculatus were each able to distinguish between male and female plants with at least 95% accuracy. In the near term, sex-specific markers will be useful to the A. tuberculatus and A. palmeri research communities (e.g., to predict sex for crossing experiments). In the long-term, this research will provide the foundational tools for detailed investigations into the molecular biology and evolution of dioecy in weedy Amaranthus species.
Giant electromagnetic pulses (EMP) generated during the interaction of high-power lasers with solid targets can seriously degrade electrical measurements and equipment. EMP emission is caused by the acceleration of hot electrons inside the target, which produce radiation across a wide band from DC to terahertz frequencies. Improved understanding and control of EMP is vital as we enter a new era of high repetition rate, high intensity lasers (e.g. the Extreme Light Infrastructure). We present recent data from the VULCAN laser facility that demonstrates how EMP can be readily and effectively reduced. Characterization of the EMP was achieved using B-dot and D-dot probes that took measurements for a range of different target and laser parameters. We demonstrate that target stalk geometry, material composition, geodesic path length and foil surface area can all play a significant role in the reduction of EMP. A combination of electromagnetic wave and 3D particle-in-cell simulations is used to inform our conclusions about the effects of stalk geometry on EMP, providing an opportunity for comparison with existing charge separation models.
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.
A major hindrance to establishment of successful complementary forage systems that include warm-season perennial grasses and clovers is tolerance of the latter to herbicides available for weed control. Field experiments were conducted in 2013 at two locations in northeast Louisiana to evaluate simulated residual rate effects of fluroxypyr plus triclopyr and 2,4-D plus picloram applied at 0, 0.25, 0.38, and 0.5× use rates immediately after fall planting of ball, white, crimson, and red clover. For all clovers, when averaged across herbicide rates, plant population 161/171 d after planting (DAP), ground cover, and height 184/196 DAP were equivalent for fluroxypyr plus triclopyr and the nontreated control and greater than 2,4-D plus picloram. Averaged across clovers, plant height after all rates of fluroxypyr plus triclopyr was equivalent to the nontreated control (14.2 to 14.3 vs. 15.3 cm) and greater than 2,4-D plus picloram. Compared with the nontreated control, 2,4-D plus picloram at 25, 38, and 50% of the normal use rates reduced height 58, 76, and 85%, respectively. When averaged across clover species, yield for fluroxypyr plus triclopyr at all rates was equivalent to the nontreated control (2,624 to 2,840 vs. 2,812 kg ha−1). Compared with the nontreated control, 2,4-D plus picloram at the 0.25, 0.38, and 0.50× use rates reduced yield 65, 89, and 99%, respectively.
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.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.
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.
We are trying to reduce the largest uncertainties in using white dwarf stars as Galactic chronometers by understanding the details of carbon crystalliazation that currently result in a 1–2 Gyr uncertainty in the ages of the oldest white dwarf stars. We expect the coolest white dwarf stars to have crystallized interiors, but theory also predicts hotter white dwarf stars, if they are massive enough, will also have some core crystallization. BPM 37093 is the first discovered of only a handful of known massive white dwarf stars that are also pulsating DAV, or ZZ Ceti, variables. Our approach is to use the pulsations to constrain the core composition and amount of crystallization. Here we report our analysis of 4 hours of continuous time series spectroscopy of BPM 37093 with Gemini South combined with simultaneous time-series photometry from Mt. John (New Zealand), SAAO, PROMPT, and Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito (CASLEO, Argentina).
The nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum is becoming more widely recorded globally, and is of increasing concern as a cause of disease in dogs. Apparent geographic spread is difficult to confirm due to a lack of standardized disease recording systems, increasing awareness among veterinary clinicians, and recent improvements in diagnostic technologies. This study examines the hypothesis that A. vasorum has spread in recent years by repeating the methods of a previous survey of the fox population. The hearts and lungs of 442 foxes from across Great Britain were collected and examined by dissection and flushing of the pulmonary circulation and microscopic inspection of tracheal scrapes. Sampling and parasite extraction methods were identical to an earlier survey in 2005 to ensure comparability. Prevalence of A. vasorum was 18·3% (exact binomial confidence bounds 14·9–22·3), compared with 7·3% previously (5·3–9·9, n = 546), and had increased significantly in most regions, e.g. 7·4% in the Northern UK (previously zero) and 50·8% in the south-east (previously 23·2%). Other nematodes identified were Crenosoma vulpis (prevalence 10·8%, CI 8·1–14·2) and Eucoleus aerophilus (31·6%, CI 27·3–36·2). These data support the proposal that A. vasorum has increased in prevalence and has spread geographically in Great Britain.
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.
Background: Engaging clients from the outset of psychotherapy is important for therapeutic success. However, there is little research evaluating therapists’ initial attempts to engage clients in the therapeutic process. This article reports retrospective analysis of data from a trial of online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for depression. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to evaluate how therapists manage clients’ expectations at the outset of therapy and its relationship with client retention in the therapeutic intervention. Aims: To develop a system to codify expectation management in initial sessions of online CBT and evaluate its relationship with retention. Method: Initial qualitative research using conversation analysis identified three communication practices used by therapists at the start of first sessions: no expectation management, some expectation management, and comprehensive expectation management. These findings were developed into a coding scheme that enabled substantial inter-rater agreement (weighted Kappa = 0.78; 95% CI: 0.52 to 0.94) and was applied to all trial data. Results: Adjusting for a range of client variables, primary analysis of data from 147 clients found comprehensive expectation management was associated with clients remaining in therapy for 1.4 sessions longer than those who received no expectation management (95% CI: -0.2 to 3.0). This finding was supported by a sensitivity analysis including an additional 21 clients (1.6 sessions, 95% CI: 0.2 to 3.1). Conclusions: Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, this study suggests a relationship between expectation management and client retention in online CBT for depression, which has implications for professional practice. A larger prospective study would enable a more precise estimate of retention.
The public generally accepts that human remains are often disturbed during the course of redevelopment and that, legally, such remains have to be removed. However, it is clear that the public and other stakeholders also tend to hold a variety of opinions with regard to the acceptance oj handling human remains and of studying, retaining and/or disposing of them after they have been removed. Where funding or time constraints linked to reburial do not permit detailed study, we suggest that there is a need to define acceptable policies for the sampling of human remains to ensure that the resource is sustained for future study. This concept is particularly important in major urban centres where piecemeal excavation of original burial grounds is commonplace, with different portions of the same cemetery often excavated decades apart. Post-medieval burial grounds and crypts can pose particular problems because of the increased potential there for the survival of well-preserved human remains and associated artefacts. These assemblages can offer a wealth of information, particularly where augmented by parish records and/or epigraphic data. This paper considers best practice for optimising the research potential whilst recognising that sampling is an emotive issue both amongst practitioners studying human remains and the wider public. It advocates a consortium approach which recognises the value of specialist input to the planning and excavation phases of a project.