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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.
We present a broad study of linear, clustered, noble gas puffs irradiated with the frequency doubled (527 nm) Titan laser at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Pure Ar, Kr, and Xe clustered gas puffs, as well as two mixed-gas puffs consisting of KrAr and XeKrAr gases, make up the targets. Characterization experiments to determine gas-puff density show that varying the experimental parameter gas-delay timing (the delay between gas puff initialization and laser-gas-puff interaction) provides a simple control over the gas-puff density. X-ray emission (>1.4 keV) is studied as a function of gas composition, density, and delay timing. Xe gas puffs produce the strongest peak radiation in the several keV spectral region. The emitted radiation was found to be anisotropic, with smaller X-ray flux observed in the direction perpendicular to both laser beam propagation and polarization directions. The degree of anisotropy is independent of gas target type but increases with photon energy. X-ray spectroscopic measurements estimate plasma parameters and highlight their difference with previous studies. Electron beams with energy in excess of 72 keV are present in the noble gas-puff plasmas and results indicate that Ar plays a key role in their production. A drastic increase in harder X-ray emissions (X-ray flash effect) and multi-MeV electron-beam generation from Xe gas-puff plasma occurred when the laser beam was focused on the front edge of the linear gas puff.
This study aimed to determine the relationship between laryngopharyngeal reflux and dietary modification.
A systematic review was conducted. The data sources for the study were PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library and Web of Science. Articles were independently extracted by two authors according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. The outcome focus was laryngopharyngeal reflux improvement through diet or dietary behaviour.
Of the 372 studies identified, 7 met our inclusion criteria. In these seven studies, laryngopharyngeal reflux symptoms improved following dietary modifications. However, the studies did not present the independent effect of each dietary factor on laryngopharyngeal reflux. Moreover, only one of the seven studies had a randomised controlled study design.
The reference studies of dietary modification for laryngopharyngeal reflux patients are not sufficient to provide recommendations.
In June 2012, the Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW; Gaborone, Botswana) initiated a national Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system in response to significant morbidity and mortality associated with prehospital emergencies. The MOHW requested external expertise to train its developing workforce. Simulation-based training was planned to equip these health care providers with clinical knowledge, procedural skills, and communication techniques.
The objective of this study was to assess the educational needs of the pioneer Botswana MOHW EMS providers based on retrospective EMS logbook review and EMS provider feedback to guide development of a novel educational curriculum.
Data were abstracted from a representative sample of the Gaborone, Botswana MOHW EMS response log from 2013-2014 and were quantified into the five most common call types for both adults and children. Informal focus groups with health professionals and EMS staff, as well as surveys, were used to rank common response call types and self-perceived educational needs.
Based on 1,506 calls, the most common adult response calls were for obstetric emergencies, altered mental status, gastrointestinal/abdominal pain, trauma, gynecological emergencies, and cardiovascular and respiratory distress-related emergencies. The most common pediatric response calls were for respiratory distress, gastrointestinal complaints/dehydration, trauma and musculoskeletal injuries, newborn delivery, seizures, and toxic ingestion/exposure. The EMS providers identified these same chief complaints as priorities for training using the qualitative approach. A locally relevant, simulation-based curriculum for the Botswana MOHW EMS system was developed and implemented based on these data.
: Trauma, respiratory distress, gastrointestinal complaints, and puerperal/perinatal emergencies were common conditions for all age groups. Other age-specific conditions were also identified as educational needs based on epidemiologic data and provider feedback. This needs assessment may be useful when designing locally relevant EMS curricula in other low-income and middle-income countries.GlombNW, KosokoAA, DoughtyCB, RusMC, ShahMI, CoxM, GalapiC, ParkesPS, KumarS, LabaB.Needs Assessment for Simulation Training for Prehospital Providers in Botswana. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(6):621–626.
During the summer of 2016, the Hawaii Department of Health responded to the second-largest domestic foodborne hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreak in the post-vaccine era. The epidemiological investigation included case finding and investigation, sequencing of RNA positive clinical specimens, product trace-back and virologic testing and sequencing of HAV RNA from the product. Additionally, an online survey open to all Hawaii residents was conducted to estimate baseline commercial food consumption. We identified 292 confirmed HAV cases, of whom 11 (4%) were possible secondary cases. Seventy-four (25%) were hospitalised and there were two deaths. Among all cases, 94% reported eating at Oahu or Kauai Island branches of Restaurant Chain A, with 86% of those cases reporting raw scallop consumption. In contrast, a food consumption survey conducted during the outbreak indicated 25% of Oahu residents patronised Restaurant Chain A in the 7 weeks before the survey. Product trace-back revealed a single distributor that supplied scallops imported from the Philippines to Restaurant Chain A. Recovery, amplification and sequence comparison of HAV recovered from scallops revealed viral sequences matching those from case-patients. Removal of product from implicated restaurants and vaccination of those potentially exposed led to the cessation of the outbreak. This outbreak further highlights the need for improved imported food safety.
In-spiraling supermassive black holes should emit gravitational waves, which would produce characteristic distortions in the time of arrival residuals from millisecond pulsars. Multiple national and regional consortia have constructed pulsar timing arrays by precise timing of different sets of millisecond pulsars. An essential aspect of precision timing is the transfer of the times of arrival to a (quasi-)inertial frame, conventionally the solar system barycenter. The barycenter is determined from the knowledge of the planetary masses and orbits, which has been refined over the past 50 years by multiple spacecraft. Within the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), uncertainties on the solar system barycenter are emerging as an important element of the NANOGrav noise budget. We describe what is known about the solar system barycenter, touch upon how uncertainties in it affect gravitational wave studies with pulsar timing arrays, and consider future trends in spacecraft navigation.
This study aimed to identify the effect of lateral neck dissection on voice change in thyroidectomised patients.
Medical records from 264 patients who underwent thyroidectomy with (n = 65) or without (n = 199) lateral neck dissection were reviewed. Clinical and voice evaluation data were compared between the two groups.
Patients who underwent surgery that included lateral neck dissection had lower fundamental frequencies and speaking fundamental frequencies. They also had a higher incidence of asymmetric mucosal wave and vocal fold oedema on videostroboscopy during the first month after surgery, with the incidence of vocal fold oedema remaining significantly higher at three months. Self-assessed voice quality scores were significantly higher in lateral neck dissection patients at both one and three months after surgery.
In thyroidectomised patients, lateral neck dissection lowers the vocal pitch in the initial period after surgery and induces vocal fold oedema that persists for several months. Although most objective parameters improved within a month, subjective symptoms lasted for longer.
Noroviruses (NoVs) are major causal agents of acute gastroenteritis in humans. NoV GII.4 is the predominant genotype globally. However, uncommon and minor types of NoVs are consistently detected and some have been shown to dominate over GII.4. Therefore, the prevalence of dominant and uncommon NoVs makes the identification of these viruses important for the prediction and prevention of pandemics. In this study, the full-genome sequence of a NoV (strain JW) detected in Korea was extensively characterized. The full-length genome was 7510 nucleotides long, and phylogenetic analysis based on the whole-genome sequences, including open reading frame (ORF)1, ORF2, and ORF3, indicated that it belonged to the GII.21 genotype. Strain JW showed maximum identity with strain YO284; however, comparison of the amino acid sequence of ORF2, which functions as an antigen, showed substitutions in several amino acids. GII.21 is not a prevalent epidemiological agent of acute gastroenteritis in humans, but it is consistently found in gastroenteritis patients from several countries. The present study provides the first full-genome sequence analysis of NoV GII.21 isolated from a patient in Korea. Our findings provide not only valuable genome information but also data for epidemiology studies, epidemic prevention, and vaccine development strategies.
Young children are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition as nutrition transition progresses. The present study aimed to document the prevalence, coexistence and correlates of nutritional status (stunting, overweight/obesity and anaemia) in Samoan children aged 24–59 months.
A cross-sectional community-based survey. Height and weight were used to determine prevalence of stunting (height-for-age Z-score <−2) and overweight/obesity (BMI-for-age Z-score >+2) based on WHO growth standards. Anaemia was determined using an AimStrip Hemoglobin test system (Hb <110 g/l).
Ten villages on the Samoan island of Upolu.
Mother–child pairs (n 305) recruited using convenience sampling.
Moderate or severe stunting was apparent in 20·3 % of children, 16·1 % were overweight/obese and 34·1 % were anaemic. Among the overweight/obese children, 28·6 % were also stunted and 42·9 % anaemic, indicating dual burden of malnutrition. Stunting was significantly less likely among girls (OR=0·41; 95 % CI 0·21, 0·79, P<0·01) than boys. Overweight/obesity was associated with higher family socio-economic status and decreased sugar intake (OR per 10 g/d=0·89, 95 % CI 0·80, 0·99, P=0·032). The odds of anaemia decreased with age and anaemia was more likely in children with an anaemic mother (OR=2·20; 95 % CI 1·22, 3·98, P=0·007). No child, maternal or household characteristic was associated with more than one of the nutritional status outcomes, highlighting the need for condition-specific interventions in this age group.
The observed prevalences of stunting, overweight/obesity and anaemia suggest that it is critical to invest in nutrition and develop health programmes targeting early childhood growth and development in Samoa.
Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production has been very rare in serotype K1 Klebsiella pneumoniae ST23 strains, which are well-known invasive community strains. Among 92 ESBL-producing strains identified in 218 isolates from nine Asian countries, serotype K1 K. pneumoniae strains were screened. Two ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates from Singapore and Indonesia were determined to be serotype K1 and ST23. Their plasmids, which contain CTX-M-15 genes, are transferable rendering the effective transfer of ESBL resistance plasmids to other organisms.
While it is customary to use solid samples for measuring the 14C/12C ratio, it is sometimes necessary to handle liquid or gas samples. Motivated by a scientific purpose to count radiocarbon yields in deuterated acetone irradiated with energetic neutrons, we developed a new combustion system to treat liquid or gas samples. In contrast with the typical combustion system using CuO for solid samples, the new combustion system uses high-purity O2 (99.999%) gas. As an initial investigation, we combusted deuterated acetone (acetone-d6, certified 100.0 atm % D) to make CO2 under the ambient O2 pressure. The resulting CO2 gas then went through the reduction process to form graphite for further accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurement.
We have observed A14C concentrations in the northern hemisphere temperate region in the bomb pulse period, using cross-dated tree ring samples. The tree-ring samples were taken from one 70-year-old and two 50-year-old red pines (Pinus densiflora) on Mt Chiak, Korea and from a 50-year-old red pine (Pinus densiflora) on Mt Kyeryong, Korea. Twenty-two tree-ring samples from four red pines ranging from 1950 to 2000 AD were pretreated to obtain holo-cellulose, combusted to CO2 by an element analyzer (EA) and converted to graphite for δ14C measurement using the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facility at Seoul National University. Our results for δ14C showed good agreement with those measured by other researchers at similar latitudes. The observed steady decrease of δ14C from 1965 to 2000 AD is described by a single exponential function with a lifetime τ = 15.99 ± 0.43 yr. This lifetime is similar to that of the high-latitude region in Europe.
We present recent observation results of Sgr A* at millimeter obtained with VLBI arrays in Korea and Japan.
7 mm monitoring of Sgr A* is part of our AGN large project. The results at 7 epochs during 2013-2014, including high resolution maps, flux density and two-dimensional size measurements are presented. The source shows no significant variation in flux and structure related to the G2 encounter in 2014. According to recent MHD simulations by kawashima et al., flux and magnetic field energy can be expected to increase several years after the encounter; We will keep our monitoring in order to test this prediction.
Astrometric observations of Sgr A* were performed in 2015 at 7 and 3.5 millimeter simultaneously. Source-frequency phase referencing was applied and a combined ”core-shift” of Sgr A* and a nearby calibrator was measured. Future observations and analysis are necessary to determine the core-shift in each source.
This study evaluated whether primary tumour characteristics are associated with specific features of metastatic lymph nodes in papillary thyroid carcinoma patients.
A retrospective review of 411 patients with pathologically diagnosed cervical lymph node metastasis was conducted.
A metastatic lymph node focus size of at least 2 mm was independently associated with a primary tumour size of at least 1 cm (hazard ratio 1.962) and with male sex (hazard ratio 1.947). A number of at least five lymph node metastases was independently associated with a primary tumour size of at least 1 cm (hazard ratio 2.863), extrathyroidal extension (hazard ratio 1.737) and male sex (hazard ratio 1.689). Extranodal extension was independently associated with a primary tumour size of at least 1 cm (hazard ratio 2.288), extrathyroidal extension (2.201) and male sex (hazard ratio 1.733).
Primary papillary thyroid carcinoma characteristics are related to the pathological features of lymph node metastases.
Influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 became the predominant circulating strain in the United States during the 2013–2014 influenza season. Little is known about the epidemiology of severe influenza during this season.
A retrospective cohort study of severely ill patients with influenza infection in intensive care units in 33 US hospitals from September 1, 2013, through April 1, 2014, was conducted to determine risk factors for mortality present on intensive care unit admission and to describe patient characteristics, spectrum of disease, management, and outcomes.
A total of 444 adults and 63 children were admitted to an intensive care unit in a study hospital; 93 adults (20.9%) and 4 children (6.3%) died. By logistic regression analysis, the following factors were significantly associated with mortality among adult patients: older age (>65 years, odds ratio, 3.1 [95% CI, 1.4–6.9], P=.006 and 50–64 years, 2.5 [1.3–4.9], P=.007; reference age 18–49 years), male sex (1.9 [1.1–3.3], P=.031), history of malignant tumor with chemotherapy administered within the prior 6 months (12.1 [3.9–37.0], P<.001), and a higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score (for each increase by 1 in score, 1.3 [1.2–1.4], P<.001).
Risk factors for death among US patients with severe influenza during the 2013–2014 season, when influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 was the predominant circulating strain type, shifted in the first postpandemic season in which it predominated toward those of a more typical epidemic influenza season.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1251–1260
Plasmas are ubiquitous in nature, surround our local geospace environment, and permeate the universe. Plasma phenomena in space give rise to energetic particles, the aurora, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, as well as many energetic phenomena in interstellar space. Although plasmas can be studied in laboratory settings, it is often difficult, if not impossible, to replicate the conditions (density, temperature, magnetic and electric fields, etc.) of space. Single-point space missions too numerous to list have described many properties of near-Earth and heliospheric plasmas as measured both in situ and remotely (see http://www.nasa.gov/missions/#.U1mcVmeweRY for a list of NASA-related missions). However, a full description of our plasma environment requires three-dimensional spatial measurements. Cluster is the first, and until data begin flowing from the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS), the only mission designed to describe the three-dimensional spatial structure of plasma phenomena in geospace. In this paper, we concentrate on some of the many plasma phenomena that have been studied using data from Cluster. To date, there have been more than 2000 refereed papers published using Cluster data but in this paper we will, of necessity, refer to only a small fraction of the published work. We have focused on a few basic plasma phenomena, but, for example, have not dealt with most of the vast body of work describing dynamical phenomena in Earth's magnetosphere, including the dynamics of current sheets in Earth's magnetotail and the morphology of the dayside high latitude cusp. Several review articles and special publications are available that describe aspects of that research in detail and interested readers are referred to them (see for example, Escoubet et al. 2005Multiscale Coupling of Sun-Earth Processes, p. 459, Keith et al. 2005Sur. Geophys.26, 307–339, Paschmann et al. 2005Outer Magnetospheric Boundaries: Cluster Results, Space Sciences Series of ISSI. Berlin: Springer, Goldstein et al. 2006Adv. Space Res.38, 21–36, Taylor et al. 2010The Cluster Mission: Space Plasma in Three Dimensions, Springer, pp. 309–330 and Escoubet et al. 2013Ann. Geophys.31, 1045–1059).