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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.
People who eat alone, which is becoming a new trend owing to the increasing proportion of one-person households in Korea, are more likely to become overweight and obese. Therefore, we investigated the association between having a dinner companion and BMI.
A linear regression model adjusted for covariates was utilized to examine the association between having a dinner companion and BMI. Subgroup analyses were performed, stratified by age group, gender, household income, educational level and occupation.
We used the data from the Korean Health and Nutrition Examination Survey VI. Our primary independent variable was having a dinner companion while the dependent variable was BMI.
In total, 13303 individuals, aged 20 years or over, were analysed.
Compared with the solo eating group, BMI was lower in the family dinner group (β=−0·39, P<0·01) but not in the non-family dinner group (β=−0·06, P=0·67). The subgroup analysis revealed that the difference in BMI was most significant in young generations, such as those aged 20–29 years (β=−1·15, P<0·01) and 30–39 years (β=−0·78, P=0·01).
We found that people who eat dinner alone are more likely to become overweight and obese than those who eat with their family. This association was stronger in males and young adults than their counterparts. Considering the increasing trends in the proportion of single-person households and solo eating, appropriate intervention is needed.
Given its diverse disease courses and symptom presentations, multiple phenotype dimensions with different biological underpinnings are expected with bipolar disorders (BPs). In this study, we aimed to identify lifetime BP psychopathology dimensions. We also explored the differing associations with bipolar I (BP-I) and bipolar II (BP-II) disorders.
We included a total of 307 subjects with BPs in the analysis. For the factor analysis, we chose six variables related to clinical courses, 29 indicators covering lifetime symptoms of mood episodes, and 6 specific comorbid conditions. To determine the relationships among the identified phenotypic dimensions and their effects on differentiating BP subtypes, we applied structural equation modeling.
We selected a six-factor solution through scree plot, Velicer's minimum average partial test, and face validity evaluations; the six factors were cyclicity, depression, atypical vegetative symptoms, elation, psychotic/irritable mania, and comorbidity. In the path analysis, five factors excluding atypical vegetative symptoms were associated with one another. Cyclicity, depression, and comorbidity had positive associations, and they correlated negatively with psychotic/irritable mania; elation showed positive correlations with cyclicity and psychotic/irritable mania. Depression, cyclicity, and comorbidity were stronger in BP-II than in BP-I, and they contributed significantly to the distinction between the two disorders.
We identified six phenotype dimensions; in addition to symptom features of manic and depressive episodes, various comorbidities and high cyclicity constructed separate dimensions. Except for atypical vegetative symptoms, all factors showed a complex interdependency and played roles in discriminating BP-II from BP-I.
The present study investigated changes in the trajectories of depressive symptoms in the elderly and attempted to identify risk factors that influence these changes according to gender.
All data were obtained from a subsample of subjects who participated in the Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing between 2006 and 2012; 3,667 individuals (1,566 men and 2,101 women) aged 60 years and older were included in the present study. A group-based trajectory model was employed to determine the appropriate number of groups and to observe changes in depressive symptoms according to research year. Following the trajectory analysis, a multinomial regression analysis was performed to examine depressive symptom-related risk factors that influenced membership in the different trajectory groups.
Significant gender differences were found in the trajectories of depressive symptoms among four groups (normal, mild depressed, worsening, and depressed) in men and five groups (normal, mild depressed, worsening, improving, and depressed) in women. Among the trajectory groups, physical health status such as chronic diseases, self-rated health (SRH), and somatic pain showed statistically significant differences in both genders. In addition, employment in men and social participation in women were associated with the trajectories.
The present study suggested that maintaining one's physical health status played an important role in preventing depressive symptoms and that employment in men and social participation in women were preventative against the development of depressive symptoms.
The National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke-Canadian Stroke Network (NINDS-CSN) 5-minute neuropsychology protocol consists of only verbal tasks, and is proposed as a brief screening method for vascular cognitive impairment. We evaluated its feasibility within two weeks after stroke and ability to predict the development of post-stroke dementia (PSD) at 3 months after stroke.
We prospectively enrolled subjects with ischemic stroke within seven days of symptom onset who were consecutively admitted to 12 university hospitals. Neuropsychological assessments using the NINDS-CSN 5-minute and 60-minute neuropsychology protocols were administered within two weeks and at 3 months after stroke onset, respectively. PSD was diagnosed with reference to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association statement, requiring deficits in at least two cognitive domains.
Of 620 patients, 512 (82.6%) were feasible for the NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol within two weeks after stroke. The incidence of PSD was 16.2% in 308 subjects who had completed follow-up at 3 months after stroke onset. The total score of the NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol differed significantly between those with and without PSD (4.0 ± 2.7, 7.4 ± 2.7, respectively; p < 0.01). A cut-off value of 6/7 showed reasonable discriminative power (sensitivity 0.82, specificity 0.67, AUC 0.74). The NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol score was a significant predictor for PSD (adjusted odds ratio 6.32, 95% CI 2.65–15.05).
The NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol is feasible to evaluate cognitive functions in patients with acute ischemic stroke. It might be a useful screening method for early identification of high-risk groups for PSD.
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.
M105 in the Leo I Group is a textbook example of a standard elliptical galaxy. It is only one of the few elliptical galaxies for which we can study their stellar halos using the resolved stars. It is an ideal target to study the structure and composition of stellar halos in elliptical galaxies. We present photometry and metallicity of the resolved stars in the inner and outer regions of M105. These provide strong evidence that there are two distinct stellar halos in this galaxy, a metal-poor (blue) halo and a metal-rich (red) halo. Then we compare them with those in other early-type galaxies and use the dual halo mode formation scenario to describe how massive galaxies formed.
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.
Cognitive impairments are common in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Despite its clinical importance, the development of dementia is still difficult to predict. In this study, we investigated the possible associations between non-motor symptoms and the risk of developing dementia within a 2-year observation period in PD.
A total of 80 patients with PD participated in this study. Nonmotor symptoms (the Nonmotor Symptoms Questionnaire), PD status (Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale), depression (Geriatric d Depression Scale or Montgomery-Asberg Depression Scale), stereopsis and severity of nonmotor symptoms (Non-motor symptoms scale) were assessed. Global cognitive function (Mini-Mental State Examination) were evaluated at baseline and 2 years later.
Presence of depression, vivid dreaming, REM sleep behavior disorders, hyposmia, abnormal stereopsis, non-smoking and postural instability/ gait disturbance phenotype were associated with a significantly more rapid decline of Mini-Mental State Examination. Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that depression (odds ratio=13.895), abnormal stereopsis (odds ratio=10.729), vivid dreaming (odds ratio=4.16), REM sleep behavior disorders (odds ratio=5.353) and hyposmia (odds ratio=4.911) were significant independent predictors of dementia risk within 2 years. Postural instability/ gait disturbance phenotype and age >62 years were also independent predictors of dementia risk (odd ratio=38.333, odds ratio=10.625).
We suggest that depression, vivid dreaming, REM sleep behavior disorders, hyposmia and abnormal stereopsis are closely associated with cognitive decline, and that presence of these nonmotor symptoms predict the subsequent development of Parkinson’s disease dementia.
The Clostridium-related poultry disease, necrotic enteritis (NE), causes substantial economic losses on a global scale. In the present study, a mixture of two plant-derived phytonutrients, Capsicum oleoresin and turmeric oleoresin (XT), was evaluated for its effects on local and systemic immune responses using a co-infection model of experimental NE in commercial broilers. Chickens were fed from hatch with a diet supplemented with XT, or with a non-supplemented control diet, and either uninfected or orally challenged with virulent Eimeria maxima oocysts at 14 d and Clostridium perfringens at 18 d of age. Parameters of protective immunity were as follows: (1) body weight; (2) gut lesions; (3) serum levels of C. perfringens α-toxin and NE B-like (NetB) toxin; (4) serum levels of antibodies to α-toxin and NetB toxin; (5) levels of gene transcripts encoding pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the intestine and spleen. Infected chickens fed the XT-supplemented diet had increased body weight and reduced gut lesion scores compared with infected birds given the non-supplemented diet. The XT-fed group also displayed decreased serum α-toxin levels and reduced intestinal IL-8, lipopolysaccharide-induced TNF-α factor (LITAF), IL-17A and IL-17F mRNA levels, while cytokine/chemokine levels in splenocytes increased in the XT-fed group, compared with the animals fed the control diet. In conclusion, the present study documents the molecular and cellular immune changes following dietary supplementation with extracts of Capsicum and turmeric that may be relevant to protective immunity against avian NE.
The effects of cinnamaldehyde (CINN) on in vitro parameters of immunity and in vivo protection against avian coccidiosis were evaluated. In vitro stimulation of chicken spleen lymphocytes with CINN (25–400 ng/ml) induced greater cell proliferation compared with the medium control (P < 0·001). CINN activated cultured macrophages to produce higher levels of NO at 1·2–5·0 μg/ml (P < 0·001), inhibited the growth of chicken tumour cells at 0·6–2·5 μg/ml (P < 0·001) and reduced the viability of Eimeriatenella parasites at 10 and 100 μg/ml (P < 0·05 and P < 0·001, respectively), compared with media controls. In chickens fed a diet supplemented with CINN at 14·4 mg/kg, the levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-15 and interferon-γ transcripts in intestinal lymphocytes were 2- to 47-fold higher (P < 0·001) compared with chickens given a non-supplemented diet. To determine the effect of CINN diets on avian coccidiosis, chickens were fed diets supplemented with CINN at 14·4 mg/kg (E. maxima or E. tenella) or 125 mg/kg (E. acervulina) from hatch for 24 d, and orally infected with 2·0 × 104 sporulated oocysts at age 14 d. CINN-fed chickens showed 16·5 and 41·6 % increased body-weight gains between 0–9 d post-infection (DPI) with E. acervulina or E. maxima, reduced E. acervulina oocyst shedding between 5–9 DPI and increased E. tenella-stimulated parasite antibody responses at 9 DPI compared with controls.
We successfully fabricated a-IGZO TFTs employing a Ti/Cu source/drain (S/D) and SiNx passivation in order to reduce the line-resistance, as compared to most oxide TFTs that use Mo (or TCO) and SiO2 for their S/D and passivation, respectively. Although passivated with SiNx, the TFT exhibits good transfer characteristics without a negative shift. However, the TFT employing a Mo S/D exhibited conductor-like characteristics when passivated with SiNx. Our investigation suggests that the IGZO oxygen vacancies found in the Ti/Cu S/D are controlled, resulting in low concentrations, and so prevent the SiNx-passivated TFT from having a negative shift.
Nitrogen-doped titania with a unique two-level hierarchical structure and visible light photocatalytic activity is reported. Thus, nitrogen-doped titanium oxide microrods decorated with N-doped titanium oxide nanosheets were synthesized by a hydrothermal reaction in NH4OH and postcalcination. During the calcination, the in situ incorporation of nitrogen atoms of ammonium ion into titania lattice was accompanied by the structural evolution from titanate to anatase titania. The morphological and structural evolution was monitored by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis/differential thermal analysis (TGA/DTA), Raman, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), x-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and adsorption isotherms. The N-doping brought visible light absorption, and the material exhibited high photocatalytic activity in the decomposition of Orange II under visible light irradiation (λ ≥ 400 nm), especially when it was loaded with 1 wt% Pt as a cocatalyst.
Single-crystalline rock-salt PbS nanowires (NWs) were synthesized using three different routes; the solvothermal, chemical vapor transport, and gas-phase substitution reaction of pre-grown CdS NWs. They were uniformly grown with the  or ,  direction in a controlled manner. In the solvothermal growth, the oriented attachment of the octylamine (OA) ligands enables the NWs to be produced with a controlled morphology and growth direction. As the concentration of OA increases, the growth direction evolves from the  to the higher surface-energy  and  directions. In the synthesis involving chemical vapor transport and the substitution reaction, the use of a lower growth temperature causes the higher surface-energy growth direction to change from  to . We fabricated field effect transistors using single PbS NW, which showed intrinsic p-type semiconductor characteristics for all three routes. For the PbS NW with a thinner oxide layer, the carrier mobility was measured to be as high as 10 cm2V−1s−1.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signalling via tyrosine kinase B receptors may play an important role in ovarian development and function. It has been reported that metformin elevates the activity of Tyrosine kinase receptors and may amplify BDNF signalling. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of BDNF during in vitro maturation (IVM) and/or in vitro culture (IVC) (Experiment 1), and to evaluate the collaborative effect of BDNF and metformin treatment on the developmental competence of bovine in vitro fertilized (IVF) embryos (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, BDNF, which was added to our previously established IVM systems, significantly increased the proportions of MII oocytes at both 10 ng/ml (86.7%) and 100 ng/ml (85.4%) compared with the control (64.0%). However, there was no statistically significant difference in blastocyst development between the control or BDNF-supplemented groups. In Experiment 2, in order to investigate the effect of BDNF (10 ng/ml) and/or metformin (10−5 M) per se, TCM-199 without serum and hormones was used as the control IVM medium. The BDNF (48.3%) and BDNF plus metformin (56.5%) significantly enhanced the proportions of MII oocytes compared with the control (34.4%). Although, BDNF or metformin alone had no effect in embryo development, BDNF plus metformin significantly improved early embryo development to the 8–16-cell stage compared with the control (16.5 vs. 5.5%). In conclusion, the combination of BDNF and metformin may have a collaborative effect during the IVM period. These results could further contribute to the establishment of a more efficient bovine in vitro embryo production system.
Background: This study aims to establish the incidence rates of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to understand the relations between illiteracy and AD in the Korean Yonchon survey cohort.
Methods: A community-based, dementia-free cohort of 966 people aged 65 years and older was followed up for an average of 5.4 ± 1.60 years to detect incident AD cases using a two-phase procedure. Age-specific incidence rates were calculated using a person-years approach with Poisson distribution confidence intervals. Data were analyzed using the Cox proportional hazards model to find the hazard ratio of illiteracy.
Results: The participating percentage of the survivors was 86.4% and 74 subjects were diagnosed with AD. Incidence rates per 1000 person-years were 20.99 (95% CI 16.48 to 26.35) for AD. The hazard ratio of illiteracy was 1.78 (95% CI 1.08 to 2.93) adjusted for age, sex, educational level. AD developed more rapidly with aging in the illiterate group than in the literate group.
Conclusions: Illiteracy is associated with a higher risk of AD and the risk increases with age.
To improve the IPD reliability of NAND flash memory, plasma oxidation was introduced as the post-treatment process of ONO (Oxide/Nitride/Oxide) IPD. The LP-CVD SiO2 modified by plasma oxidation showed the excellent electrical properties. e.g., low leakage current, high breakdown voltage etc. By the analysis of Tof-SIMS and XRR, we could observe the several changes of physical characteristics such as the reduction of impurities (H, N etc.), the increase of oxide density, and the improvement of oxide surface roughness. We found out the appropriate treatment condition to be able to densify oxide layer without the addition of ONO Equivalent Oxide Thickness (EOT). The LP-CVD SiO2 prepared by plasma oxidation was used for the ONO IPD of 50nm NAND flash device and also compared with the conventional LP-CVD SiO2 in the aspect of the IPD reliability.
To determine the effectiveness of infection control strategies to reduce transmission of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), a cohort study was performed in a university hospital. Contact precautions alone were not effective in reducing transmission of VRE. Strict isolation of affected patients in private rooms, in addition to use of contact precautions, showed a significantly improved reduction in the transmission of VRE.