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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.
This paper reports on an ultra-wideband low-noise distributed amplifier (LNDA) in a transferred-substrate InP double heterojunction bipolar transistor (DHBT) technology which exhibits a uniform low-noise characteristic over a large frequency range. To obtain very high bandwidth, a distributed architecture has been chosen with cascode unit gain cells. Each unit cell consists of two cascode-connected transistors with 500 nm emitter length and ft/fmax of ~360/492 GHz, respectively. Due to optimum line-impedance matching, low common-base transistor capacitance, and low collector-current operation, the circuit exhibits a low-noise figure (NF) over a broad frequency range. A 3-dB bandwidth from 40 to 185 GHz is measured, with an NF of 8 dB within the frequency range between 75 and 105 GHz. Moreover, this circuit demonstrates the widest 3-dB bandwidth operation among all reported single-stage amplifiers with a cascode configuration. Additionally, this work has proposed that the noise sources of the InP DHBTs are largely uncorrelated. As a result, a reliable prediction can be done for the NF of ultra-wideband circuits beyond the frequency range of the measurement equipment.
Laboratory identification of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is a key step in controlling its spread. Our survey showed that most Veterans Affairs laboratories follow VA guidelines for initial CRE identification, whereas 55.0% use PCR to confirm carbapenemase production. Most respondents were knowledgeable about CRE guidelines. Barriers included staffing, training, and financial resources.
We present ALMA band 7 data of the extreme OH/IR star, OH 26.5+0.6. In addition to lines of CO and its isotopologues, the circumstellar envelope also exhibits a number of emission lines due to metal-containing molecules, e.g., NaCl and KCl. A lack of C18O is expected, but a non-detection of C17O is puzzling given the strengths of H217O in Herschel spectra of the star. However, a line associated with Si17O is detected. We also report a tentative detection of a gas-phase emission line of MgS. The ALMA spectrum of this object reveals intriguing features which may be used to investigate chemical processes and dust formation during a high mass-loss phase.
The chemistry within the outflow of an AGB star is determined by its elemental C/O abundance ratio. Thanks to the advent of high angular resolution observations, it is clear that most outflows do not have a smooth density distribution, but are inhomogeneous or “clumpy”. We have developed a chemical model that takes into account the effect of a clumpy outflow on its gas-phase chemistry by using a theoretical porosity formalism. The clumpiness of the model increases the inner wind abundances of all so-called unexpected species, i.e. species that are not predicted to be present assuming an initial thermodynamic equilibrium chemistry. By applying the model to the distribution of cyanopolyynes and hydrocarbon radicals within the outflow of IRC+10216, we find that the chemistry traces the underlying density distribution.
We explore the circumstellar effects on the Li and Ca abundances determination in a complete sample of massive Galactic AGB stars. The Li abundance is an indicator of the hot bottom burning (HBB) activation, while the total Ca abundance could be affected by overproduction of the short-lived radionuclide 41Ca by the s-process. Li abundances were previously studied with hydrostatic models, while Ca abundances are determined here for the first time. The pseudo-dynamical abundances of Li and Ca are very similar to the hydrostatic ones, indicating that circumstellar effects are almost negligible. The new Li abundances confirm the (super-)Li-rich character of the sample Li-detected stars, supporting the HBB activation in massive Galactic AGB stars. Most sample stars display nearly solar Ca abundances that are consistent with predictions from the s-process nucleosynthesis models. A minority of the sample stars show a significant Ca depletion. Possible reasons for their (unexpected) low Ca content are given.
We determine Zr and Nb elemental abundances in barium stars to probe the operation temperature of the s-process that occurred in the companion asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. Along with Zr and Nb, we derive the abundances of a large number of heavy elements. They provide constraints on the s-process operation temperature and therefore on the s-process neutron source. The results are then compared with stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis models. We compare the nucleosynthetic profile of the present sample stars with those of CEMP-s, CEMP-rs and CEMP-r stars. One barium star of our sample is potentially identified as the highest-metallicity CEMP-rs star yet discovered.
Background:ATP8A2 mutations have only recently been associated with human disease. We present the clinical features from the largest cohort of patients with this disorder reported to date. Methods: An observational study of 9 unreported and 2 previously reported patients with biallelic ATP8A2 mutations was carried out at multiple centres. Results: The mean age of the cohort was 9.4 years old (range: 2.5-28 yrs). All patients demonstrated developmental delay, severe hypotonia and movement disorders: chorea/choreoathetosis (100%), dystonia (27%) or facial dyskinesia (18%). Hypotonia was apparent at birth (70%) or before 6 months old (100%). Optic atrophy was observed in 75% of patients who had a funduscopic examination. MRI of the brain was normal for most patients with a small proportion showing mild cortical atrophy (30%), delayed myelination (20%) and/or hypoplastic optic nerves (20%). Epilepsy was seen in two older patients. Conclusions:ATP8A2 gene mutations have emerged as a cause of a novel phenotype characterized by developmental delay, severe hypotonia and hyperkinetic movement disorders. Optic atrophy is common and may only become apparent in the first few years of life, necessitating repeat ophthalmologic evaluation. Early recognition of the cardinal features of this condition will facilitate diagnosis of this disorder.
A far-infrared observatory such as the SPace Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics, with its unprecedented spectroscopic sensitivity, would unveil the role of feedback in galaxy evolution during the last ~10 Gyr of the Universe (z = 1.5–2), through the use of far- and mid-infrared molecular and ionic fine structure lines that trace outflowing and infalling gas. Outflowing gas is identified in the far-infrared through P-Cygni line shapes and absorption blueshifted wings in molecular lines with high dipolar moments, and through emission line wings of fine-structure lines of ionised gas. We quantify the detectability of galaxy-scale massive molecular and ionised outflows as a function of redshift in AGN-dominated, starburst-dominated, and main-sequence galaxies, explore the detectability of metal-rich inflows in the local Universe, and describe the most significant synergies with other current and future observatories that will measure feedback in galaxies via complementary tracers at other wavelengths.
Healthy adults (n 30) participated in a placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blinded, cross-over study consisting of two 28 d treatments (β2-1 fructan or maltodextrin; 3×5 g/d) separated by a 14-d washout. Subjects provided 1 d faecal collections at days 0 and 28 of each treatment. The ability of faecal bacteria to metabolise β2-1 fructan was common; eighty-seven species (thirty genera, and four phyla) were isolated using anaerobic medium containing β2-1 fructan as the sole carbohydrate source. β2-1 fructan altered the faecal community as determined through analysis of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms and 16S rRNA genes. Supplementation with β2-1 fructan reduced faecal community richness, and two patterns of community change were observed. In most subjects, β2-1 fructan reduced the content of phylotypes aligning within the Bacteroides, whereas increasing those aligning within bifidobacteria, Faecalibacterium and the family Lachnospiraceae. In the remaining subjects, supplementation increased the abundance of Bacteroidetes and to a lesser extent bifidobacteria, accompanied by decreases within the Faecalibacterium and family Lachnospiraceae. β2-1 Fructan had no impact on the metagenome or glycoside hydrolase profiles in faeces from four subjects. Few relationships were found between the faecal bacterial community and various host parameters; Bacteroidetes content correlated with faecal propionate, subjects whose faecal community contained higher Bacteroidetes produced more caproic acid independent of treatment, and subjects having lower faecal Bacteroidetes exhibited increased concentrations of serum lipopolysaccharide and lipopolysaccharide binding protein independent of treatment. We found no evidence to support a defined health benefit for the use of β2-1 fructans in healthy subjects.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
Pertussis is a worldwide acute respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Despite high vaccine coverage, the bacterium continues to circulate in populations and is still one of the most common vaccine-preventable diseases. In Brazil, pertussis incidence has presented a significant decrease since 1990 but since 2011 a sudden increase in incidence has been observed. Thus, the aim of this study was to perform a molecular epidemiological characterization of B. pertussis strains isolated in the Central-Western region (specifically in Distrito Federal) of Brazil from August 2012 to August 2014. During this period, 92 B. pertussis strains were isolated from the outbreaks. All strains were characterized by serotyping and XbaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profiles. From August to December 2012, the most prevalent serotype observed was 1,3 (13/17). During 2013 the prevalence of serotype 1,3 decreased (13/30) and from January 2014 to August 2014 the most prevalent serotype was 1,2 (33/45). Fourteen PFGE profiles were identified. Of these, BP-XbaI0039 prevalence increased from 3/17 in 2012 to 10/30 in 2013, and 35/45 in 2014. These results evidence the selection of a specific genetic profile during this period, suggesting the occurrence of a bacterial genomic profile with high circulation potential.
This study aimed to assess the contribution of hosts characteristics (rodents and marsupials) in the organization of ectoparasite communities present in woodland patches in western central Brazil. We verified the effect of host species, sex, body mass and vertical strata in addition to the role of seasonality on the ectoparasite composition, richness and abundance. The total sampling effort was 22 032 trap-nights equally distributed in 54 woodland patches. Variance partition and principal coordinate analysis were used to verify the existence of significant relationships between response variables and predictors. As expected, host species was the most important variable in ectoparasite community assembly. The composition, richness and abundance of mites and lice were highly influenced by host species, although higher for mites than for lice. Host body mass had a determining role on the richness and abundance of tick species. Vertical stratification and seasonality had weak influence, while the sex of the host had no influence on the organization of these communities. The results are closely related to the evolutionary characteristics of the species involved, as well as with local environmental characteristics of the study area.
Control of fire was a hallmark of developing human cognition and an essential technology for the colonisation of cooler latitudes. In Europe, the earliest evidence comes from recent work at the site of Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar in south-eastern Spain. Charred and calcined bone and thermally altered chert were recovered from a deep, 0.8-million-year-old sedimentary deposit. A combination of analyses indicated that these had been heated to 400–600°C, compatible with burning. Inspection of the sediment and hydroxyapatite also suggests combustion and degradation of the bone. The results provide new insight into Early Palaeolithic use of fire and its significance for human evolution.
β2-1 Fructans are purported to improve health by stimulating growth of colonic bifidobacteria, increasing host resistance to pathogens and stimulating the immune system. However, in healthy adults, the benefits of supplementation remain undefined. Adults (thirteen men, seventeen women) participated in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomised, cross-over study consisting of two 28-d treatments separated by a 14-d washout period. Subjects’ regular diets were supplemented with β2-1 fructan or placebo (maltodextrin) at 3×5 g/d. Fasting blood and 1-d faecal collections were obtained at the beginning and at the end of each phase. Blood was analysed for clinical, biochemical and immunological variables. Determinations of well-being and general health, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, regularity, faecal SCFA content, residual faecal β2-1 fructans and faecal bifidobacteria content were undertaken. β2-1 Fructan supplementation had no effect on blood lipid or cholesterol concentrations or on circulating lymphocyte and macrophage numbers, but significantly increased serum lipopolysaccharide, faecal SCFA, faecal bifidobacteria and indigestion. With respect to immune function, β2-1 fructan supplementation increased serum IL-4, circulating percentages of CD282+/TLR2+ myeloid dendritic cells and ex vivo responsiveness to a toll-like receptor 2 agonist. β2-1 Fructans also decreased serum IL-10, but did not affect C-reactive protein or serum/faecal Ig concentrations. No differences in host well-being were associated with either treatment, although the self-reported incidence of GI symptoms and headaches increased during the β2-1 fructan phase. Although β2-1 fructan supplementation increased faecal bifidobacteria, this change was not directly related to any of the determined host parameters.
The contribution of ‘environment’ has been investigated across diverse and multiple domains related to health. However, in the context of large-scale genomic studies the focus has been on obtaining individual-level endophenotypes with environment left for future decomposition. Geo-social research has indicated that environment-level variables can be reduced, and these composites can then be used with other variables as intuitive, precise representations of environment in research.
Using a large community sample (N = 9498) from the Philadelphia area, participant addresses were linked to 2010 census and crime data. These were then factor analyzed (exploratory factor analysis; EFA) to arrive at social and criminal dimensions of participants' environments. These were used to calculate environment-level scores, which were merged with individual-level variables. We estimated an exploratory multilevel structural equation model (MSEM) exploring associations among environment- and individual-level variables in diverse communities.
The EFAs revealed that census data was best represented by two factors, one socioeconomic status and one household/language. Crime data was best represented by a single crime factor. The MSEM variables had good fit (e.g. comparative fit index = 0.98), and revealed that environment had the largest association with neurocognitive performance (β = 0.41, p < 0.0005), followed by parent education (β = 0.23, p < 0.0005).
Environment-level variables can be combined to create factor scores or composites for use in larger statistical models. Our results are consistent with literature indicating that individual-level socio-demographic characteristics (e.g. race and gender) and aspects of familial social capital (e.g. parental education) have statistical relationships with neurocognitive performance.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) has consistently been linked with adverse outcomes including substance use disorders and adult sexual revictimization. Adult sexual victimization itself has been linked with psychopathology but has predominately been studied in women. The current investigation examines the impact of CM and co-occurring psychopathology on adult sexual victimization in men and women, replicating findings in three distinct samples.
We investigated the association between continuous CM factor scores and adult sexual victimization in the Childhood Trauma Study (CTS) sample (N = 2564). We also examined the unique relationship between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and adult sexual victimization while adjusting for co-occurring substance dependence and psychopathology. We replicated these analyses in two additional samples: the Comorbidity and Trauma Study (CATS; N = 1981) and the Australian Twin-Family Study of Alcohol Use Disorders (OZ-ALC; N = 1537).
Analyses revealed a significant association with CM factor scores and adult sexual victimization for both men and women across all three samples. The CSA factor score was strongly associated with adult sexual victimization after adjusting for substance dependence and psychopathology; higher odds ratios were observed in men (than women) consistently across the three samples.
A continuous measure of CSA is independently associated with adult sexual trauma risk across samples in models that included commonly associated substance dependence and psychopathology as covariates. The strength of the association between this CSA measure and adult sexual victimization is higher in magnitude for men than women, pointing to the need for further investigation of sexual victimization in male community samples.
Genetic influences contribute significantly to co-morbidity between conduct disorder and substance use disorders. Estimating the extent of overlap can assist in the development of phenotypes for genomic analyses.
Multivariate quantitative genetic analyses were conducted using data from 9577 individuals, including 3982 complete twin pairs and 1613 individuals whose co-twin was not interviewed (aged 24–37 years) from two Australian twin samples. Analyses examined the genetic correlation between alcohol dependence, nicotine dependence and cannabis abuse/dependence and the extent to which the correlations were attributable to genetic influences shared with conduct disorder.
Additive genetic (a2 = 0.48–0.65) and non-shared environmental factors explained variance in substance use disorders. Familial effects on conduct disorder were due to additive genetic (a2 = 0.39) and shared environmental (c2 = 0.15) factors. All substance use disorders were influenced by shared genetic factors (rg = 0.38–0.56), with all genetic overlap between substances attributable to genetic influences shared with conduct disorder. Genes influencing individual substance use disorders were also significant, explaining 40–73% of the genetic variance per substance.
Among substance users in this sample, the well-documented clinical co-morbidity between conduct disorder and substance use disorders is primarily attributable to shared genetic liability. Interventions targeted at generally reducing deviant behaviors may address the risk posed by this shared genetic liability. However, there is also evidence for genetic and environmental influences specific to each substance. The identification of these substance-specific risk factors (as well as potential protective factors) is critical to the future development of targeted treatment protocols.