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A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
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.
The foreign-born population in the United States has reached new heights, and experts predict that the country will be “majority minority” by 2042, possibly earlier. Despite its growing ethnic, racial, national, and other forms of diversity, the fundamental location of Blackness at the bottom of the pyramid of structural racism endures. In attempts to overcome the real and perceived tensions that characterize relationships between immigrants and African Americans, efforts to create space for interpersonal connection and shared structural analysis have proliferated in organizations across the country. Drawing from seventy-five interviews with individuals leading these initiatives and the review of over fifty different pedagogical resources they have developed and used, this article presents a classification and assessment of these programs. We consider these programs using an anti-racist, African Americanist framework reflected in Steinberg’s “standpoint of [the] black figure, crouched on the ground as others pluck fruit off the tree of opportunity” (2005, p. 43), and analyze their successes and shortcomings. Successes include the creation of spaces for interaction across difference and the building of a shared analysis. We find evidence of transformative effects at the intra- and interpersonal levels. The greatest limitations include immigrant-centricity in relationship-building efforts and a reluctance to engage immigrants in conversation about their relationships to Whiteness, Blackness, and racial hierarchies in the United States and in their countries of origin.
Evidence for a relationship between neurocognition and functional outcome in important areas of community living is robust in serious mental illness research. Dysfunctional attitudes (defeatist performance beliefs and asocial beliefs) have been identified as intervening variables in this causal chain. This study seeks to expand upon previous research by longitudinally testing the link between neurocognition and community participation (i.e. time in community-based activity) through dysfunctional attitudes and motivation.
Adult outpatients with serious mental illness (N = 175) participated, completing follow-up assessments approximately 6 months after initial assessment. Path analysis tested relationships between baseline neurocognition, emotion perception, functional skills, dysfunctional attitudes, motivation, and outcome (i.e. community participation) at baseline and follow-up.
Path models demonstrated two pathways to community participation. The first linked neurocognition and community participation through functional skills, defeatist performance beliefs, and motivation. A second pathway linked asocial beliefs and community participation, via a direct path passing through motivation. Model fit was excellent for models predicting overall community participation at baseline and, importantly, at follow-up.
The existence of multiple pathways to community participation in a longitudinal model supports the utility of multi-modal interventions for serious mental illness (i.e. treatment packages that build upon individuals’ strengths while addressing the array of obstacles to recovery) that feature dysfunctional attitudes and motivation as treatment targets.
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.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
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.
Endometriosis is a complex disease that affects 6–10% of women in their reproductive years and 20–50% of women with infertility. Genome-wide and candidate-gene association studies for endometriosis have identified 10 independent risk loci, and of these, nine (rs7521902, rs13394619, rs4141819, rs6542095, rs1519761, rs7739264, rs12700667, rs1537377, and rs10859871) are polymorphic in European populations. Here we investigate the replication of nine SNP loci in 998 laparoscopically and histologically confirmed endometriosis cases and 783 disease-free controls from Belgium. SNPs rs7521902, rs13394619, and rs6542095 show nominally significant (p < .05) associations with endometriosis, while the directions of effect for seven SNPs are consistent with the original reports. Association of rs6542095 at the IL1A locus with ‘All’ (p = .066) and ‘Grade_B’ (p = .01) endometriosis is noteworthy because this is the first successful replication in an independent population. Meta-analysis with the published results yields genome-wide significant evidence for rs7521902, rs13394619, rs6542095, rs12700667, rs7739264, and rs1537377. Notably, three coding variants in GREB1 (near rs13394619) and CDKN2B-AS1 (near rs1537377) also showed nominally significant associations with endometriosis. Overall, this study provides important replication in a uniquely characterized independent population, and indicates that the majority of the original genome-wide association findings are not due to chance alone.
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.
The Russian Federation, by a municipal law act dated March 21, 2014, annexed Crimea, an area of Ukraine. This act followed armed intervention by forces of the Russian Federation, a referendum, and a declaration of independence in Crimea. Outside the context of decolonization, few claims of annexation following the use of force have been made during the United Nations era; this is the first by a permanent member of the Security Council against a United Nations member. The present article examines the annexation of Crimea in view of the legal arguments that the Russian Federation has articulated in defense of its actions. It then considers the international response and the possible consequences of nonrecognition.
Influenza surveillance enables systematic collection of data on spatially and demographically heterogeneous epidemics. Different data collection mechanisms record different aspects of the underlying epidemic with varying bias and noise. We aimed to characterize key differences in weekly incidence data from three influenza surveillance systems in Melbourne, Australia, from 2009 to 2012: laboratory-confirmed influenza notified to the Victorian Department of Health, influenza-like illness (ILI) reported through the Victorian General Practice Sentinel Surveillance scheme, and ILI cases presenting to the Melbourne Medical Deputising Service. Using nonlinear regression, we found that after adjusting for the effects of geographical region and age group, characteristics of the epidemic curve (including season length, timing of peak incidence and constant baseline activity) varied across the systems. We conclude that unmeasured factors endogenous to each surveillance system cause differences in the disease patterns recorded. Future research, particularly data synthesis studies, could benefit from accounting for these differences.
The salience of major powers and the status they are attributed in international politics have been of central concern to both scholars and practitioners. The focus on major powers is at least as old as Thucydides, who noted in the Melian debate the unique advantages these states possessed in structuring relations between states. More recently, realists, neorealists, long-cycle theorists, hierarchical theorists, power transition theorists, and liberal institutionalists have all focused on major powers as critical to ordering interstate relations, as well as attempts to change those orders.
One aspect of being a major power is the status one receives from the policy makers of other states. The attribution of status to major powers – separate from their capabilities – has stubbornly persisted in significance across empirical conflict models, appearing as a predictor of conflict initiation, alliance formation and membership, involvement in militarized interstate disputes (MIDs) and crises, and multilateralism. Such status attribution, as both international relations (IR) scholars and historians have long recognized, is not a mirror reflection of the capabilities of these powers. Italy and Austria-Hungary are two clear historical cases of states that continued to receive high status attribution long after they no longer had the capacity or the willingness to act as major powers.
The present study aimed to examine if bilingualism affects executive functions and verbal fluency in Marathi and Hindi, two major languages in India, with a considerable cognate (e.g., activity is actividad in Spanish) overlap. A total of 174 native Marathi speakers from Pune, India, with varying levels of Hindi proficiency were administered tests of executive functioning and verbal performance in Marathi. A bilingualism index was generated using self-reported Hindi and Marathi proficiency. After controlling for demographic variables, the association between bilingualism and cognitive performance was examined. Degree of bilingualism predicted better performance on the switching (Color Trails-2) and inhibition (Stroop Color-Word) components of executive functioning; but not for the abstraction component (Halstead Category Test). In the verbal domain, bilingualism was more closely associated with noun generation (where the languages share many cognates) than verb generation (which are more disparate across these languages), as predicted. However, contrary to our hypothesis that the bilingualism “disadvantage” would be attenuated on noun generation, bilingualism was associated with an advantage on these measures. These findings suggest distinct patterns of bilingualism effects on cognition for this previously unexamined language pair, and that the rate of cognates may modulate the association between bilingualism and verbal performance on neuropsychological tests. (JINS, 2012, 18, 305–313)