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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.
Co-receptor tropism has been identified to correlate with HIV-1 transmission and the disease progression in patients. A molecular epidemiology investigation of co-receptor tropism is important for clinical practice and effective control of HIV-1. In this study, we investigated the co-receptor tropism on HIV-1 variants of 85 antiretroviral-naive patients with Geno2pheno algorithm at a false-positive rate of 10%. Our data showed that a majority of the subjects harboured the CCR5-tropic virus (81.2%, 69/85). No significant differences in gender, age, baseline CD4+ T-cell counts and transmission routes were observed between subjects infected with CXCR4-tropic or CCR5-tropic virus. The co-receptor tropism appeared to be associated with the virus genotype; a significantly more CXCR4-use was predicted in CRF01_AE infections whereas all CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC were predicted to use CCR5 co-receptor. Sequences analysis of V3 revealed a higher median net charge in the CXCR4 viruses over CCR5 viruses (4.0 vs. 3.0, P < 0.05). The predicted N-linked glycosylation site between amino acids 6 and 8 in the V3 region was conserved in CCR5 viruses, but not in CXCR4 viruses. Besides, variable crown motifs were observed in both CCR5 and CXCR4 viruses, of which the most prevalent motif GPGQ existed in both viral tropism and almost all genotypes identified in this study except subtype B. These findings may offer important implications for clinical practice and enhance our understanding of HIV-1 biology.
Phenoloxidase (PO) plays a key role in melanin biosynthesis during insect development. Here, we isolated the 2310-bp full-length cDNA of PPO1 from Zeugodacus tau, a destructive horticultural pest. qRT-polymerase chain reaction showed that the ZtPPO1 transcripts were highly expressed during larval–prepupal transition and in the haemolymph. When the larvae were fed a 1.66% kojic acid (KA)-containing diet, the levels of the ZtPPO1 transcripts significantly increased by 2.79- and 3.39-fold in the whole larvae and cuticles, respectively, while the corresponding PO activity was significantly reduced; in addition, the larval and pupal durations were significantly prolonged; pupal weights were lowered; and abnormal phenotypes were observed. An in vitro inhibition experiment indicated that KA was an effective competitive inhibitor of PO in Z. tau. Additionally, the functional analysis showed that 20E could significantly up-regulate the expression of ZtPPO1, induce lower pupal weight, and advance pupation. Knockdown of the ZtPPO1 gene by RNAi significantly decreased mRNA levels after 24 h and led to low pupation rates and incomplete pupae with abnormal phenotypes during the larval-pupal interim period. These results proved that PO is important for the normal growth of Z. tau and that KA can disrupt the development of this pest insect.
Plant height and lodging resistance can affect rice yield significantly, but these traits have always conflicted in crop cultivation and breeding. The current study aimed to establish a rapid and accurate plant type evaluation mechanism to provide a basis for breeding tall but lodging-resistant super rice varieties. A comprehensive approach integrating plant anatomy and histochemistry was used to investigate variations in flexural strength (a material property, defined as the stress in a material just before it yields in a flexure test) of the rice stem and the lodging index of 15 rice accessions at different growth stages to understand trends in these parameters and the potential factors influencing them. Rice stem anatomical structure was observed and the lignin content the cell wall was determined at different developmental stages. Three rice lodging evaluation models were established using correlation analysis, multivariate regression and artificial radial basis function (RBF) neural network analysis, and the results were compared to identify the most suitable model for predicting optimal rice plant types. Among the three evaluation methods, the mean residual and relative prediction errors were lowest using the RBF network, indicating that it was highly accurate and robust and could be used to establish a mathematical model of the morphological characteristics and lodging resistance of rice to identify optimal varieties.
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 Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
A scheme for the improvement of proton beam quality by the optimized dragging field from the interaction of ultraintense laser pulse with a complex double-layer target is proposed and demonstrated by one-dimensional particle-in-cell (Opic1D) simulations. The complex double-layer target consists of an overdense proton thin foil followed by a mixed hydrocarbon (CH) underdense plasma. Because of the existence of carbon ions, the dragging field in the mixed CH underdense plasma becomes stronger and flatter in the location of the proton beam than that in a pure hydrogen (H) underdense plasma. The optimized dragging field can keep trapping and accelerating protons in the mixed CH underdense target to high quality. Consequently, the energy spread of the proton beam in the mixed CH underdense plasma can be greatly reduced down to 2.6% and average energy of protons can reach to 9 GeV with circularly polarized lasers at intensities 2.74 × 1022 W/cm2.
Salience network (SN) dysconnectivity has been hypothesized to contribute to schizophrenia. Nevertheless, little is known about the functional and structural dysconnectivity of SN in subjects at risk for psychosis. We hypothesized that SN functional and structural connectivity would be disrupted in subjects with At-Risk Mental State (ARMS) and would be associated with symptom severity and disease progression.
We examined 87 ARMS and 37 healthy participants using both resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging. Group differences in SN functional and structural connectivity were examined using a seed-based approach and tract-based spatial statistics. Subject-level functional connectivity measures and diffusion indices of disrupted regions were correlated with CAARMS scores and compared between ARMS with and without transition to psychosis.
ARMS subjects exhibited reduced functional connectivity between the left ventral anterior insula and other SN regions. Reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) and axial diffusivity were also found along white-matter tracts in close proximity to regions of disrupted functional connectivity, including frontal-striatal-thalamic circuits and the cingulum. FA measures extracted from these disrupted white-matter regions correlated with individual symptom severity in the ARMS group. Furthermore, functional connectivity between the bilateral insula and FA at the forceps minor were further reduced in subjects who transitioned to psychosis after 2 years.
Our findings support the insular dysconnectivity of the proximal SN hypothesis in the early stages of psychosis. Further developed, the combined structural and functional SN assays may inform the prognosis of persons at-risk for psychosis.
We report the discovery of two new Wolf-Rayet galaxies: Mrk 1039, and F8208+2816. Two broad WR bumps at 5808Å and 4650Å indicate the presence of WCE and WNL star populations in these two sources. Comparison of the observed EW(HeII λ4686) and EW(CIV λ5808) with recent models of WR populations in young starbursts provide an indication that the stellar initial mass function in some WR galaxies might not be Salpeter-like.
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.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a type of pathogenic bacteria that cause diarrhea in piglets through colonizing pig small intestine epithelial cells by their surface fimbriae. Different fimbriae type of ETEC including F4, F18, K99 and F41 have been isolated from diarrheal pigs. In this study, we performed a genome-wide association study to map the loci associated with the susceptibility of pigs to ETEC F41 using 39454 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 667 F2 pigs from a White Duroc×Erhualian F2 cross. The most significant SNP (ALGA0022658, P=5.59×10−13) located at 6.95 Mb on chromosome 4. ALGA0022658 was in high linkage disequilibrium (r2>0.5) with surrounding SNPs that span a 1.21 Mb interval. Within this 1.21 Mb region, we investigated ZFAT as a positional candidate gene. We re-sequenced cDNA of ZFAT in four pigs with different susceptibility phenotypes, and identified seven coding variants. We genotyped these seven variants in 287 unrelated pigs from 15 diverse breeds that were measured with ETEC F41 susceptibility phenotype. Five variants showed nominal significant association (P<0.05) with ETEC F41 susceptibility phenotype in International commercial pigs. This study provided refined region associated with susceptibility of pigs to ETEC F41 than that reported previously. Further works are needed to uncover the underlying causal mutation(s).
While Liriomyza sativae (Diptera: Agromyzidae), an important invasive pest of ornamentals and vegetables has been found in China for the past two decades, few studies have focused on its genetics or route of invasive. In this study, we collected 288 L. sativae individuals across 12 provinces to explore its population genetic structure and migration patterns in China using seven microsatellites. We found relatively low levels of genetic diversity but moderate population genetic structure (0.05 < FST < 0.15) in L. sativae from China. All populations deviated significantly from the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium due to heterozygote deficiency. Molecular variance analysis revealed that more than 89% of variation was among samples within populations. A UPGMA dendrogram revealed that SH and GXNN populations formed one cluster separate from the other populations, which is in accordance with STRUCTURE and GENELAND analyses. A Mantel test indicated that genetic distance was not correlated to geographic distance (r = −0.0814, P = 0.7610), coupled with high levels of gene flow (M = 40.1–817.7), suggesting a possible anthropogenic influence on the spread of L. sativae in China and on the effect of hosts. The trend of asymmetrical gene flow was from southern to northern populations in general and did not exhibit a Bridgehead effect during the course of invasion, as can be seen by the low genetic diversity of southern populations.
In general, solitary right aortic arch carries the left-sided ductus arteriosus communicating between the left subclavian and pulmonary arteries or the right-sided ductus connecting the descending aorta to the left pulmonary artery. Serial sections of fifteen 5- to 6-week-old embryos and ten 8- to 9-week-old fetuses suggested that the pathogenesis was unrelated to inversion due to dysfunction in gene cascades that control the systemic left/right axis. With inversion, conversely, the ductus or the sixth pharyngeal arch artery should connect to the right pulmonary artery. The disappearance of the right aortic arch started before the caudal migration of the aortic attachment of the ductus. Sympathetic nerve ganglia developed immediately posterior to both aortae, with a single embryonic specimen showing a large ganglion at the midline close to the union of the aortic arches. These ganglia may interfere with blood flow through the distal left arch, resulting in the ductus ending at the descending aorta behind the oesophagus. In another fetus examined, a midline shift of the ductus course resulted in the trachea curving posteriorly. Therefore, solitary right arch is likely to accompany abnormalities of the surrounding structures. The timing and site of the obstruction should be different between types: an almost midline obstruction near the aortic union needed for the development of the left-sided ductus and a distal obstruction near the left subclavian arterial origin needed for the development of the right-sided ductus. A mass effect of the sympathetic ganglia may explain the pathogenesis of any type of anomalous ductus arteriosus shown in previous reports of the solitary right arch.
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.
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.
This paper presents what is termed as the supervoxel normal distributions transform (SV-NDT), a novel three-dimensional (3-D) registration algorithm which improves the performance of the three-dimensional normal distributions transform (3-D NDT) significantly. The 3-D NDT partitions a model scan using a 3-D regular grid. Generating normal distributions using the 3-D regular grid causes considerable information loss because the 3-D regular grid does not use any information pertaining to the local surface structures of the model scan. The best type of surface (the constituent unit of each scan) for modeling with one normal distribution is known to be the plane. The SV-NDT reduces the loss of information using a supervoxel-generating algorithm at the partitioning stage. In addition, it uses the information of the local surface structures from the data scan by replacing the Euclidean distance with a function that uses local geometries as well as the Euclidean distance when each point in the data scan is matched to the corresponding normal distribution. Experiments demonstrate that the use of the supervoxel-generating algorithm increases the modeling accuracy of the normal distributions and that the proposed 3-D registration algorithm outperforms the 3-D NDT and other widely used 3-D registration algorithms in terms of robustness and speed on both synthetic and real-world datasets. Additionally, the effect of changing the function to create correspondences is also verified.
We have investigated the photon-energy dependence of nonlinear optical absorption in graphene in the near infrared (NIR) and visible range (1.13 – 3.1 eV). Two nonlinear processes, namely one-photon interband absorption saturation and two-photon absorption (2PA), have been unambiguously determined in high-quality, CVD-grown, multilayer graphene films with using femtosecond Z-scan technique. The absorption saturation is found to have a square dependence on the photon energy. The 2PA spectrum is measured to be close to the theoretical prediction of ω-4 dependence at NIR wavelengths. In the visible range, however, the photon-energy dependence of 2PA is dominated by the excitonic Fano resonance.
Commonly used techniques for cleaning copper substrates before graphene growth via chemical vapor deposition (CVD), such as rinsing with acetone, nitric, and acetic acid, and high temperature hydrogen annealing still leave residual adventitious carbon on the copper surface. This residual carbon promotes graphene nucleation and leads to higher nucleation density. We find that copper with an oxidized surface can act as a self-cleaning substrate for graphene growth by CVD. Under vacuum conditions, copper oxide thermally decomposes, releasing oxygen from the substrate surface. The released oxygen reacts with the carbon residues on the copper surface and forms volatile carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, leaving a clean copper surface free of carbon for large-area graphene growth. Using oxidized electropolished copper foil leads to a reduction in graphene nucleation density by over a factor of 1000 when compared to using chemically cleaned oxygen free copper foil.
We have investigated the flow pattern that arises past (proto)planets embedded in the nebula disk during its formation. We consider the regime where the planet mass is large enough to gravitationally perturb the gas (≳0.01 Earth masses), but not too large to open a gap or accrete unlimited amounts of gas from the disk. We consider both inviscid and viscid flows and aim to understand the flow pattern on the scales of the Bondi radius. Having described the flow pattern of the gas, we integrate trajectories of small, solid particles. In agreement with previous findings, we show that the ensuing accretion rates can be high—although, due to radial drift motions, pebble accretion is not necessarily an efficient mechanism.
In this work, we investigated the influence of N-polar wet etching on the properties of nitride-based hexagonal pyramids array (HPA) vertical-injection light emitting diodes (V-LEDs). The cathodeluminescence images showed the randomly distribution of hexagonal pyramids with isolated active regions. The transmission electron microscopy images demonstrated the reduced density of threading dislocations. The IQE was estimated by temperature dependence of photoluminescence, which showed 30% increase for HPA V-LEDs compared with broad area (BA) V-LEDs. The improved extraction efficiency was verified by finite difference time domain simulation, which was 20% higher than that of roughened BA V-LEDs. The electrical properties of HPA V-LEDs were measured by conductive atomic force microscopy (CAFM) measurements. HPA V-LEDs exhibited much lower leakage current due to the improved crystal quality.