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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.
A new generation of high power laser facilities will provide laser pulses with extremely high powers of 10 petawatt (PW) and even 100 PW, capable of reaching intensities of
in the laser focus. These ultra-high intensities are nevertheless lower than the Schwinger intensity
at which the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED) predicts that a large part of the energy of the laser photons will be transformed to hard Gamma-ray photons and even to matter, via electron–positron pair production. To enable the investigation of this physics at the intensities achievable with the next generation of high power laser facilities, an approach involving the interaction of two colliding PW laser pulses is being adopted. Theoretical simulations predict strong QED effects with colliding laser pulses of
focused to intensities
The formation of nanosized porous oxide layers on titanium (Ti) by asymmetric alternating current anodizing in sulfuric acid has been studied using electrochemical techniques. In order to prevent spark discharge at Ti electrode upon its anodization in 1.0 M H2SO4 solution, the magnitude of the cathodic current is reduced using a special electrical circuit consisting of a variable resistor and two diodes. The unique surface treatment approach gives rise to the formation of nanosized porous layer in a very short period of time and without spark discharge. The surface of porous layers thus obtained has in vitro apatite-forming ability.
We aimed to verify the effectiveness of real-time reverse transcription (rRT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detecting cases of modified measles (M-Me) and for predicting super-spreader candidates through the experience of a measles outbreak dominated by M-Me in Yamagata, Japan, during March–April 2017. We applied rRT-PCR to specimens from 35 cases of M-Me, nine cases of typical measles (T-Me) and nine cases of prodromal stage of T-Me (P-Me). From rRT-PCR among the M-Me cases, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) showed the highest positive rate (80.0%), followed by throat swab (48.6%), urine (33.3%) and serum (3.1%). The negative result of PBMC in M-Me cases was recovered by the result of a throat swab. In specimens of PBMC, throat swab and urine, M-Me group showed the significantly higher cycle of threshold (i.e., lower viral load) in the rRT-PCR than T-Me and P-Me groups, respectively. Furthermore, three super-spreaders in T-Me or P-Me showed an extremely low cycle of threshold in their throat swab specimens. rRT-PCR using PBMC and throat swab might be helpful for clinical management and measles control by certain detection of M-Me cases and by predicting super-spreading events resulting from measles cases with the high viral load.
To assess the diagnostic role of mean platelet volume in tonsillitis with and without peritonsillar abscess.
Mean platelet volume and other laboratory data were retrospectively investigated.
Mean platelet volume was significantly lower in the tonsillitis group (7.8 per cent ± 0.7 per cent) than in the control group (8.7 per cent ± 0.6 per cent; p < 0.0001), and it was significantly lower in the abscess group (7.5 per cent ± 0.6 per cent) than in the no abscess group (8.0 per cent ± 0.7 per cent; p = 0.0277). White blood cell counts and C-reactive protein levels were not significantly different between patients with an abscess and those without. The mean platelet volume cut-off values for the diagnosis of tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess were 7.95 fl and 7.75 fl, respectively.
Our results suggest that a decreased mean platelet volume is associated with the development and severity of tonsillitis. This finding provides useful diagnostic information for physicians treating patients with tonsillitis.
An easily understandable index that measures the quality of carbohydrate may aid people in adopting dietary habits that improve their glucose tolerance. We aimed to evaluate the relationship between a ratio of dietary fibre to carbohydrate intakes (fibre:carbohydrate ratio (F:C-R)) and glucose tolerance cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Subjects were 190 Japanese men and women without type 2 diabetes (mean age 55·4 years) who participated in a 5-month diet and exercise programme. We compared baseline anthropometric, dietary and metabolic profiles between those with higher F:C-R and those with lower ratios. Multivariable regression analyses were performed to examine the associations between the F:C-R and homoeostasis model of assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and HbA1c at baseline and between changes in the F:C-R and changes in HOMA-IR and HbA1c over the 5-month period. At baseline, the higher F:C-R group had significantly lower body weight, lean body mass, fasting insulin level and HOMA-IR as compared with the lower F:C-R group. The two groups had similar intakes of carbohydrate and fat, whereas protein intake was greater in the high F:C-R group. Baseline F:C-R was not significantly associated with HOMA-IR or HbA1c at the beginning of the study in multivariable models. Increases in the ratio during the 5-month programme was associated with reductions in HbA1c (P<0·001). These findings highlight the potential utility of the F:C-R in strategies aimed at type 2 diabetes prevention.
We initiated a long-term and highly frequent monitoring project toward 442 methanol masers at 6.7 GHz (Dec >−30 deg) using the Hitachi 32-m radio telescope in December 2012. The observations have been carried out daily, monitoring a spectrum of each source with intervals of 9–10 days. In September 2015, the number of the target sources and intervals were redesigned into 143 and 4–5 days, respectively. This monitoring provides us complete information on how many sources show periodic flux variations in high-mass star-forming regions, which have been detected in 20 sources with periods of 29.5–668 days so far (e.g., Goedhart et al. 2004). We have already obtained new detections of periodic flux variations in 31 methanol sources with periods of 22–409 days. These periodic flux variations must be a unique tool to investigate high-mass protostars themselves and their circumstellar structure on a very tiny spatial scale of 0.1–1 au.
Three distinctly different types of outburst phenomenon in X-ray binaries are discussed: (1) the so-called type 1 burst which is a thermonuclear flash of matter accreted on the surface of neutron stars, (2) the so-called type 2 burst which is a burst-like X-ray emission caused by a spasmodic accretion, and (3) the nova-like outburst which is triggered by a sudden commencement of accretion.
Conspicuous dust lanes define the spiral arm in the south of M31. The integrated HI line emission map shows several large cloudlike structures with sizes ranging from hundreds to thousands of parsecs, forming a spiral arm along the dust lanes (Figure 1). To investigate how such super clouds correlate with star formation phenomena, we present in Figure 2 a compilation of published data on: CO emission, dark clouds, HII regions, OB associations, and thermal infrared radiation from IRAS. The CO emission distribution is similar to that of HI and also forms large cloudlike structures. The large CO clouds P, Q, and R, which are located in the high density HI areas, have bright HII region complexes of several hundred parsecs at their outer edges. Further out large OB associations are found. In contrast, cloud B, which shows weaker CO emission, has a large and diffuse HII region which may be relatively old. This giant HII region is located in a large hole of HI and dark clouds (Brinks 1981). The IRAS maps show strong correlated thermal emission from the dust lanes. The luminosity from the star formation activity heats the dust in the molecular clouds. The local peaks at A, P, and Q in the 25 μm band, extending 200-300 pc, have revealed the existence of massive young stars embedded in the clouds.
Recent observational results on X-ray bursts and burst sources are reviewed. Two distinct types of bursts, Type I and Type II bursts, are discussed in relation to the mass and radius of neutron stars and to the problems of unusual mass accretion in some burst sources.
The overview of the recent results for discovery and investigations of a very exotic phenomenon – optical mirage in the X-ray spectral range – is presented. It was found that the mirage could be created in the form of coherent virtual point source, emerging in the vicinity of the second plasma in two-stage oscillator-amplifier X-ray laser. The X-ray source-mirage, rigidly phased with the initial radiation of generator, occurs only when amplification takes place in the amplifier plasma and leads to the appearance of the interference pattern in the form of concentric rings in the spatial profile of the output X-ray laser beam. The equation describing the emergence of X-ray mirage was found, numerical solution of which shows that its formation is similar to that of the optical mirages observed at propagation of light rays through an inhomogeneously heated air. Obtained results have already demonstrated novel comprehension into the physical nature of amplification of X-ray radiation, opening additional opportunities for X-ray interferometry, holography, and other applications, which require multiple rigidly phased sources of coherent radiation.
Recent results of X-ray observations of Galactic X-ray binaries containing black holes are reviewed. So far, eleven X-ray binaries are confirmed to contain a black hole based on the mass determined from the optical mass functions. Study of these X-ray binaries shows that accreting black holes exhibit a characteristic X-ray spectrum that is distinct from that of accreting neutron stars. In total, about two dozen X-ray binaries show this characteristic spectrum and are believed to contain a black hole. Most of them are low-mass X-ray binaries and are transients. The statistics indicate the presence of several hundred or more black holes in quiescent X-ray binaries in our galaxy. The observed properties of accreting black holes are discussed, and other, related subjects are also presented.
Since the discovery of fading X-rays from Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) with BeppoSAX (Piro et al. 1997, Costa et al. 1997), world-wide follow-up observations in optical band have achieved the fruitful results. The case of GRB 970228, there was an optical transient, coincides with the BeppoSAX position and faded (Paradijs et al. 1997, Sahu et al. 1997). These optical observations also confirmed the extended component, which was associated with the optical transient. The new transient are fading with a power-law function in time and the later observation of HST confirmed the extended emission is stable (Fruchter et al. 1997). This extended object seems to be a distant galaxy and strongly suggests to be the host.
The universe contains an extremely wide variety of temperature structures from 3K to 1 billion K and even beyond. This symposium focuses on the hot part of the universe. The “hot universe” is by far the best place to study high-energy astrophysics. In this overview, I shall be based mainly on the results in the X-ray band that best manifests the hot universe. However, needless to say that multi-wavelength investigations, from radio, infrared through gamma-rays, are essential for comprehensive understanding.
About 10 X-ray binaries in our Galaxy and LMC/SMC are considered to contain black hole candidates (BHCs). Among these objects, Cyg X-1 was identified as the first BHC, and it has led BHCs for more than 25 years(Oda 1977, Liang and Nolan 1984). It is a binary system composed of normal blue supergiant star and the X-ray emitting compact object. The orbital kinematics derived from optical observations indicates that the compact object is heavier than ~ 4.8 M⊙ (Herrero 1995), which well exceeds the upper limit mass for a neutron star(Kalogora 1996), where we assume the system consists of only two bodies. This has been the basis for BHC of Cyg X-1.
Absorption line features were detected at 4.1 keV from X 1636-536 with the Tenma satellite in the spectra of X-ray bursts (Waki et al., 1984). Similar features were also detected from X 1608-52 and EXO 1747-214 during bursts (Nakamura et al., 1988; Magnier et al., 1989). These features at 4.1 keV may be interpreted as the redshifted Kα absorption line of helium-like iron atoms. However, such interpretation requires extremely soft equation of state for the nuclear matter, and confirmation with high resolution detectors is urged (Lewin et al., 1993). To investigate the line features, we observed X 1636-536 with ASCA for ~ 240 ksec.
An unusual hard X-ray source was discovered in an error box of 0.2° × 0.3° including SN1987A from the X-ray astronomy satellite Ginga. The energy spectrum is quite unusual for any known classes of X-ray source, and apparently consists of two separate components, a soft component and a very hard component. This source is considered to be identified with SN1987A. The X-ray emergence occurred in July, 1987, or possibly even earlier. The soft component is significantly time-variable and also showed a flare-like increase in January, 1988, while the intensity of the hard component has remained relatively unchanged for more than 200 days.
Modal coupling oscillation models for the stellar radial pulsation and coupled-oscillators are reviewed. Coupled-oscillators with the second-order and third-order terms seemed to behave non-systematically. Using the equation by Schwarzschild and Savedoff (1949) with the dissipation term of van del Pol’s type which is third-order, we demonstrate the effect of each term. The effects can be understood by the terms of the nonlinear dynamics, which is recently developing, that is. phase-locking, quasi-periodicity, period doubling, and chaos. As the problem of stellar pulsation, especially of double-mode cepheids on the period-ratio, we examine the dependence on the stellar structure from which the coupling constants in the second-order terms are derived. Eigen functions for adiabatic pulsations had been used for the calculation of the constants. It is noted that only two set of the constants are available, that is, for the polytrope model with n = 3 and a cepheid model without convection. Some examples of nonlinear dynamical effects will be shown.
It is shown that if the constants were suitable values, the period-ratio of double-mode cepheids is probably realized. The possibility is briefly suggested.