1,046 research outputs found

    Longitudinal Replication Studies of GWAS Risk SNPs Influencing Body Mass Index over the Course of Childhood and Adulthood

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    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified multiple common variants associated with body mass index (BMI). In this study, we tested 23 genotyped GWAS-significant SNPs (p-value<5*10-8) for longitudinal associations with BMI during childhood (3–17 years) and adulthood (18–45 years) for 658 subjects. We also proposed a heuristic forward search for the best joint effect model to explain the longitudinal BMI variation. After using false discovery rate (FDR) to adjust for multiple tests, childhood and adulthood BMI were found to be significantly associated with six SNPs each (q-value<0.05), with one SNP associated with both BMI measurements: KCTD15 rs29941 (q-value<7.6*10-4). These 12 SNPs are located at or near genes either expressed in the brain (BDNF, KCTD15, TMEM18, MTCH2, and FTO) or implicated in cell apoptosis and proliferation (FAIM2, MAP2K5, and TFAP2B). The longitudinal effects of FAIM2 rs7138803 on childhood BMI and MAP2K5 rs2241423 on adulthood BMI decreased as age increased (q-value<0.05). The FTO candidate SNPs, rs6499640 at the 5 â€Č-end and rs1121980 and rs8050136 downstream, were associated with childhood and adulthood BMI, respectively, and the risk effects of rs6499640 and rs1121980 increased as birth weight decreased. The best joint effect model for childhood and adulthood BMI contained 14 and 15 SNPs each, with 11 in common, and the percentage of explained variance increased from 0.17% and 9.0*10−6% to 2.22% and 2.71%, respectively. In summary, this study evidenced the presence of long-term major effects of genes on obesity development, implicated in pathways related to neural development and cell metabolism, and different sets of genes associated with childhood and adulthood BMI, respectively. The gene effects can vary with age and be modified by prenatal development. The best joint effect model indicated that multiple variants with effects that are weak or absent alone can nevertheless jointly exert a large longitudinal effect on BMI

    Changes in the Diversity of Soil Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi after Cultivation for Biofuel Production in a Guantanamo (Cuba) Tropical System

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    The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are a key, integral component of the stability, sustainability and functioning of ecosystems. In this study, we characterised the AMF biodiversity in a native vegetation soil and in a soil cultivated with Jatropha curcas or Ricinus communis, in a tropical system in Guantanamo (Cuba), in order to verify if a change of land use to biofuel plant production had any effect on the AMF communities. We also asses whether some soil properties related with the soil fertility (total N, Organic C, microbial biomass C, aggregate stability percentage, pH and electrical conductivity) were changed with the cultivation of both crop species. The AM fungal small sub-unit (SSU) rRNA genes were subjected to PCR, cloning, sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. Twenty AM fungal sequence types were identified: 19 belong to the Glomeraceae and one to the Paraglomeraceae. Two AMF sequence types related to cultured AMF species (Glo G3 for Glomus sinuosum and Glo G6 for Glomus intraradices-G. fasciculatum-G. irregulare) did not occur in the soil cultivated with J. curcas and R. communis. The soil properties (total N, Organic C and microbial biomass C) were higher in the soil cultivated with the two plant species. The diversity of the AMF community decreased in the soil of both crops, with respect to the native vegetation soil, and varied significantly depending on the crop species planted. Thus, R. communis soil showed higher AMF diversity than J. curcas soil. In conclusion, R. communis could be more suitable for the long-term conservation and sustainable management of these tropical ecosytems

    The Atlas3D project -- XIII. Mass and morphology of HI in early-type galaxies as a function of environment

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    We present the Atlas3D HI survey of 166 nearby early-type galaxies (ETGs) down to M(HI)~10^7 M_sun. We detect HI in ~40% of all ETGs outside the Virgo cluster and in ~10% of all ETGs inside it. This demonstrates that it is common for non-cluster ETGs to host HI. The HI morphology varies from regular discs/rings (the majority of the detections) to unsettled gas distributions. The former are either small discs (M(HI)<10^8 M_sun) confined within the stellar body and sharing the same kinematics of the stars, or large discs/rings (M(HI) up to 5x10^9 M_sun) extending to tens of kpc from the host galaxy and frequently kinematically decoupled from the stars. Neutral hydrogen provides material for star formation in ETGs. Galaxies with central HI exhibit signatures of star formation in ~70% of the cases, ~5 times more frequently than galaxies without central HI. The central ISM is dominated by molecular gas. In ETGs with a small gas disc the conversion of HI into H_2 is as efficient as in spirals. The ETG HI mass function has M*~2x10^9 M_sun and slope=-0.7. ETGs host much less HI than spirals as a family. However, a significant fraction of them is as HI-rich as spirals. The main difference between ETGs and spirals is that the former lack the high-column-density HI typical of the bright stellar disc of the latter. We find an envelope of decreasing M(HI) with increasing environment density. The gas-richest ETGs live in the poorest environments (where star-formation is more common), galaxies in the centre of Virgo have the lowest HI content, and the cluster outskirts are a transition region. We find an HI morphology-density relation. At low environment density HI is mostly distributed on large discs/rings. More disturbed HI morphologies dominate environment densities typical of rich groups, confirming the importance of processes occurring on a galaxy-group scale for the evolution of ETGs.Comment: Accepted for publication on MNRA

    The power of forecasts to advance ecological theory

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    Ecological forecasting provides a powerful set of methods for predicting short- and long-term change in living systems. Forecasts are now widely produced, enabling proactive management for many applied ecological problems. However, despite numerous calls for an increased emphasis on prediction in ecology, the potential for forecasting to accelerate ecological theory development remains underrealized. Here, we provide a conceptual framework describing how ecological forecasts can energize and advance ecological theory. We emphasize the many opportunities for future progress in this area through increased forecast development, comparison and synthesis. Our framework describes how a forecasting approach can shed new light on existing ecological theories while also allowing researchers to address novel questions. Through rigorous and repeated testing of hypotheses, forecasting can help to refine theories and understand their generality across systems. Meanwhile, synthesizing across forecasts allows for the development of novel theory about the relative predictability of ecological variables across forecast horizons and scales. We envision a future where forecasting is integrated as part of the toolset used in fundamental ecology. By outlining the relevance of forecasting methods to ecological theory, we aim to decrease barriers to entry and broaden the community of researchers using forecasting for fundamental ecological insight

    An examination of appetite and disordered eating in active Crohn’s disease

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    Background: Crohn’s disease (CD) patients suffer from nutritional deficiencies when in active disease. We aim to examine calorific intake, macronutrient choice and disordered eating behaviour in patients with active CD. Methods: CD patients with matched healthy volunteers (HV) were recruited. Active disease was defined by faecal calprotectin >250ug/g, C-reactive protein >5mg/dl, or active disease seen on endoscopy or imaging. Symptoms were quantified by Harvey-Bradshaw Index (HBI). Calorific intake was assessed by 24-h dietary recall. Disordered eating was assessed using validated questionnaires [Binge Eating Scale (BES); Power of Food Scale (PFS); Control of Eating Questionnaire (CoEQ); Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ); Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ)]. Results: 30 CD (18M:12F, Age:32.3±2.19, BMI:24.9±0.8) and 31 matched HV (19M:12F, Age:32.8±2.0, BMI:24.7±0.5) were recruited. Mean faecal calprotectin was 1032.5±176”g/g,C-reactive protein 83.8±47.1mg/L and HBI 4.8±1. There were no significant differences in calorific intake between groups. Protein intake was lower in the CD cohort (p=0.03). Hospital Anxiety and Depression score was higher (p=0.01) and CoEQ-Positive Mood (p=0.001) lower in CD. CD were characterised by higher BES (p=0.01) and lower CoEQ Craving Control (p=0.027) with greater craving for Sweet (p=0.043), Savoury (p=0.021) foods. PFS food present (p=0.005), DEBQ Emotional (p=<0.001) and External Eating (p=0.022) were significantly higher than HV. Conclusions: Reduced protein consumption and more prevalent disordered eating behaviour traits were present in CD. Greater binge eating and decreased control of cravings may be attributed to lower mood and higher anxiety observed. Patients may benefit from stronger psychological support with firm dietetic advice for healthy eating

    Reinterpretation of LHC Results for New Physics: Status and recommendations after Run 2

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    We report on the status of efforts to improve the reinterpretation of searches and measurements at the LHC in terms of models for new physics, in the context of the LHC Reinterpretation Forum. We detail current experimental offerings in direct searches for new particles, measurements, technical implementations and Open Data, and provide a set of recommendations for further improving the presentation of LHC results in order to better enable reinterpretation in the future. We also provide a brief description of existing software reinterpretation frameworks and recent global analyses of new physics that make use of the current data
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