Currently, researchers have to apply separately to individual biobanks if they want to carry out studies that use samples and data from multiple biobanks. This article analyzes the access governance arrangements of the original five biobank members of the Biobank Standardisation and Harmonisation for Research Excellence in the European Union (BioSHaRE-EU) project in Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom to identify similarities and differences in policies and procedures, and consider the potential for internal policy "harmonization." Our analysis found differences in the range of researchers and organizations eligible to access biobanks; application processes; requirements for Research Ethics Committee approval; and terms of Material Transfer Agreements relating to ownership and commercialization. However, the main elements of access are the same across biobanks; access will be granted to bona fide researchers conducting research in the public interest, and all biobanks will consider the scientific merit of the proposed use and it's compatibility with the biobank's objectives. These findings suggest potential areas for harmonization across biobanks. This could be achieved through a single centralized application to a number of biobanks or a system of mutual recognition that places a presumption in favor of access to one biobank if already approved by another member of the same consortium. Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure-European Research Infrastructure Consortia (BBMRI-ERIC), a European consortium of biobanks and bioresources with its own ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) common service, could provide a platform by developing guidelines for harmonized internal processes.
This paper proposes a new method to distinguish structural from exchange mobility in status attainment models with interval endogenous variables. In order to measure structural mobility, the paper proposes to trace occupational and educational changes across generations using information provided by children about their fathers. The validity of the method is assessed by comparing the effects of father's socio-economic status and education on son's status and educational attainments, net of occupational upgrading and educational expansion, in five European countries: Britain, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Spain, using data from the 2005 EU-SILC survey. The results show that the effect of father's on son's ISEI weakens greatly in all countries after considering occupational upgrading, and that much of father's influence over sons occurs by directing them towards occupations with good economic prospects. Useful extensions to the method are discussed in the conclusions.
Adapting an attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder parent training intervention to different cultural contexts: The experience of implementing the New Forest Parenting Programme in China, Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
The New Forest Parenting Programme (NFPP) is a parenting program developed for parents who have a child with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is a manualized program that is delivered in a parent's home over 8 weeks, or in a group format, or through a self-help manual. Three randomized controlled trials have been carried out in the United Kingdom. The NFPP group has adapted the program according to feedback from parents and therapists, and for use with different populations, both within the United Kingdom and internationally. The first international trial took place in New York, United States. Trials in Denmark, Hong Kong, and Japan followed. More recently, a trial of the self-help manual has been carried out in mainland China. This paper will outline the adaptions that were needed in order to be able to deliver the program in different countries with their own expectations of parenting, culture, and language. Training had to be differently focused; manuals and handouts had to be revised, translated and back-translated; and supervision had to be delivered at a distance to maintain the fidelity of the program. The international group will outline their experience of running trials in their own countries with the NFPP in a face-to-face format (Denmark), a group format (Hong Kong and Japan), and a self-help format (mainland China).
Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA), School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, SA, 5001, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daily activity data are by nature compositional data. Accordingly, they occupy a specific geometry with unique properties that is different to standard Euclidean geometry. This study aimed to estimate the difference in adiposity associated with isotemporal reallocation between daily activity behaviours, and to compare the findings from compositional isotemporal subsitution to those obtained from traditional isotemporal substitution.
We estimated the differences in adiposity (body fat%) associated with reallocating fixed durations of time (isotemporal substitution) between accelerometer-measured daily activity behaviours (sleep, sedentary time and light and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA)) among 1728 children aged 9-11 years from Australia, Canada, Finland and the UK (International Study of Childhood Obesity, Lifestyle and the Environment, 2011-2013). We generated estimates from compositional isotemporal substitution models and traditional non-compositional isotemporal substitution models.
Both compositional and traditional models estimated a positive (unfavourable) difference in body fat% when time was reallocated from MVPA to any other behaviour. Unlike traditional models, compositional models found the differences in estimated adiposity (1) were not necessarily symmetrical when an activity was being displaced, or displacing another (2) were not linearly related to the durations of time reallocated, and (3) varied depending on the starting composition.
The compositional isotemporal model caters for the constrained and therefore relative nature of activity behaviour data and enables all daily behaviours to be included in a single statistical model. The traditional model treats data as real variables, thus the constrained nature of time is not accounted for, nor reflected in the findings. Findings from compositional isotemporal substitution support the importance of MVPA to children's health, and suggest that while interventions to increase MVPA may be of benefit, attention should be directed towards strategies to avoid decline in MVPA levels, particularly among already inactive children. Future applications of the compositional model can extend from pair-wise reallocations to other configurations of time-reallocation, for example, increasing MVPA at the expense of multiple other behaviours.
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Fully automated assessment of mammographic density (MD), a biomarker of breast cancer risk, is being increasingly performed in screening settings. However, data on body mass index (BMI), a confounder of the MD-risk association, are not routinely collected at screening. We investigated whether the amount of fat in the breast, as captured by the amount of mammographic non-dense tissue seen on the mammographic image, can be used as a proxy for BMI when data on the latter are unavailable.
Data from a UK case control study (numbers of cases/controls: 414/685) and a Norwegian cohort study (numbers of cases/non-cases: 657/61059), both with volumetric MD measurements (dense volume (DV), non-dense volume (NDV) and percent density (%MD)) from screening-age women, were analysed. BMI (self-reported) and NDV were taken as measures of adiposity. Correlations between BMI and NDV, %MD and DV were examined after log-transformation and adjustment for age, menopausal status and parity. Logistic regression models were fitted to the UK study, and Cox regression models to the Norwegian study, to assess associations between MD and breast cancer risk, expressed as odds/hazard ratios per adjusted standard deviation (OPERA). Adjustments were first made for standard risk factors except BMI (minimally adjusted models) and then also for BMI or NDV. OPERA pooled relative risks (RRs) were estimated by fixed-effect models, and between-study heterogeneity was assessed by the I2 statistics.
BMI was positively correlated with NDV (adjusted r = 0.74 in the UK study and r = 0.72 in the Norwegian study) and with DV (r = 0.33 and r = 0.25, respectively). Both %MD and DV were positively associated with breast cancer risk in minimally adjusted models (pooled OPERA RR (95% confidence interval): 1.34 (1.25, 1.43) and 1.46 (1.36, 1.56), respectively; I2 = 0%, P >0.48 for both). Further adjustment for BMI or NDV strengthened the %MD-risk association (1.51 (1.41, 1.61); I2 = 0%, P = 0.33 and 1.51 (1.41, 1.61); I2 = 0%, P = 0.32, respectively). Adjusting for BMI or NDV marginally affected the magnitude of the DV-risk association (1.44 (1.34, 1.54); I2 = 0%, P = 0.87 and 1.49 (1.40, 1.60); I2 = 0%, P = 0.36, respectively).
When volumetric MD-breast cancer risk associations are investigated, NDV can be used as a measure of adiposity when BMI data are unavailable.
Knowledge of the range and chronology of historic trade and long-distance transport of natural resources is essential for determining the impacts of past human activities on marine environments. However, the specific biological sources of imported fauna are often difficult to identify, in particular if species have a wide spatial distribution and lack clear osteological or isotopic differentiation between populations. Here, we report that ancient fish-bone remains, despite being porous, brittle, and light, provide an excellent source of endogenous DNA (15-46%) of sufficient quality for whole-genome reconstruction. By comparing ancient sequence data to that of modern specimens, we determine the biological origin of 15 Viking Age (800-1066 CE) and subsequent medieval (1066-1280 CE) Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) specimens from excavation sites in Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom. Archaeological context indicates that one of these sites was a fishing settlement for the procurement of local catches, whereas the other localities were centers of trade. Fish from the trade sites show a mixed ancestry and are statistically differentiated from local fish populations. Moreover, Viking Age samples from Haithabu, Germany, are traced back to the North East Arctic Atlantic cod population that has supported the Lofoten fisheries of Norway for centuries. Our results resolve a long-standing controversial hypothesis and indicate that the marine resources of the North Atlantic Ocean were used to sustain an international demand for protein as far back as the Viking Age.
Cites: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Mar 24;112(12):3669-73 PMID 25755263
To explore international differences in the classification of births at extremely low gestation and the subsequent impact on the calculation of survival rates.
We used national data on births at 22 to 25 weeks' gestation from the United States (2014; n = 11?144), Canada (2009-2014; n = 5668), the United Kingdom (2014-2015; n = 2992), Norway (2010-2014; n = 409), Finland (2010-2015; n = 348), Sweden (2011-2014; n = 489), and Japan (2014-2015; n = 2288) to compare neonatal survival rates using different denominators: all births, births alive at the onset of labor, live births, live births surviving to 1 hour, and live births surviving to 24 hours.
For births at 22 weeks' gestation, neonatal survival rates for which we used live births as the denominator varied from 3.7% to 56.7% among the 7 countries. This variation decreased when the denominator was changed to include stillbirths (ie, all births [1.8%-22.3%] and fetuses alive at the onset of labor [3.7%-38.2%]) or exclude early deaths and limited to births surviving at least 12 hours (50.0%-77.8%). Similar trends were seen for infants born at 23 weeks' gestation. Variation diminished considerably at 24 and 25 weeks' gestation.
International variation in neonatal survival rates at 22 to 23 weeks' gestation diminished considerably when including stillbirths in the denominator, revealing the variation arises in part from differences in the proportion of births reported as live births, which itself is closely connected to the provision of active care.
The domestic dog segregates a significant number of inherited progressive retinal diseases, several of which mirror human retinal diseases and which are collectively termed progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). In 2014, a novel form of PRA was reported in the Swedish Vallhund breed, and the disease was mapped to canine chromosome 17. The causal mutation was not identified, but expression analyses of the retinas of affected Vallhunds demonstrated a 6-fold increased expression of the MERTK gene compared to unaffected dogs. Using 24 retinopathy cases and 97 controls with no clinical signs of retinopathy, we replicated the chromosome 17 association in Swedish Vallhunds from the UK and aimed to elucidate the causal variant underlying this association using whole genome sequencing (WGS) of an affected dog. This revealed a 6-8 kb insertion in intron 1 of MERTK that was not present in WGS of 49 dogs of other breeds. Sequencing and BLASTN analysis of the inserted segment was consistent with the insertion comprising a full-length intact LINE-1 retroelement. Testing of the LINE-1 insertion for association with retinopathy in the UK set of 24 cases and 97 controls revealed a strong statistical association (P-value 6.0 x 10-11) that was subsequently replicated in the original Finnish study set (49 cases and 89 controls (P-value 4.3 x 10-19). In a pooled analysis of both studies (73 cases and 186 controls), the LINE-1 insertion was associated with a ~20-fold increased risk of retinopathy (odds ratio 23.41, 95% confidence intervals 10.99-49.86, P-value 1.3 x 10-27). Our study adds further support for regulatory disruption of MERTK in Swedish Vallhund retinopathy; however, further work is required to establish a functional overexpression model. Future work to characterise the mechanism by which this intronic mutation disrupts gene regulation will further improve the understanding of MERTK biology and its role in retinal function.
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This paper describes the methods used in the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership Module 4 Survey (ICBPM4) which examines time intervals and routes to cancer diagnosis in 10 jurisdictions. We present the study design with defining and measuring time intervals, identifying patients with cancer, questionnaire development, data management and analyses.
Recruitment of participants to the ICBPM4 survey is based on cancer registries in each jurisdiction. Questionnaires draw on previous instruments and have been through a process of cognitive testing and piloting in three jurisdictions followed by standardised translation and adaptation. Data analysis focuses on comparing differences in time intervals and routes to diagnosis in the jurisdictions.
Our target is 200 patients with symptomatic breast, lung, colorectal and ovarian cancer in each jurisdiction. Patients are approached directly or via their primary care physician (PCP). Patients' PCPs and cancer treatment specialists (CTSs) are surveyed, and 'data rules' are applied to combine and reconcile conflicting information. Where CTS information is unavailable, audit information is sought from treatment records and databases.
Reliability testing of the patient questionnaire showed that agreement was complete (?=1) in four items and substantial (?=0.8, 95% CI 0.333 to 1) in one item. The identification of eligible patients is sufficient to meet the targets for breast, lung and colorectal cancer. Initial patient and PCP survey response rates from the UK and Sweden are comparable with similar published surveys. Data collection was completed in early 2016 for all cancer types.
An international questionnaire-based survey of patients with cancer, PCPs and CTSs has been developed and launched in 10 jurisdictions. ICBPM4 will help to further understand international differences in cancer survival by comparing time intervals and routes to cancer diagnosis.
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Five arthroconidium-producing yeast strains representing a novel Trichosporon-like species were independently isolated from the UK, Hungary and Norway. Two strains (Bio4T and Bio21) were isolated from biogas reactors used for processing grass silage, with a third strain (S8) was isolated from soil collected at the same UK site. Two additional strains were isolated in mainland Europe, one from soil in Norway (NCAIM Y.02175) and the other from sewage in Hungary (NCAIM Y.02176). Sequence analyses of the D1/D2 domains of the LSU rRNA gene and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region indicated that the novel species belongs to the recently reinstated genus Apiotrichum and is most closely related to Apiotrichum scarabaeorum, a beetle-associated species first found in South Africa. Despite having similar physiological characteristics, the two species can be readily distinguished from one another by ITS sequencing. The species name Apiotrichum terrigenum sp. nov. is proposed to accommodate these strains, with Bio4T (=CBS 11373T=NCYC 3540T) designated as the type strain. The Mycobank deposit number is MB817431.
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