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A process for bioconjugation of an IgG antibody and silicon quantum dots (Si-QDs) having the luminescence in the near-infrared (NIR) range was developed. For the bioconjugation, the surface of water-soluble all-inorganic Si-QDs was functionalized by using silane-coupling agents. In amino-functionalized Si-QDs, successful conjugation was achieved without strongly affecting the luminescence property. Detailed analyses revealed that Si-QDs are bound covalently to both the light and heavy chains of an IgG antibody. It was also confirmed that the binding property of an IgG antibody with antigen nucleoprotein was not ruined by the process. The successful conjugation of an IgG antibody and NIR luminescent Si-QDs paves the way for designing environmentally friendly bio-sensing and -imaging processes.
This paper considers two variants of M/G/1 queues with impatient customers, which are denoted by M/G/1+Gw and M/G/1+Gs. In the M/G/1+Gw queue customers have deadlines for their waiting times, and they leave the system immediately if their services do not start before the expiration of their deadlines. On the other hand, in the M/G/1+Gs queue customers have deadlines for their sojourn times, where customers in service also immediately leave the system when their deadlines expire. In this paper we derive comparison results for performance measures of these models. In particular, we show that if the service time distribution is new better than used in expectation, then the loss probability in the M/G/1+Gs queue is greater than that in the M/G/1+Gw queue.
To elucidate the details of both the current status of contamination and the accumulation of organotin compounds (OTs) in mangroves in coastal ecosystems, we determined the concentrations of butyltin compounds (BTs) and phenyltin compounds (PTs) in sediment and mangrove leaves collected from mangrove forests in Merambong and Tinggi Island, Malaysia. Butyltins were detected in all sediment samples collected from both regions, whereas PTs were not detected. The levels of tributyltin (TBT) compounds in the sediment samples were lower than those from previous studies conducted in Malaysia and at other sites in South-east Asia. In both Merambong and Tinggi Island, the average proportions of dibutyltin (DBT) and monobutyltin (MBT), which are degradation products of TBT, were ~70%. This result suggests that the input of TBT has decreased in Malaysia. The proportions of DBT and MBT in the sediment from Merambong were higher than those from Tinggi Island. The concentrations of TBT in mangrove leaves from Tinggi Island were significantly higher than those from Merambong. MBT was the most dominant type among the BTs in mangrove leaves from both Merambong and Tinggi Island. The ratios of the BTs burden in mangrove leaves to the BTs concentration in sediment from Merambong and Tinggi Island averaged 3.1 and 6.2, respectively. Among the values of BTs, the MBT values were found to be the highest in both regions.
This article focuses on the acoustic-wave enhancement of chemisorption and surface reactions. Acoustic waves generated by a piezoelectric phenomenon on ferroelectric crystals by the application of radio frequency electric power produce periodic lattice distortions at the surface. The effects of surface acoustic waves (SAWs) and the resonance oscillation (RO) of bulk acoustic waves on thin films of metals or metal oxides are described herein. Both SAWs and RO can modify the work functions of thin Ag, Au, or Pd films, and this effect is highly dependent on the surface structures. These changes in the work function can, in turn, affect the adsorptive characteristics of the metals as well as surface reactions and properties such as catalysis. The importance of periodic lattice displacement vertical to the surface is examined in this article, and the acoustic-wave enhancement of metal and metal oxide surfaces as a means of tuning electronic states and chemical properties is discussed.
Previous studies have shown that with the use of tinted lenses (or colored filters), individuals with red–green color vision deficiency (CVD) report an improvement in their performance on certain color vision tests. In this context, this study examines the effects of a digitally generated red-colored filter and identifies the mechanism mainly responsible for the changes in red–green CVD observers’ performance on a D-15 arrangement test performed using the filter. We simulate the red filter digitally with the spectral transmittance similar to that of the X-Chrom, which is a red-tinted lens. Fourteen red–green CVD subjects are subjected to the D-15 test on a computer monitor under four filter conditions, consisting of one condition without the filter and three conditions with the filter, corresponding to the opacity of the red filter. The results show that while the simulated red filter improves the performance of deutans to arrange the caps in the D-15 test, this is not the case for protans. In addition, considerations based on the human cone-contrast model enable us to identify that the improvement in deutan observers largely results from the increase in the luminance contrast between stimuli and a background. To summarize, the red filter simulated in this study induces different changes in the red–green CVD observer luminance contrast between the protan and deutan types, with the result that the performance of deuteranopes improves while that of protanopes deteriorates.
Photochromic (PC) ZnO nanoparticles are synthesized for the first time by using a VHF plasma enhanced CVD apparatus. The prepared ZnO film changes from transparent to PC state under UV irradiation; on being subjected to heat treatment, it changes back to transparent state. There is a threshold temperature for attaining the PC phase. The Debye-Waller factor of Zn atoms is specifically large for the PC ZnO. The ZnO nanoparticles contain carbon as impurity. The effects of C-O bonds on the ZnO crystal structure and density of states (DOS) are simulated based on density-functional theory. The results reveal that the crystal structure is slightly distorted and a sufficient DOS for PC light absorption is formed in the band gap.
Full snow-pit observations were performed on a monthly basis over ten winter seasons from 1995 to 2004, at 15 study plots spaced at 100 m elevation intervals (1300–2700 m a.s.l.) in the mountainous forest of the Japanese Central Alps. We observed 514 pits with an average depth of 1.12 m. Density measurements were taken in 2610 snow layers in total. Monthly trends indicate that snow depth has a strong linear correlation with elevation and that the mean density of snow cover has a moderate linear correlation with elevation in midwinter. Snow water equivalent can increase as a quadratic function of elevation in January and February. For this reason, the influence of overburden load and wind packing is elevation-dependent from January to February, a period when a facet-prominent snowpack existed on account of low snow and air temperatures. The density of depth hoar is greater at higher elevations than it is for rounded grains in midwinter due to densification. On forested slopes, with increasing elevation, snowfall frequency and the impact of wind upon snow increases while air temperature decreases, causing elevational variance in grain shapes.
The Bereavement Risk Assessment Tool (BRAT) seems to be useful in identifying those who are likely to suffer from the more severe consequences of bereavement. To date, however, only a few studies have examined bereavement risk using the BRAT. This study investigated bereavement risk in family caregivers of patients with cancer using the Japanese version of the Bereavement Risk Assessment Tool (BRAT-J). We also investigated the relationship of bereavement risk with psychological distress and resilience among caregivers to determine the validity of the BRAT-J.
We conducted family psychoeducation in the palliative care unit of Tohoku University Hospital with participants who were recruited in this study. Among the participants, 50 family caregivers provided their written informed consent and were included in this study. Participants were assessed using the BRAT-J and completed the Japanese version of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) and the Tachikawa Resilience Scale (TRS).
According to the BRAT-J, five individuals (10%) were in the high category of bereavement risk (level 4 or 5). We also found that family caregivers of patients experienced many different pressures, such as facing the unknown; their own work; and insufficient financial, practical, or physical resources. These issues are associated with various mental problems. Additionally, the level of bereavement risk was significantly correlated with K6 scores (ρ = 0.30, p = 0.032), and the TRS score (ρ = –0.44, p = 0.001). These correlations confirmed previous findings and that the BRAT-J can be an efficient screening tool for the bereavement risk of family caregivers of patients with cancer.
Significance of results
It appears that the BRAT-J is useful in predicting the likelihood of difficulties or complications in bereavement for family caregivers and could help to provide support with these issues when needed.
We examined the cross-lagged relations between word reading fluency in the two orthographic systems of Japanese: phonetic (syllabic) Hiragana and morphographic Kanji. One hundred forty-two Japanese-speaking children were assessed on word reading fluency twice in Grade 1 (Times 1 and 2) and twice in Grade 2 (Times 3 and 4). Nonverbal IQ, vocabulary, phonological awareness, morphological awareness, and rapid automatized naming were also assessed in Time 1. Results of path analysis revealed that Time 1 Hiragana fluency predicted Time 2 Kanji fluency after controlling for the cognitive skills. Time 2 Hiragana fluency did not predict Time 3 Kanji fluency or vice versa after the autoregressor was controlled, but Hiragana and Kanji fluency were reciprocally related between Times 3 and 4. These findings provide evidence for a cross-script transfer of word reading fluency across the two contrastive orthographic systems, and the first evidence of fluency in a morphographic script predicting fluency development in a phonetic script within the same language.
Engagement represents how much a user is interested in and willing to continue the current dialogue. Engagement recognition will provide an important clue for dialogue systems to generate adaptive behaviors for the user. This paper addresses engagement recognition based on multimodal listener behaviors of backchannels, laughing, head nodding, and eye gaze. In the annotation of engagement, the ground-truth data often differs from one annotator to another due to the subjectivity of the perception of engagement. To deal with this, we assume that each annotator has a latent character that affects his/her perception of engagement. We propose a hierarchical Bayesian model that estimates both engagement and the character of each annotator as latent variables. Furthermore, we integrate the engagement recognition model with automatic detection of the listener behaviors to realize online engagement recognition. Experimental results show that the proposed model improves recognition accuracy compared with other methods which do not consider the character such as majority voting. We also achieve online engagement recognition without degrading accuracy.
Women and men might experience psychological distress differently during a disaster. This study investigated gender differences in the factors associated with psychological distress among working-age people 1 to 2 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
A cross-sectional household survey of victims who remained living in their homes was conducted between May and December 2012 in Ishinomaki City, Japan. Psychological distress was defined as a Kessler Psychological Distress Scale ≥5, and gender differences were examined using a logistic regression analysis.
Data were obtained from 2593 individuals, and 1537 participants were included in the analyses. Psychological distress was observed in 28.0% of the participants. Living in a household without a salaried income and a low frequency of leaving the house were associated with psychological distress among women. Young age, lack of occupation and no informational support were associated with psychological distress among men. Income change due to the disaster and health complaints were associated with psychological distress in both genders.
For women, stable household income and frequently leaving the house can be protective factors. For men, intervention focusing on young people, occupational support, and informational support may be useful. Income change after the disaster and health complaints may be risk factors in both genders. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:487-496)
Death ideation (thinking about/wishing for one's own death, thinking that one would be better off dead) is linked to an increased mortality risk. However, comparatively little is known about more general thoughts of death (GTOD) where no wish to die or life value is expressed. This study examined whether GTOD predicted mortality in a community-based cohort of older adults.
Data came from the Komo-Ise cohort study in Gunma prefecture, Japan. The analytic sample comprised 8208 individuals (average age 61.3 (range 47–77)) who were asked in wave 2 of the study in 2000 if they had ‘Thought about death more than usual, either your own, someone else's or death in general?’ in the past 2 weeks. Death data were obtained from the municipal resident registration file. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to examine associations.
During the follow-up period (2000–2008), there were 672 deaths. In a model adjusted for baseline covariates, GTOD were significantly associated with all-cause mortality (hazards ratio 1.66, 95% confidence interval 1.20–2.29). Stratified analyses showed an association between GTOD and mortality in men, older subjects (⩾70 years), married individuals and those with higher social support.
GTOD are associated with an increased mortality risk among older citizens in Japan. Research is now needed to determine the factors underlying this association and assess the clinical relevance of screening for GTOD in older individuals.
Meta-Interpretive Learning (MIL) learns logic programs from examples by instantiating meta-rules, which is implemented by the Metagol system based on Prolog. Viewing MIL-problems as combinatorial search problems, they can alternatively be solved by employing Answer Set Programming (ASP), which may result in performance gains as a result of efficient conflict propagation. However, a straightforward ASP-encoding of MIL results in a huge search space due to a lack of procedural bias and the need for grounding. To address these challenging issues, we encode MIL in the HEX-formalism, which is an extension of ASP that allows us to outsource the background knowledge, and we restrict the search space to compensate for a procedural bias in ASP. This way, the import of constants from the background knowledge can for a given type of meta-rules be limited to relevant ones. Moreover, by abstracting from term manipulations in the encoding and by exploiting the HEX interface mechanism, the import of such constants can be entirely avoided in order to mitigate the grounding bottleneck. An experimental evaluation shows promising results.
Diverse applications of chlorite thermometry have been considered for better understanding the formation process in nature. Here, an approach which combined a semi-empirical thermometer (Inoue et al., 2009) with the method of Walshe (1986) was tested to estimate the redox conditions (log fO2) and the formation temperature, using the literature data from Niger, Rouez and St Martin and new data for chlorite which coexists with pink-coloured epidote in the Noboribetsu geothermal field. The log fO2 predicted for the former data sets were compatible with those estimated by Vidal et al. (2016), suggesting that the present approach is valid for quantifying the variations in log fO2. The Noboribetsu chlorites have lower Fe/(Fe + Mn + Mg) and greater Fe3+/ΣFe ratios than those observed in adjacent propylite rocks. The peculiar mineral assemblage and chemical composition are attributed to the formation under higher fO2 conditions and possibly low Fe concentration in the alteration fluids.
Recently, a number of mobile apps to record symptoms and medication by patients themselves have been developed. These apps are expected to improve the patients' symptoms through self-management, and to enable a smooth decision making through effective communication between doctors and patients. “Itami Renrakucho” (Pain Diary, Welby Inc.) is one of these apps that records body pain, medication, physical conditions, and activity in life. We examined the relationship between pain and medication/activity based on its data.
Data between 25 December 2015 and 9 December 2016 were used. Medication and degree of pain (0-10, low < high) were recorded at morning, daytime, evening, and bedtime. Of ninteen activities, up to three were recorded about whether they could or could not do them. We compared the degree of pain among different frequency/timing of medication, or activities that they could or could not do.
Data included 708 individuals. Among 561 individuals who answered about pain, the mean (Standard Deviation, SD) degree was 5.0 (2.3). The mean degree in individuals taking 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 times medication a day were 4.6, 5.0, 5.4, 5.5, and 6.2, respectively. Regarding medication timing and degree of pain in two consecutive time points (t0, t1), regression towards the mean occurred for individuals without medication in both time points. The degree changed more for individuals taking medicine only at t0, but not for those taking at both time points. Weaker pain was reported when they could do hanging laundry and rising early than when they could not, but they could do shopping, strolling and light exercise even having stronger pain.
We showed a tendency of relationship between pain and medication/activity based on the data from the app. More data and connecting to claims will help us to show characteristics of patients and diseases, select a treatment, and evaluate a medicine.
Wetting of a planar solid substrate is investigated in the presence of a macroscopic particle in the complete wetting regime. A drop of silicone oil spreads on the substrate and its macroscopic edge is incident on the particle at the late stage of spreading. The drop–particle interaction is observed in detail by shadowgraph and interferometry. Although the spreading drop edge is pinned by the particle for a short time, a sharp acceleration occurs when the liquid starts wetting the extra surface area offered by the particle and forming a meniscus. This process yields a net gain in spreading speed. A theoretical model based on the classical wetting dynamics dictated by Cox’s law is developed. It predicts that the capillary energy of the meniscus gives rise to a rapid motion of the liquid edge, showing good agreement with the dynamics observed in the experiments.
New coral microatoll data allow presenting an updated late Holocene sea-level curve for the Gilbert Islands of Kiribati. Examination of build-up elevation and spatial distribution of microatolls, along with radiocarbon age data from coral samples, suggest an approximately 1 m sea-level high stand, possibly lasting from ~3500 to 1900 cal yr BP. Our sea-level curve, which is similar to the one reported from the Marshall Islands, is a baseline to reconstruct the evolution of reef flats and reef islands. In addition, it provides important contextual data to infer human settlement on islands in the west-central Pacific.