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This study aimed to investigate the uncertainty in organ delineation of low-dose computed tomography (CT) images using a high-strength iterative reconstruction (IR) during radiotherapy planning for the treatment of prostate cancer.
Two CT datasets were prepared with different dose levels by adjusting the reconstruction slice thickness. Two observers independently delineated the prostate, seminal vesicles, bladder and rectum on both images without referring to other modality images. The delineated organ volumes were compared between both images. Observer delineation variability was assessed using Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) and mean distance to agreement.
No significant differences regarding the delineated organ volumes were observed between the low- and standard-dose images for all organs. Regarding inter-observer variability, the DSC was relatively high for both images, whereas mean distance to agreement was not significantly different between images (p > 0·05 for all). Intra-observer variability for each observer showed high DSC (>0·8 and >0·9 for seminal vesicles and other organs, respectively) but no significant differences in the mean distance to agreement (p > 0·05 for all).
Our results indicate that low-dose CT images with high-strength IR would be available for organ delineation in the radiotherapy treatment planning for prostate cancer.
Wheel slip prediction on rough terrain is crucial for secure, long-term operations of planetary exploration rovers. Although rough, unstructured terrain hampers mobility, prediction by modeling wheel–terrain interactions remains difficult owing to unclear terrain conditions and complexities of terramechanics models. This study proposes a vision-based approach with machine learning for predicting wheel slip risk by estimating the slope from 3D information and classifying terrain types from image information. It considers the slope estimation accuracy for risk prediction under sharp increases in wheel slip due to inclined ground. Experimental results obtained with a rover testbed on several terrain types validate this method.
The test-negative design (TND) has become a standard approach for vaccine effectiveness (VE) studies. However, previous studies suggested that it may be more vulnerable than other designs to misclassification of disease outcome caused by imperfect diagnostic tests. This could be a particular limitation in VE studies where simple tests (e.g. rapid influenza diagnostic tests) are used for logistical convenience. To address this issue, we derived a mathematical representation of the TND with imperfect tests, then developed a bias correction framework for possible misclassification. TND studies usually include multiple covariates other than vaccine history to adjust for potential confounders; our methods can also address multivariate analyses and be easily coupled with existing estimation tools. We validated the performance of these methods using simulations of common scenarios for vaccine efficacy and were able to obtain unbiased estimates in a variety of parameter settings.
The purpose of this paper is, as part of the stratification of Cohen–Macaulay rings, to investigate the question of when the fiber products are almost Gorenstein rings. We show that the fiber product
$R \times _T S$
of Cohen–Macaulay local rings R, S of the same dimension
over a regular local ring T with
is an almost Gorenstein ring if and only if so are R and S. In addition, the other generalizations of Gorenstein properties are also explored.
The right aortic arch is a congenital vascular anomaly, which may form a vascular ring. However, prenatal identification of the branching pattern of brachiocephalic vessels is often limited. In this paper, we clearly demonstrated the branching pattern of brachiocephalic vessels in a case of right aortic arch with an aberrant left subclavian artery using HDlive Flow imaging.
To help characterise the palaeogeographic and lacustrine environmental changes that resulted from the Holocene transgression and residual subsidence in the eastern Kanto Plain of central Japan, we analysed four drill cores and reviewed other core data from the southern part of the Lake Inba area. Fossil diatom assemblages yielded evidence of centennial-scale palaeogeographic and salinity responses to sea-level changes since the late Pleistocene. We determined that the seawater incursion into the Lake Inba area during the Holocene transgression occurred at approximately 9000 yr. We also recognised a late Holocene regression event corresponding to the Yayoi regression, considered to have occurred from ca. 3000 to ca. 2000 yr, and a subsequent transgression. Our data clarify some of the palaeogeographic changes that occurred in the Lake Inba area and document an overall trend toward lower salinity in the lake during the regression. In particular, the environment in Lake Inba changed from brackish to freshwater no later than 1000 yr. From the detailed palaeogeographic and palaeo-sea-level reconstruction, we recognised that residual subsidence occurred during the Holocene in this area. Thus, comparison of sea-level reconstructions based on modelling and fossil diatom assemblages is effective in interpreting Holocene long-term subsidence.
To examine the influence of ultrasonic irradiation on electrochemical migration (ECM), the morphology of micro/nanodeposits and current change were studied. The morphology of deposits synthesized by ECM varied with the types of ultrasonic irradiation: continuous or pulsed irradiation generates only particles or deposits composed of wires, dendrites, and particles. The measured ECM current change over time concludes that both mechanical and sonochemical effects contributed to the morphological change of deposits. Shock waves by cavitation mechanically formed the fragmented deposits and the sonochemical effect decreases the ionic concentration corresponding to decreasing current, inhibiting the formation of wires and dendritic deposits.
In November 2016, a woman in her 30s who stayed at an insecure, temporary housing facility, a manga café in Tokyo, Japan, for a year was diagnosed with sputum smear-positive tuberculosis (TB). Since the café had 31 staff members and provided with accommodation to many people, the local health office initiated a contact investigation. This study aims to characterise the cases found in the outbreak. A TB case was defined as a person tested bacteriologically positive for TB, or was determined to have TB by a physician. A latent TB infection case was defined as a person tested positive by interferon-γ release assay. From January 2016 through November 2017, there were 31 staff members at the manga café, of which, six developed TB disease (one smear-negative, culture-positive and five smear- and culture-negative) in addition to seven LTBI. Another long-term customer was found having sputum smear-positive TB. Variable numbers tandem repeat (VNTR) test revealed that the index patient and the long-term customer had the identical type of VNTR; however, one staff member had a different VNTR. Local health authorities should intensify screening long-term customers of such facilities for TB regularly as well as once a TB outbreak occurs.
We have succeeded in synthesizing organics, ‘Quenched Nitrogen-included Carbonaceous Composite (QNCC)’, via plasma chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method, whose infrared spectral properties reproduce the characteristics of the unidentified infrared (UIR) bands observed around classical novae. Past studies have shown that the UIR bands observed around novae appear somewhat differently from those observed in other astrophysical environment and are predominantly characterized by the presence of a broad 8μm feature. The remarkable similarity between the infrared properties of QNCC and the UIR bands in novae indicates that QNCC should be considered as a strong candidate of the carriers of the UIR bands in novae. Finally, we have started a space exposure experiment of QNCC aiming to explore the evolutional link between the QNCC and the insoluble organic molecule (IOM) in carbonaceous condrite and, thus, to infer the origins of organics in our solar system.
As a response to demographic ageing, various governments have been promoting social policies that promote older people's participation in productive activities, including those outside the formal labour market. Nevertheless, older people's behaviours do not simply reflect government policies and intentions. This paper explores how older people themselves interpret their social roles within a policy context that seeks to position them as providers of welfare through their participation in community activities. For this purpose, this paper draws on a qualitative case study of older people in Japan engaging in health promotion and mutual aid among local residents. By employing Hannah Arendt's distinction between the human activities of labour, work and action as a conceptual framework, it finds that although the purported purpose of community activities was to substitute decreasing pensions and family care or to create a better community, participants in this study valued their activities as a process of creating new relations and new realities through action. The paper argues that while labour has occupied a predominant position in the post-war welfare paradigm, community activities by an expanding population of older people may offer opportunities for action, which were not always available through paid work or care-giving in the household.
This study examined the effects of post-resistance exercise protein ingestion timing on the rate of gastric emptying (GE) and blood glucose (BG) and plasma branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) responses. In all, eleven healthy participants randomly ingested 400 ml of a nutrient-rich drink containing 12 g carbohydrates and 20 g protein at rest (Con), at 5 min (post-exercise (PE)-5) or at 30 min (PE-30) after a single bout of strenuous resistance exercises. The first and second sets comprised ten repetitions at 50 % of each participant’s one-repetition maximum (1RM). The third, fourth and fifth sets comprised ten repetitions at 75 % of 1RM, and the sixth set involved repeated repetitions until exhaustion. Following ingestion of the nutrient-rich drink, we assessed the GE rate using 13C-sodium acetate breath test and evaluated two parameters according to the Tmax-calc (time when the recovery per hour is maximised), which is a standard analytical method, and T1/2 (time when the total cumulative dose of [13CO2] reaches one-half). Tmax-calc and T1/2 were slower for the PE-5 condition than for either the PE-30 or Con condition (Tmax-calc; Con: 53 (sd 7) min, PE-5: 83 (sd 16) min, PE-30: 62 (sd 9) min, T1/2; Con: 91 (sd 7) min, PE-5: 113 (sd 21) min, PE-30: 91 (sd 11) min, P<0·05). BG and BCAA responses were also slower for the PE-5 condition than for either the PE-30 or Con condition. Ingesting nutrients immediately after strenuous resistance exercise acutely delayed GE, which affected BG and plasma BCAA levels in blood circulation.
The adsorption and desorption of cesium onto layered minerals, zeolite and geochemical reference samples were studied. 0.5 g of bentonite and mica were able to adsorb 71.2 and 51.5 mg of cesium, respectively, from 50 mL of deionized water containing 200 mg/L of cesium under neutral pH condition. These amounts of cesium adsorption were greater than those reported for vermiculites (8.9 and 5.6 mg, respectively). Additionally, the cesium adsorption on mica and vermiculite remained essentially unchanged under seawater conditions, but it decreased drastically on zeolite. The cesium desorption from the layered minerals was promoted by the addition of ammonium ions, namely trioctylmethylammonium chloride and zephiramine. These ammonium ions desorb cesium from the interlayers of the minerals without destroying the mineral structure. The cesium desorption procedure using quaternary ammonium ions would be extremely useful for decontamination of soil containing the layered minerals with adsorbed radioactive cesium.
The unidentified infrared (UIR) bands have been ubiquitously observed in various astrophysical environments and consist of a series of emission features arising from aromatic and/or aliphatic C-C and C-H bonds . Therefore, their carriers are thought to be related to interstellar organics. However, our knowledge on the true carriers of the UIR bands is still limited. Recently  has proposed Mixed Aromatic Aliphatic Organic Nanoparticles, which contains hetero atoms in addition to conventional hydrocarbon models, as a more realistic interpretation of the band carriers. The challenges toward identifying the carriers of the UIR bands are still ongoing. Past studies have shown that the UIR bands observed around classical novae, which characterized by the presence of broad feature around 8μm, are somewhat different from those observed in other astrophysical environment. Here we report the success of experimentally synthesizing the organics called Nitrogen-included Carbonaceous Compounds (NCC; ) whose infrared properties can reproduce the UIR bands observed in classical novae.