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We describe here efforts to create and study magnetized electron–positron pair plasmas, the existence of which in astrophysical environments is well-established. Laboratory incarnations of such systems are becoming ever more possible due to novel approaches and techniques in plasma, beam and laser physics. Traditional magnetized plasmas studied to date, both in nature and in the laboratory, exhibit a host of different wave types, many of which are generically unstable and evolve into turbulence or violent instabilities. This complexity and the instability of these waves stem to a large degree from the difference in mass between the positively and the negatively charged species: the ions and the electrons. The mass symmetry of pair plasmas, on the other hand, results in unique behaviour, a topic that has been intensively studied theoretically and numerically for decades, but experimental studies are still in the early stages of development. A levitated dipole device is now under construction to study magnetized low-energy, short-Debye-length electron–positron plasmas; this experiment, as well as a stellarator device that is in the planning stage, will be fuelled by a reactor-based positron source and make use of state-of-the-art positron cooling and storage techniques. Relativistic pair plasmas with very different parameters will be created using pair production resulting from intense laser–matter interactions and will be confined in a high-field mirror configuration. We highlight the differences between and similarities among these approaches, and discuss the unique physics insights that can be gained by these studies.
To determine whether carbapenem consumption and Pseudomonas aeruginosa resistance rates can be used as benchmarks to compare and improve antimicrobial stewardship programs across multiple pediatric hospitals.
A prospective study.
Setting and participants:
Healthcare institutions in Japan with >100 pediatric beds.
An annual survey of the total days of therapy (DOT) per 1,000 patient days for carbapenem antibiotics (meropenem, imipenem-cilastatin, panipenem-betamipron, doripenem) and susceptibility rates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to meropenem and imipenem-cilastatin from each institution was conducted over a 7-year period. Data were reported to the administration, as well as to the infection control team, of each institution annually.
Data were obtained from 32 facilities. The median total carbapenem DOT per 1,000 patient days was 16.6 and varied widely, with a range of 2.7 to 59.0. The median susceptibility to meropenem was 86.6%, ranging from 78.6% to 96.6%. We detected an inverse correlation between total carbapenem DOT versus susceptibility (r = – 0.36; P < .01). Over the 7-year period, the DOT per 1,000 patient days of carbapenem decreased by 27% from a median of 16.0 to 11.7 (P < .01). We also observed an improvement in susceptibility to meropenem from a median of 87% to 89.7% (P = .01) and to imipenem-cilastatin from 79% to 85% (P < .01). The decreases in the use of carbapenem were greater in institutions with antimicrobial stewardship programs led by pediatric infectious disease specialists.
Antimicrobial use and resistance, targeting carbapenems and P. aeruginosa, respectively, can serve as benchmarks that can be utilized to promote antimicrobial stewardship across pediatric healthcare institutions.
Growing evidence indicated that the glutamatergic neurotransmitter system is central to the neurobiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. Riluzole, a drug currently used to slow the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is one of the candidate drugs that modulate glutamatergic neurotransmission in the central nervous system. Recently, several open-label clinical trials have suggested that riluzole reduces symptoms of treatment-resistant major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Previously, we reported that riluzole rapidly attenuates the hyperemotional responses found in the olfactory bulbectomized rats. This animal model exhibits hyperemotional behavior that may mimic anxiety, aggression and irritability found in depressed patients, suggesting the possible use of riluzole in combating the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Interestingly, we first found that a single riluzole treatment had rapid anti-hyperemotional effects in the rats. In addition, we demonstrated that single riluzole treatment significantly decreased extracellular glutamate levels in medial prefrontal cortex of the rats by in vivo microdialysis examination. Our results propose a hypothesis that riluzole rapidly improve symptoms in depressed patients, as a non-monoamine-based antidepressant. In conclusion, our results suggest that a glutamate-modulating drug, riluzole, is one of the candidate drugs for new generation antidepressants and/or anxiolytics.
Translational regulation of mRNAs is crucial for promoting various cellular and developmental processes. Pumilio1 (Pum1) has been shown to play key roles in translational regulation of target mRNAs in many systems of diverse organisms. In zebrafish immature oocytes, Pum1 was shown to bind to cyclin B1 mRNA and promote the formation of cyclin B1 RNA granules. This Pum1-mediated RNA granule formation seemed critical to determine the timing of translational activation of cyclin B1 mRNA during oocyte maturation, leading to activation of maturation/M-phase-promoting factor (MPF) at the appropriate timing. Despite its fundamental importance, the mechanisms of translational regulation by Pum1 remain elusive. In this study, we examined the phosphorylation of Pum1 as a first step to understand the mechanisms of Pum1-mediated translation. SDS-PAGE analyses and phosphatase treatments showed that Pum1 was phosphorylated at multiple sites during oocyte maturation. This phosphorylation began in an early period after induction of oocyte maturation, which preceded the polyadenylation of cyclin B1 mRNA. Interestingly, depolymerization of actin filaments in immature oocytes caused phosphorylation of Pum1, disassembly of cyclin B1 RNA granules, and polyadenylation of cyclin B1 mRNA but not translational activation of the mRNA. Overexpression of the Pum1 N-terminus prevented the phosphorylation of Pum1, disassembly of cyclin B1 RNA granules, and translational activation of the mRNA even after induction of oocyte maturation. These results suggest that Pum1 phosphorylation in the early period of oocyte maturation is one of the key processes for promoting the disassembly of cyclin B1 RNA granules and translational activation of target mRNA.
Pneumococcal serotype replacement is an important issue after the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in children. After the introduction of 13-valent PCV, the incidence of invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPD) caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 12F (Sp12F) have increased in some countries; however, an outbreak of Sp12F has not reported in the post-13-valent PCV era. We experienced a local outbreak of Sp12F during March through May 2016 in Tsuruoka city, Japan after the introduction of 13-valent PCV in 2013. The IPD patients were two children and seven adults, three of whom died with a rapid disease progress. Although the clear transmission route was not determined, eight of the nine patients (89%) had close contact with children, which suggests that transmitted colonisation of Sp12F among children and adults might be the source of transmission. Continuous monitoring of IPDs, along with the determination of pneumococcal serotypes, is warranted in the post–13-valent PCV era. New IPD control strategies may be needed if this fatal outbreak continues to occur.
Abundances of heavy elements in dwarf galaxies reflect their early evolutionary histories. Recent astronomical observations have shown that there are star-to-star scatters in the abundances of r-process elements and the decreasing trend of Zn toward higher metallicity in extremely metal-poor stars. However, the enrichment of heavy elements is not well understood. Here we performed a series of high-resolution N-body/smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations of dwarf galaxies. We find that neutron star mergers can explain ratios of r-process elements to iron in dwarf galaxies due to their suppressed star formation rates. We also find that stars with [Zn/Fe] ≳ 0.5 reflect the ejecta from electron-capture supernovae. Inhomogeneity of the metals in the interstellar medium causes the scatters of heavy elements. We estimate that the timescale of metal mixing is ≲ 40 Myr using heavy element abundances in metal-poor stars.
We focused on the stellar age-velocity dispersion relation (AVR). We performed the N-body/SPH simulations to investigate the origin of AVR. As a results, we found that AVR is not consistent with simple stellar heating.
In the previous work, it is reported that the Spin-Seebeck effect (SSE), which refer to the generation of a spin current from a temperature gradient, can be enhanced by Fe interface treatment. Here, we investigated the Fe thickness (dFe) dependency of spin-Seebeck voltage (VSSE) and mixing conductance (gr) in Pt/Fe/Bi:YIG/SGGG system. As a result, magnitude of VSSE had a peak at dFe ≓ 1 ML (monolayer , ≓ 0.3 mm), and also increase of gr was saturated at this point. It suggests that VSSE increase with increasing gr when dFe is smaller than 1.0 ML. For the case in which dFe is larger than 1.0ML, however, VSSE decreases due to a spin current decay in Fe layer with a constant gr. These experimental results are consistent with previous theoretical works.
Yttria (Y2O3) films were deposited on stainless steel substrates from ethylenediaminetetraacetic·yttrium·hydrogen (EDTA·Y·H) complexes by flame spraying. The gas mixtures of acetylene-oxygen (C2H2-O2) or hydrogen-oxygen (H2-O2) were used for the combustion flame and the effects of the combustion gas species on Y2O3 films were investigated. Experiments revealed that the particles propelled in the H2-O2 flame had lower temperature and higher velocity compared with the particles in the C2H2-O2 flame. The existence of Y2O3 crystalline phases and complete decomposition of the EDTA·Y·H were confirmed. The porosity of the film was 25% when the H2-O2 flame was used and 32% when the C2H2-O2 flame was used. In addition, the Y2O3 films showed excellent adherability in tape tests. The H2-O2 flame is thus considered suitable for fabricating dense Y2O3 films.
Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections usually cause haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) equally in male and female children. This study investigated the localization of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) in human brain and kidney tissues removed from forensic autopsy cases in Japan. A fatal case was used as a positive control in an outbreak of diarrhoeal disease caused by STEC O157:H7 in a kindergarten in Urawa in 1990. Positive immunodetection of Gb3 was significantly more frequent in female than in male distal and collecting renal tubules. To correlate this finding with a clinical outcome, a retrospective analysis of the predictors of renal failure in the 162 patients of two outbreaks in Japan was performed: one in Tochigi in 2002 and the other in Kagawa Prefecture in 2005. This study concludes renal failure, including HUS, was significantly associated with female sex, and the odds ratio was 4·06 compared to male patients in the two outbreaks. From 2006 to 2009 in Japan, the risk factor of HUS associated with STEC infection was analysed. The number of males and females and the proportion of females who developed HUS were calculated by age and year from 2006 to 2009. In 2006, 2007 and 2009 in adults aged >20 years, adult women were significantly more at risk of developing HUS in Japan.
Neutron star mergers are one of the candidate astrophysical site(s) of r-process. Several chemical evolution studies however pointed out that the observed abundance of r-process is difficult to reproduce by neutron star mergers. In this study, we aim to clarify the enrichment of r-process elements in the Local Group dwarf galaxies. We carry out numerical simulations of galactic chemo-dynamical evolution using an N-body/smoothed particle hydrodynamics code, ASURA. We construct a chemo-dynamical evolution model for dwarf galaxies assuming that neutron star mergers are the major source of r-process elements. Our models reproduce the observed dispersion in [Eu/Fe] as a function of [Fe/H] with neutron star mergers with a merger time of 100 Myr. We find that star formation efficiency and metal mixing processes during the first ≲ 300 Myr of galaxy evolution are important to reproduce the observations. This study supports that neutron star mergers are a major site of r-process.
In 2013, an unusual increase of paratyphoid fever cases in travellers returning from Cambodia was reported in Japan. From December 2012 to September 2013, 18 cases of Salmonella Paratyphi A infection were identified. Microbiological analyses revealed that most isolates had the same clonal identity, although the epidemiological link between these cases remains unclear. It was inferred that the outbreak was caused by a common and persistent source in Cambodia that was likely to have continued during 2014. The information of surveillance and laboratory data from cases arising in travellers from countries with limited surveillance systems should be timely shared with the country of origin.
Accumulating evidence suggests an association between gut microbiota and the development of obesity, raising the possibility of probiotic administration as a therapeutic approach. Bifidobacterium breve B-3 was found to exhibit an anti-obesity effect on high-fat diet-induced obesity mice. In the present study, a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of the consumption of B. breve B-3 on body compositions and blood parameters in adults with a tendency for obesity. After a 4-week run-in period, the participants were randomised to receive either placebo or a B-3 capsule (approximately 5 × 1010 colony-forming units of B-3/d) daily for 12 weeks. A significantly lowered fat mass was observed in the B-3 group compared with the placebo group at week 12. Improvements were observed for some blood parameters related to liver functions and inflammation, such as γ-glutamyltranspeptidase and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. Significant correlations were found between the changed values of some blood parameters and the changed fat mass in the B-3 group. These results suggest the beneficial potential of B. breve B-3 in improving metabolic disorders.
We prepared silicon hyperdoped with sulfur by ion-implantation followed by pulsed laser melting. Effects of laser fluence during pulsed laser melting and of post-annealing on the silicon hyperdoped with sulfur are investigated. The structure of hyperdoped layer changes from poly-to mono-crystal with increasing laser fluence. Interface between sulfur-implanted-layer and single-crystal substrate disappear above 1.1 J/cm2. The spectral intensity of mid-infrared (MIR) optical absorption increases with crystallinity and spectral shape depends on whether the melt depth during pulsed laser melting reaches interface between implanted layer and single-crystal silicon substrate or not. The MIR absorption intensity rapidly decreases with thermal annealing temperature and almost disappears at 750 °C. The activation energy of conductivity decreases with increasing laser fluence and further decreases with increasing post thermal-annealing temperature. The insulator-metal transition is observed for the sample annealed at 750 °C. These results indicate that there is no direct correlation between MIR optical absorption band and insulator-metal transition.