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Global seabird populations are in decline, with nearly half of all seabird species currently in an extinction crisis. Understanding long-term seabird population trends is an essential first step to inform conservation actions. In this study, we assembled historical breeding records of seabirds throughout the Japanese archipelago and quantified the long-term population trends of 10 major breeding seabird species using a hierarchical Bayesian state-space model. The model revealed that six species had increasing or no detectable trends (Short-tailed Albatross Phoebastria albatrus, Leach’s Storm Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa, Pelagic Cormorant Phalacrocorax pelagicus, Japanese Cormorant Phalacrocorax capillatus, Spectacled Guillemot Cepphus carbo, and Rhinoceros Auklet Cerorhinca monocerata). However, decreasing trends were found not only in nationally threatened species (Common Murre Uria aalge, and Tufted Puffin Fratercula cirrhata) but also common species that are often described as abundant (Black-tailed Gull Larus crassirostris and Slaty-backed Gull Larus schistisagus). These declining species have declined to 3–35% of baseline levels over the past 30 years. This study provides the first evidence of long-term declines in common and widespread seabirds in Japan.
Ceramics are sometimes bonded to ductile metals in order to make up for their brittle behavior for industrial use. The residual stress will be induced in ceramics bonded to metals at high temeprature, and it has a strong influence on the strength of ceramic-metal joints. A silicon nitride plate was bonded to a carbon steel plate by brazing to a copper sheet sandwiched between the two materials. The residual stress distribution of the joint specimen was determined by x-ray diffraction using the Gaussian curve method. The measured residual stress distribution almost agreed with that calculated by the three-dimensional thermoelastoplastic stress analysis using FEM, but differed remarkably from that calculated by the two-dimensional stress analysis. This is because a stress concentration occurs at the ceramic-metal interface and the stress distributes three - dimensionally. The stress σx in the axial direction on the surface of the specimen takes maximum values at the center and the edge of the interface.
We estimate the sea-ice extent and basal melt of Antarctic ice shelves at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) using a coupled ice-shelf-sea-ice-ocean model. The shape of Antarctic ice shelves, ocean conditions and atmospheric surface conditions at the LGM are different from those in the present day; these are derived from an ice-shelf-ice-sheet model, a sea-ice-ocean model and a climate model for glacial simulations, respectively. The winter sea ice in the LGM is shown to extend up to ∼7° of latitude further equatorward than in the present day. For the LGM summer, the model shows extensive sea-ice cover in the Atlantic sector and little sea ice in the other sectors. These modelled sea-ice features are consistent with those reconstructed from sea-floor sedimentary records. Total basal melt of Antarctic ice shelves in the LGM was ∼2147 Gt a–1, which is much larger than the present-day value. More warm waters originating from Circumpolar Deep Water could be easily transported into ice-shelf cavities during the LGM because the full glacial grounding line extended to shelf break regions and ice shelves overhung continental slopes. This increased transport of warm water masses underneath an ice shelf and into their basal cavities led to the high basal melt of ice shelves in the LGM.
We found new, stationary axisymmetric, asymptotically flat exact solutions to Einstein's vacuum field equations, which are classified by an integer δ and Kerr metric is the solution of δ = 1. The number of ring singularity on the equatorial plane is δ. The odd δ metrices contain the surfaces of event horizon but the even δ metrices do not. Except the Kerr metric, however, the space-time becomes singular at the poles on these surfaces.
We discuss the radiocarbon chronology of Late Pleistocene archaeology in the Japanese islands. In sum, 429 samples from more than 100 archaeological sites were compiled and then divided into three periods and four stages. The Early Upper Paleolithic, characterized by Trapezoid industries, lasted during approximately 34-26 ka. The Late Upper Paleolithic period includes both the backed-blade stage and point-tool stage, the latter appearing chronologically later than the former. This stage covers ~25–15 ka. The Final Upper Paleolithic and Incipient Jomon are distinguished by the appearance of microblade industries and the emergence of pottery at the end of this period. This period covers approximately 14-12 ka. The microblade tradition, in the broadest sense, is strongly connected to the background of peopling of the New World. New data on the transitional stage from the Middle to the Upper Paleolithic are also discussed in regards to three archaeological sites. Issues on the application of the 14C calibration to the whole Japanese Upper Paleolithic are critically evaluated.
A novel and fundamental method was reported to judge states of lithium ion batteries (LIBs) using the capacitance and the voltage of the cells that were estimated from the real-time currents and voltage characteristics of the cells. We measured the differential capacitance, that is, dQ/dV or delta Q/ delta V that is equal to the currents (I) divided by differential voltages (dV/dt) calculated from the current and the voltage characteristics of the cell during the charging/ discharging, where Q is the charge that flows through the cell, V is the voltage of the cell and t is time. It is thought that the capacitance decrease with the degradation of the cell because the effective area of the electrodes is decreasing due to formation of undesirable compounds. The differential capacitance in some specific voltage range for the LIBs was approximately directly proportional to the state of the degradation of the cell. Therefore, it is concluded that the novel method is very useful to judge the state of the LIBs.
Although mandatory vaccination programs have been effective in improving the vaccination rate among healthcare workers, implementing this type of program can be challenging because of varied reasons for vaccine refusal. The purpose of our study is to measure improvement in the influenza vaccination rate from a multifaceted intervention at a Japanese tertiary care center where implementing a mandatory vaccination program is difficult.
Participants and Setting.
Healthcare workers at a 550-bed, tertiary care, academic medical center in Sapporo, Japan.
We performed a multifaceted intervention including (1) use of a declination form, (2) free vaccination, (3) hospital-wide announcements during the vaccination period, (4) prospective audit and real-time telephone interview for healthcare workers who did not receive the vaccine, (5) medical interview with the hospital executive for noncompliant (no vaccine, no declination form) healthcare workers during the vaccination period, and (6) mandatory submission of a vaccination document if vaccinated outside of the study institution.
With the new multifaceted intervention, the vaccination rate in the 2012-2013 season increased substantially, up to 97%. This rate is similar to that reported in studies with a mandatory vaccination program. Improved vaccination acceptance, particularly among physicians, likely contributed to the overall increase in the vaccination rate reported in the study.
Implementation of comprehensive strategies with strong leadership can lead to substantial improvements in vaccine uptake among healthcare workers even without a mandatory vaccination policy. The concept is especially important for institutions where implementing mandatory vaccination programs is challenging.
Partial sequences of the DNA polymerase delta (pold) gene from Taenia saginata-like adult worms were sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that pold gene sequences were clearly divided into two clades, differing from each other in five to seven nucleotides. There is little doubt that T. saginata and Taenia asiatica were once separated into two distinct taxa as has been concluded in previous studies. On the other hand, most of the adult worms, which were identified as T. asiatica using mitochondrial DNA, were homozygous for an allele that originated from the allele of T. saginata via single nucleotide substitution. These results indicate that most of the adult worms, which had been called T. asiatica, are not actually ‘pure T. asiatica’ but instead originated from the hybridization of ‘pure T. saginata’ and ‘pure T. asiatica’.
This paper reports structural and electrical properties of catalytic-nitrided silicon dioxide (SiO2) films. The surface of SiO2/Si(100) was nitrided at temperatures below 573 K. It was found that the incorporated N atoms are bound to Si atoms and O atoms and located on the top-surface of SiO2. Catalytic-nitrided SiO2 films have small amounts of Si-OH bonds and adequate resistance to boron (B) penetration.
Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) was gradually converted to the disordered graphite by means of heat-treatment (HT). According to Raman spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction (XRD), the disorder nature of the structure is modified from atomic scale sp2/sp3 disorder to disordered sp2-domain network by the migration of sp3-defects induced by HT at temperatures 200 - 400°C. The structural change increases conductivity and modifies the hopping conduction mechanism at low temperatures. The slight positive thermoelectric power for samples with graphitic domains is suggestive of carrier compensation by the competition of hole and electron carriers that originates from the inhomogeneous charge distribution caused by the difference of Fermi levels among the sp2-domains.
This paper reports a procedure for low-temperature nitridation of silicon dioxide (SiO2) surfaces using species produced by catalytic decomposition of NH3 on heated tungsten in catalytic chemical vapor deposition (Cat-CVD) system. The surface of SiO2/Si(100) was nitrided at temperatures as low as 200°C. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements revealed that incorporated N atoms are bound to Si atoms and O atoms and located top-surface of SiO2.
A novel method to solve the thermal mismatch problems in a heteroepi-taxial structure is presented, in which an amorphous film deposited on a single crystalline substrate is crystallized in solid phase by annealing under ultra high pressure and both temperature and pressure are decreased proportionally. Under a specific relation between the temperature and pressure, it is expected that the effective thermal expansion coefficients, the expansion coefficients modified by elastic strain, of the film and substrate are equal and that neither defects nor strain is generated in the film during the cooling process. Theoretical consideration and experimental results for Ge films on Si(100) substrates are presented.
This is to report the feasibility of ultra-thin silicon nitride (SiNx) films, prepared by catalytic chemical vapor deposition (Cat-CVD) method, as an ultra-thin gate insulator. In the Cat-CVD method, the deposition gases such as a gaseous mixture of silane (SiH4) and ammonia (NH 3) are decomposed by catalytic cracking reactions with a heated tungsten catalyzer placed near substrates, and SiNx films are formed at substrate temperatures around 300°C without using plasma. In the paper, additionally the effect of post-deposited treatments by using NH3-decomposed species or hydrogen (H2)-decomposed species formed by catalytic cracking of NH3 and H2 are also studied. It is found that a small hysteresis loop is seen in the C-V curve of as-deposited Cat-CVD SiNx films and that the leakage currents with thickness of 3nm equivalent oxide thickness (EOT) is slightly larger than that in the conventional thermal SiO2 of similar EOT. However, it is also found that the properties of Cat-CVD SiNx films are drastically improved by the post-deposited H2 or NH3 treatments, that is, the hysteresis loop disappears and the leakage current decreases by three orders of magnitude.
We a pplied ellipsometric porosimetry and variable-energy positron annihilation spectroscopy to the pore characterization of spin-on-glass silicon-oxide-backboned porous thin films with different relative dielectric constants between 2.3 and 3.2. It was found that the relative dielectric constant decreases linearly with increasing open porosity deduced by ellipsometric porosimetry. Comparison of the open porosity with the average pore size deduced by positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy suggested that mesopores less contribute to open porosity and are not so effective in decreasing film relative dielectric constant in comparison with micropores.
Joining between Nylon-film and Silicone-rubber was successfully developed. Effects of EB-irradiation on joining strength of different polymers without adhesive materials were investigated by using homogeneous EB irradiation. The EB irradiation increased the joining strength of the joining sample between Nylon-film and Silicone-rubber. Excess EB-irradiation more than 0.3 MGy apparently decreased the joining strength. To discuss the influences of electron beam irradiation on the joining strength, ESR signals related to dangling bonds were observed. Since the EB irradiation produced detectable dangling bonds on Nylon-film, using dangling bonds probably joined the different polymers.
We deposited a-SiCN:H films by HWCVD using a gas mixture of hexamethyldisilazane, H2 and N2, and fabricated cast polycrystalline silicon solar cells with the a-SiCN:H passivation and anti-reflection layer. N2 addition led to the reduction of the refractive index of the a-SiCN:H films due to the increase in nitrogen concentration of the films. This improved performance of the antireflection layer. The advantage of adding N2 to the process was demonstrated by the improvement in short circuit current (JSC) and efficiency of cast polycrystalline silicon solar cells. At present, the efficiency of cast polycrystalline silicon solar cell using a-SiCN:H film as a passivation layer reached 14.2%.
Shape-controlled CaF2 and sapphire crystals were grown by a micro-pulling-down (μ-PD) method and the crystallinities were investigated. By the μ-PD method with crucibles which have special configurations, circular tube-shaped CaF2 crystal, square tube-shaped CaF2 crystal and square tube-shaped sapphire crystal with high transparency were obtained. The grown crystals indicated a single phase of CaF2 and Al2O3 in the XRD measurements. X-ray rocking curve of square tube-shaped sapphire indicated the crystal has no mosaic structure in the crystal and it has high crystallinity comparable to crystals grown by Cz method.
Although most Kawasaki disease with giant coronary aneurysms is asymptomatic, conventional investigations might not identify previous lesions, or all Kawasaki disease with giant aneurysms at risk of future myocardial lesions. We evaluated the long-term histopathology of the myocardium, especially of intramural small vessels in asymptomatic Kawasaki disease with giant aneurysms.
The initial study comprised 16 consecutive Kawasaki patients – male-to-female ratio was 12:4 – aged from 2 to 12 years, and in the subsequent study, the same patients were aged from 4.9 to 16 years. Endomyocardial biopsies were histopathologically evaluated. Microangiopathies, mitochondrial abnormalities, and loss or disarray of myofibrils were compared by electron microscopy.
The incidence of histopathological abnormalities such as degeneration, hypertrophy, and inflammatory cell infiltration was quite high in the initial study, and inflammatory cell infiltration, interstitial fibrosis, and disarray were very noticeable at follow-up biopsies. The area of fibrous tissue was significantly higher in patients administered with intravenous immunoglobulin at follow-up biopsies. Electron microscopy showed microangiopathies including microthrombi within intramural small vessels in some patients at follow-up biopsies. The sites of the coronary aneurysms did not seem to have an impact on the biopsy findings, suggesting that the underlying pathophysiology is related to the original disease process.
Whether the abnormalities were due to direct myocardial injury, chronic ischaemia, repeated small-vessel thrombosis, or other problems associated only with biopsies, is difficult to determine. However, this subgroup had residual abnormal lesions in the myocardium. Follow-up should be more aggressive in this group of patients to identify myocardial damage that could be asymptomatic.
In ICSI procedures, it is well known that the selection of viable (live) spermatozoa and certain types of immobilization prior to injection is very important for obtaining successful results, but unfortunately there are rare situations when only immotile spermatozoa are available (such as in severe asthenozoospermia or necrozoospermia). In such cases, failure of oocyte activation after ICSI often occurs and may be due to the lack of SOAF (sperm-borne oocyte activating factor) activity. In order to investigate the SOAF activities of dead spermatozoa, mouse and human spermatozoa were immobilized (killed by sonication), maintained in THF medium for varying time intervals (up to 72 h) and then injected into mature unfertilized mouse oocytes. Injected mouse oocytes were examined for their activation, development into blastocysts and Ca2+ responses by imaging and confocal laser scanning microscope. The rates of oocyte activation, blastocyst development and normal patterns of Ca2+ oscillation from the killed-sperm-injected oocytes decreased gradually in accordance with the maintenance interval between sonication and injection. For injection with mouse sonicated spermatozoa, the rate of normal Ca2+ oscillations declined first (after a 3 h maintenance interval) and then blastocyst development was gradually obstructed (after approx. 10 h). The oocyte activation-inducing ability of dead spermatozoa was maintained for a relatively long period, but began to decline after 20 h. The activation rates and Ca2+ response of the oocytes that were injected with human sonicated spermatozoa decreased earlier than those injected with mouse spermatozoa. Although the oocyte activation-inducing ability was maintained for a relatively long time after the death of the spermatozoa, embryo development into blastocysts and the rate of normal Ca2+ oscillations declined after a short maintenance interval between sonication and injection. The Ca2+ response seemed to be the most sensitive indicator for the evaluating the SOAF activity of dead (killed) spermatozoa.