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In eutherian mammals, the placenta plays a critical role in embryo development by supplying nutrients and hormones and mediating interaction with the mother. To establish the fine connection between mother and embryo, the placenta needs to be formed normally, but the mechanism of placental differentiation is not fully understood. We previously revealed that mouse prolyl oligopeptidase (POP) plays a role in trophoblast stem cell (TSC) differentiation into two placental cell types, spongiotrophoblasts (SpT) and trophoblast giant cells. Here, we focused on SpT differentiation and attempted to elucidate a molecular mechanism. For Ascl2, Arnt, and Egfr genes that are indispensable for SpT formation, we found that a POP-specific inhibitor, SUAM-14746, significantly decreased Ascl2 expression, which was consistent with a significant decrease in expression of Flt1, a gene downstream of Ascl2. Although this downregulation was unlikely to be mediated by the PI3K-Akt pathway, our results indicated that POP controls TSC differentiation into SpT by regulating the Ascl2 gene.
This research investigates mechanisms of drifting snow accumulation, and of strong wind associated with snow clouds (developed cumulus). Detailed structure of snow drifting close to the ground was observed at several sites by use of snow particle counters (SPC), visibility meters and other meteorological instruments, simultaneously with observations of wind structure in the lower atmosphere using Doppler radar and radiosonde. Areal distributions of drifting snow were also observed as a function of time. Primary results include the following. (1) The intensity of drifting snow was found to have a strong correlation with fetch distance. Of obstacles to windward of the observation point, a river interfered with drifting snow more effectively than did a hamlet. (2) The areal distribution of drifting snow is explained fully. (3) Visibility, reflectivity and wind velocity at ground level are strongly related to drifting snow patterns.
Turbulent heat transfer across a sheared wind-driven gas–liquid interface is investigated by means of a direct numerical simulation of gas–liquid two-phase turbulent flows under non-breaking wave conditions. The wind-driven wavy gas–liquid interface is captured using the arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian method with boundary-fitted coordinates on moving grids, and the temperature fields on both the gas and liquid sides, and the humidity field on the gas side are solved. The results show that although the distributions of the total, latent, sensible and radiative heat fluxes at the gas–liquid interface exhibit streak features such that low-heat-flux regions correspond to both low-streamwise-velocity regions on the gas side and high-streamwise-velocity regions on the liquid side, the similarity between the heat-flux streak and velocity streak on the gas side is more significant than that on the liquid side. This means that, under the condition of a fully developed wind-driven turbulent field on both the gas and liquid sides, the heat transfer across the sheared wind-driven gas–liquid interface is strongly affected by the turbulent eddies on the gas side, rather than by the turbulent eddies and Langmuir circulations on the liquid side. This trend is quite different from that of the mass transfer (i.e.
gas). This is because the resistance to heat transfer is normally lower than the resistance to mass transfer on the liquid side, and therefore the heat transfer is controlled by the turbulent eddies on the gas side. It is also verified that the predicted total heat, latent heat, sensible heat and enthalpy transfer coefficients agree well with previously measured values in both laboratory and field experiments. To estimate the heat transfer coefficients on both the gas and liquid sides, the surface divergence could be a useful parameter, even when Langmuir circulations exist.
Glutamatergic neurotransmission via the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor is integral to the pathophysiology of depression. This study was performed to examine whether amino acids related to NMDA receptor neurotransmission are altered in the serum of patients with depression.
We measured the serum levels of d-serine, l-serine, glycine, glutamate and glutamine in patients with depression (n=70), and age-matched healthy subjects (n=78).
Serum levels of d-serine and l-serine in patients with depression were significantly higher than those of healthy controls (p<0.001). In contrast, serum levels of glycine, glutamate and glutamine did not differ between the two groups. Interestingly, the ratio of l-serine to glycine in patients was significantly higher than that of healthy controls (p<0.001).
This study suggests that serine enantiomers may be peripheral biomarkers for depression, and that abnormality in the d-serine-l-serine-glycine cycle plays a role in the pathophysiology of depression.
We have developed a new mm-submm telescope with a diameter of 1.85 m (hereafter, Osaka 1.85-m telescope) installed at the Nobeyama Radio Observatory. The scientific goal is to precisely reveal physical properties of molecular clouds in the Galaxy by obtaining a large-scale distribution of molecular gas, which also can be compared with large-scale observations in various wavelengths. The target frequency is ~230 GHz; simultaneous observations in J = 2–1 lines of 12CO, 13CO and C18O are achieved with a beam size (HPBW) of 2.7 arcmin. Here we present the progress of observations and the scientific results obtained by Osaka 1.85-m telescope. We note that these J = 2–1 data of the Galactic molecular clouds will be precious for the comparison with those of extra-galactic ones that will be obtained with the ALMA with the comparable spatial resolutions.
We investigated the mask-pattern and trimethylalminium (TMAl)-flow-rate dependence of the Al composition in AlGaN selective growth for novel InGaN multiple quantum well lasers having selectively grown ridge structures (RiS-type lasers). The Al composition decreased with increases of the local coverage ratio. This result was explained quantitatively by a simple model in which the Al is deposited as polycrystals on the mask without migration occurring and the Ga is concentrated into the window. Under a high TMAl flow-rate condition, this effect of lowering the Al composition was weakened by the high Ga consumption on the mask, and an desirable Al composition for GaN-based lasers was realized. The model can be used to control the composition of p-AlGaN layers for RiS-type lasers.
We have investigated the method of fabricating microstructures on a Si surface that is covered with a patterned gold (Au) mask, by electrochemical etching (anodization) in dilute hydrofluoric acid (HF) solution. We found that at electrode potentials below approximately 0.5 V, the Si surface is preferentially etched on the fringe of the Au mask, where a number of pores are formed. At higher electrode potentials, Au microwires with about 1 µm in width form along the fringe of the Au mask overlayer. We suggest that electromigration of Au towards the fringe of the Au mask induces self-assembling of Au atoms to form microwires. The observed self-formation of metal microwires would be beneficial to the fabrication of metal micro- or nano-structures on Si.
High quality cubic GaN films were successfully grown on an AlN/GaN ordered alloy by RF-MBE. AlN/GaN ordered alloy is here employed instead of a AlGaN nucleation layer formed by nitridation of an AlGaAs buffer layer. Dominant cubic GaN epilayer (1.0 μm) growth was confirmed by insitu RHEED observations, AFM, TEM, PL and X-ray diffraction measurements.
We investigated the anti-allergic effects of one strain (T120) of a lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from Mongolian fermented milk using atopic dermatitis (AD) model mice (NC/Nga mice). Strain T120 has already been identified as Enterococcus faecium and shown to induce strong production of IL-12 (Kimura et al. 2006). In in vitro studies, strain T120 suppressed total IgE production and induced IL-12 and IFN-γ production by splenocytes of NC/Nga mice. The additional examination of various neutralization antibodies was performed to elucidate in detail the mechanism of depressed IgE production by strain T120. As a result, it became clear that IL-12 induced by strain T120 increased production of IFN-γ and total IgE production was mainly controlled by the IFN-γ. In order to define the cells which produce IL-12 powerfully by this strain, antigen-presenting cells (APCs) such as macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) were removed from the splenocytes, and the reactivity of these cells to the strain was examined. Induction of IL-12 and IFN-γ by strain T120 became significantly very low by removal of APCs from splenocytes. Therefore, it was clear that strain T120 acted on APCs and induced production of IL-12. Further, this strain enhanced the production of IL-10 by splenocytes. In in vivo studies, intraperitoneal injection of strain T120 inhibited serum IgE elevation and atopic dermatitis symptoms in NC/Nga mice. These results suggest that an anti-allergic effect of strain T120 depends on the increased production of IL-12 by APCs activated by the strain and following the increased production of IFN-γ. Further, activation of regulatory T cells by strain T120 may inhibit atopic desease.
High-energy protons are generated by focusing an ultrashort pulsed
high intensity laser at the Advanced Photon Research Center, JAERI-Kansai
onto thin (thickness <10 μm) Tantalum targets. The laser
intensities are about 4 × 1018 W/cm2. The
prepulse level of the laser pulse is measured with combination of a PIN
photo diode and a cross correlator and is less than 10−6.
A quarter-wave plate is installed into the laser beam line to create
circularly polarized pulses. Collimated high energy protons are observed
with CH coated Tantalum targets irradiated with the circularly polarized
laser pulses. The beam divergence of the generated proton beam is measured
with a CR-39 track detector and is about 6 mrad.
We succeeded in fabricating c-axis (00l) oriented ZnO ceramics by using a rotating magnetic field and a subsequent sintering treatment. The degree of orientation in the green compact was about 0.5 along (00l) on the Lotgering scale. The degree of orientation increased to 0.99 after sintering at 1573 K. Particles can also be oriented in a static magnetic field, but along the direction of the a-axis or a,b-axes (h00), (hk0). These results show that selected axes can be oriented by controlling the magnetic field. Control of the crystal form in microstructures is expected to result in improvements in and better miniaturization of functional ceramics.
Thirteen cadavers (26 temporal bones) were examined to show the arcuate eminence, especially its correspondence to the superior semicircular canal and inferior surface of the temporal lobe. Arc-like eminences on the petrous bone were observed in 92 per cent of specimens, however, they did not exactly correspond to the superior semi-circular canal. Some eminences corresponded to sulci of the temporal lobe of which most were traces of the occipitotemporal sulcus.
On the other hand, a dull, smooth and even domed eminence existed in nine temporal bones independently of the arc-like eminence. Those eminences corresponded to each superior semi-circular canal in only three out of nine specimens.
The arcuate eminence was listed as an important landmark in the middle cranial fossa approach. However, in order to drill out the internal auditory canal safely, surgeons should rely on other landmarks or apply other methods from our data.
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