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Apolipoprotein E (APOE) E4 is the main genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Due to the consistent association, there is interest as to whether E4 influences the risk of other neurodegenerative diseases. Further, there is a constant search for other genetic biomarkers contributing to these phenotypes, such as microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) haplotypes. Here, participants from the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative were genotyped to investigate whether the APOE E4 allele or MAPT H1 haplotype are associated with five neurodegenerative diseases: (1) AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), (2) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (3) frontotemporal dementia (FTD), (4) Parkinson’s disease, and (5) vascular cognitive impairment.
Genotypes were defined for their respective APOE allele and MAPT haplotype calls for each participant, and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the associations with the presentations of neurodegenerative diseases.
Our work confirmed the association of the E4 allele with a dose-dependent increased presentation of AD, and an association between the E4 allele alone and MCI; however, the other four diseases were not associated with E4. Further, the APOE E2 allele was associated with decreased presentation of both AD and MCI. No associations were identified between MAPT haplotype and the neurodegenerative disease cohorts; but following subtyping of the FTD cohort, the H1 haplotype was significantly associated with progressive supranuclear palsy.
This is the first study to concurrently analyze the association of APOE isoforms and MAPT haplotypes with five neurodegenerative diseases using consistent enrollment criteria and broad phenotypic analysis.
The gullet worms, classical Gongylonema pulchrum and newly differentiated Gongylonema nepalensis, are prevalent in various mammals in Japan and Sardinia, Italy, respectively. The former species is cosmopolitan in distribution, dwelling in the mucosa of the upper digestive tract of a variety of domestic and wild mammals, and also humans. At present, the geographical distribution of G. nepalensis is known in Nepal and Sardinia, with the nematode having been recorded from the oesophagus of water buffaloes (Nepal), cattle, sheep, goats and wild mouflon (Sardinia). To clarify their natural transmission cycles among domestic and wild mammals, the present study analysed the ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA) and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox1) of worms of various origins: G. pulchrum worms from sika deer, wild boars, Japanese macaques, and feral alien Reeves's muntjacs in Japan, and G. nepalensis worms from a red fox and a wild boar in Sardinia. Although the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of rDNA and partial cox1 nucleotide sequences of G. pulchrum from native wild mammals in Japan were distinct from those of the worms in cattle, the worms from feral alien Reeves's muntjacs showed the cattle-type ITS genotype and cox1 cattle-I and II haplotypes. The rDNA and cox1 nucleotide sequences of G. nepalensis from a red fox in Sardinia were almost identical to those of the worms from domestic and wild ruminants on the island. The ecological interaction between domestic and wild mammals and their susceptibility to different Gongylonema spp. must be considered when trying to elucidate this spirurid's transmission dynamics in nature.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Insufficient nutrition during the perinatal period causes structural alterations in humans and experimental animals, leading to increased vulnerability to diseases in later life. Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica, in which partial (8–10%) egg white was withdrawn (EwW) from eggs before incubation had lower birth weights than controls (CTs). EwW birds also had reduced hatching rates, smaller glomeruli and lower embryo weight. In EwW embryos, the surface condensate area containing mesenchymal cells was larger, suggesting that delayed but active nephrogenesis takes place. In mature EwW quail, the number of glomeruli in the cortical region (mm2) was significantly lower (CT 34.7±1.4, EwW 21.0±1.2); capillary loops showed focal ballooning, and mesangial areas were distinctly expanded. Immunoreactive cell junction proteins, N-cadherin and podocin, and slit diaphragms were clearly seen. With aging, the mesangial area and glomerular size continued to increase and were significantly larger in EwW quail, suggesting compensatory hypertrophy. Furthermore, apoptosis measured by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick-end labeling analysis was higher in EwWs than in CTs on embryonic day 15 and postnatal day 4 (D4). Similarly, plasma glucocorticoid (corticosterone) was higher (P<0.01) on D4 in EwW quail. These results suggest that although nephrogenic activity is high in low-nutrition quail during the perinatal period, delayed development and increased apoptosis may result in a lower number of mature nephrons. Damaged or incompletely mature mesangium may trigger glomerular injury, leading in later life to nephrosclerosis. The present study shows that birds serve as a model for ‘fetal programming,’ which appears to have evolved phylogenetically early.
We are currently conducting three kinds of IR surveys of star forming regions (SFRs) in order to seek for very low-mass young stellar populations. First is a deep JHKs-bands (simultaneous) survey with the SIRIUS camera on the IRSF 1.4m or the UH 2.2m telescopes. Second is a very deep JHKs survey with the CISCO IR camera on the Subaru 8.2m telescope. Third is a high resolution companion search around nearby YSOs with the CIAO adaptive optics coronagraph IR camera on the Subaru. In this contribution, we describe our SIRIUS camera and present preliminary results of the ongoing surveys with this new instrument.
The red variables whose amplitude is larger than 1.3 mag in the MOA database are studied for the LMC. Among 3 196 such stars, 532 stars are likely to be Miras or red semiregular variables. The period–colour relation of these stars is shown.
A large database of CCD photometry for 1.4 million stars towards both the LMC and the SMC, which has been established by the MOA project, is a useful resource to study variable stars. In our preliminary study, variables identified as β Lyrae type stars and Herbig Ae/Be stars have been found amongst blue stars.
A review of the MOA (Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics) project is presented. MOA is a collaboration of approximately 30 astronomers from New Zealand and Japan established with the aim of finding and detecting microlensing events towards the Magellanic Clouds and the Galactic bulge, which may be indicative of either dark matter or of planetary companions. The observing program commenced in 1995, using very wide band blue and red filters and a nine-chip mosaic CCD camera.
As a by-product of these observations a large database of CCD photometry for 1.4 million stars towards both LMC and SMC has been established. In one preliminary analysis 576 bright variable stars were confirmed, nearly half of them being Cepheids. Another analysis has identified large numbers of blue variables, and 205 eclipsing binaries are included in this sample. In addition 351 red variables (AGB stars) have been found. Light curves have been obtained for all these stars. The observations are carried out on a 61-cm f/6.25 telescope at Mt John University Observatory where a new larger CCD camera was installed in 1998 July. From this latitude (44° S) the Magellanic Clouds can be monitored throughout the year.
We explore the general astrobiological significance of F-type main-sequence stars with masses between 1.2 and 1.5 M⊙. Special consideration is given to stellar evolutionary aspects due to nuclear main-sequence evolution. DNA is taken as a proxy for carbon-based macromolecules following the paradigm that extraterrestrial biology may be most likely based on hydrocarbons. Consequently, the DNA action spectrum is utilized to represent the impact of the stellar ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Planetary atmospheric attenuation is taken into account based on parameterized attenuation functions. We found that the damage inflicted on DNA for planets at Earth-equivalent positions is between a factor of 2.5 and 7.1 higher than for solar-like stars, and there are intricate relations for the time-dependence of damage during stellar main-sequence evolution. If attenuation is considered, smaller factors of damage are obtained in alignment to the attenuation parameters. This work is motivated by earlier studies indicating that the UV environment of solar-type stars is one of the most decisive factors in determining the suitability of exosolar planets and exomoons for biological evolution and sustainability.
The association between depression after myocardial infarction and increased risk of mortality and cardiac morbidity may be due to cardiac disease severity.
To combine original data from studies on the association between post-infarction depression and prognosis into one database, and to investigate to what extent such depression predicts prognosis independently of disease severity.
An individual patient data meta-analysis of studies was conducted using multilevel, multivariable Cox regression analyses.
Sixteen studies participated, creating a database of 10 175 post-infarction cases. Hazard ratios for post-infarction depression were 1.32 (95% CI 1.26–1.38, P<0.001) for all-cause mortality and 1.19 (95% CI 1.14–1.24, P<0.001) for cardiovascular events. Hazard ratios adjusted for disease severity were attenuated by 28% and 25% respectively.
The association between depression following myocardial infarction and prognosis is attenuated after adjustment for cardiac disease severity. Still, depression remains independently associated with prognosis, with a 22% increased risk of all-cause mortality and a 13% increased risk of cardiovascular events per standard deviation in depression z-score.
The accident of the TEPCO Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant occurred by the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake on 11 Mar. 2011. It is estimated that totally 1.2-1.5x1016 Bq for 137Cs and 1.5-1.6x1017 Bq for 131I were released until the beginning of Apr. and those radionuclides (RN) were deposited on soil surface and forest etc. widely around Fukushima Pref. This work was carried out as one of the investigations for making the distribution maps of radiation dose rate and soil contaminated by RNs which the MEXT promotes. The Geoslicer investigation on the depth distribution of RNs in soil was performed after 3 months from the accident. The investigation was conducted at 11 locations in Nihonmatsu City, Kawamata Town and Namie Town, and soil samples of depth 50 cm to 1 m were taken. Both of 134Cs and 137Cs were detected in all investigated locations, and 129mTe and 110mAg were detected only in locations where radiation dose rates are high. At many locations investigated, radiocaesium more than 99 % distributed within a depth of 10 cm in soil in the surface layer. On the other hand, RNs tended to distribute to deeper part in soil at locations that are supposed to have been used as farmland than in soil in the surface layer, and radiocaesium more than 99 % in soil at locations that are supposed to have been used as farmland also distributed within a depth of around 14 cm. The apparent diffusion coefficients (Da) of RNs derived from penetration profiles near the surface layer showed a tendency to be higher in soil at locations that are supposed to have been used as farmland (Da=0.1-1.5x10-10 m2/s) than in soil in the surface layer (Da=0.65-4.4x10-11 m2/s), and most Da-values were nearly 10-11 m2/s. The distribution coefficients (Kd) by a batch method were in the range of Kd=2,000-61,000 ml/g for Cs and Kd=0.5-140 ml/g for I. Although the Kd-values are different between cation (Cs+) and anion (I-), the Da-values (134Cs, 137Cs, 129mTe and 110mAg) were similar levels. This is considered to be due to that the Da-values were controlled by dispersion by flow of rain water.
We describe an outbreak of simultaneous Clostridium difficile and norovirus infections in a long-term-care facility. Thirty patients experienced acute gastroenteritis, and four had co-infection with identical C. difficile 027 and genotype II.4 New Orleans norovirus strains. Co-occurring infection requires improved understanding of risk factors, clinical impact, and testing strategies.
We report on a program to delineate magnetic field structure inside molecular clouds by optical and infrared polarization observations. An ordered magnetic field inside a dense cloud may efficiently align the spinning dust grains to cause a detectable level of optical and near-infrared polarization of otherwise unpolarized background starlight due to dichroic extinction. The near-infrared polarization data were taken by SIRPOL mounted on IRSF in SAAO. Here we present the SIRPOL results in RCW 57, for which the magnetic field is oriented along the cloud filaments, and in Carina Nebula, for which no intrinsic polarization is detected in the turbulent environment. We further describe TRIPOL, a compact and efficient polarimer to acquire polarized images simultaneously at g', r', and i' bands, which is recently developed at Nagoya University for adaption to small-aperture telescopes. We show how optical observations probe the translucent outer parts of a cloud, and when combining with infrared observations probing the dense parts, and with millimeter and submillimeter observations to sutdy the central embedded protostar, if there is one, would yield the magnetic field structure on different length scales in the star-formation process.
Capillary type underfill is still the mainstream underfill for mass production flip chip applications. Flip chip packages are migrating to ultra low-k, Pb-free, 3D and fine pitch packages. Underfill selection is becoming more critical. This paper discusses the performance and potential of underfills using a novel organic-inorganic hybrid polymer technology.
Compared to eutectic and high lead solder, tin-silver-copper solder has lower C.T.E., higher elasticity and greater brittleness. In light of these properties, it is generally better to select high Tg and lower CTE underfill in order to prevent bump fatigue during reliability testing. Given the brittleness of low-k dielectric layers of flip chips, the destruction of low-k layers by stress inside the flip chip packages has become a major issue. Underfills for low-k packages should have low stress, and the warpage should be small. It is expected that as the low-k trend expands, the underfill is required to provide less stress. Low Tg underfill shows lower warpage. New chemical technologies have been developed to address the needs of underfills for low-k/Pb-free flip chip packages, specifically organic-inorganic hybrid polymer compounds. The organic-inorganic hybrid polymer provides excellent cure properties which enable a balanced combination of low stress and good bump protection. The material properties of the underfill were characterized using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Thermo-Mechanical Analysis (TMA), and Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA). A daisy-chained test vehicle was used for reliability testing. A detailed study is presented on the underfill properties, reliability data, as well as finite element modeling results.
An electric insulation resistant coating has been developed by using photo-oxidized silicone oil. The silicone oil was exposed to ultraviolet⊈light in the air; which transformed the organic silicone oil into an inorganic amorphous glass film. Conventional large-area solar panels and smart papers are made of glass or plastic; in addition to being well insulated, waterproof, transparent, and hard, the panels are desirable to be light in weight and flexible. Here, metal foil is dipped into dimethylsiloxane silicone oil, and the silicone oil on the foil surface is irradiated with Xe2 excimer lamplight. Oxygen adsorbed on the sample surface is photo-excited by the irradiation to produce active oxygen. This active oxygen reacts with the silicone oil photo-excited and forms inorganic glass. With the process of the photo-oxidation, the silicone oil is vitrified, being inorganic.
A photo-oxidized thin film, which transformed the organic silicone oil into inorganic glass, was coated on optical materials surface by using Xe2 excimer lamp at room temperature. This technique has enabled an optical thin coating capable of transmitting ultraviolet rays [UV] of wavelengths under 200 nm and possessing the characteristics of hardness, strain-free, resistance to high power laser, and resistance to water. UV and IR spectroscopic analysis was carried out for investigation of the oxidized silicone oil. The results revealed that the absorption peak of the CH3 group at 2900 cm-1 decreased as the irradiation time of the excimer lamp increased, and the transmittance of the light in the 172 nm wavelengths conversely became high. The UV transmittance of the silicone oil was 29.2 % before the lamp irradiation; and it improved to 90.6 % after the irradiation for 120 minutes. Moreover, in order to evaluate for resistance to laser damage [J/cm2/10 ns], the films were further irradiated with the Nd: YAG laser of ω [1.06 μm] or 2ω [0.503 μm]. The silica glass substrate had almost same laser tolerance in ω and 2ω, 112 J/cm2 and 113 J/cm2, respectively. The laser damage threshold of the photo-oxidized 100 nm thick film formed on the fused silica substrate was 72 J/cm2 in ω and 107 J/cm2 in 2ω.