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Transoral robotic surgery is frequently described, driven by the desire to offer a less morbid alternative to chemoradiation. However, the objective evaluation of post-operative function has rarely been reported. Therefore, high-resolution manometry was used in this study to evaluate the impact of changes in peri-operative swallowing function on pharyngeal pressure events.
Ten patients with various stages of oropharyngeal cancer underwent transoral surgery. High-resolution manometry and videofluoroscopic swallow studies were performed before surgery and two months afterwards. The following parameters were obtained: velopharyngeal and mesopharyngeal post-deglutitive upper oesophageal sphincter pressures, velo-meso-hypopharyngeal contractile integral, upper oesophageal sphincter relaxation pressure, and pharyngeal velocity.
There was no significant difference in pharyngeal pressure or contractile integral pre- versus post-operatively. However, pharyngeal velocity was significantly higher post-operatively than pre-operatively.
High-resolution manometry showed that transoral surgery in patients without pre-operative dysphagia preserved pharyngeal constriction. However, transoral surgery might produce scar formation in the pharynx, which could lead to narrowing of the pharynx.
In endoscopic cricopharyngeal myotomy, surgeons sometimes have concerns about performing an adequate incision with only a narrow intra-cavital view from one direction. In order to overcome these issues, fluoroscopic radiography was used during endoscopic cricopharyngeal myotomy.
Peri-operative fluoroscopic radiography was utilised to check the position of the diverticuloscope, and to confirm the extent of the incision during surgery. A balloon catheter was used to determine whether the cricopharyngeal muscle was sufficiently resected. Blood loss, peri-operative complications, and functional oral swallowing scale and penetration aspiration scale scores were evaluated.
In 12 out of 15 patients, intra-operative fluoroscopic radiography showed the diverticuloscope positioned in the post-cricoid area, and the cricopharyngeal muscle was raised and the surgery completed without adverse effect. Swallowing functions improved following surgery.
Intra-operative fluoroscopy might improve endoscopic cricopharyngeal myotomy by allowing surgeons to confirm the extent of resection, and by reducing peri-operative morbidity and complication rates.
Japan is still a medium-burden tuberculosis (TB) country. We aimed to examine trends in newly notified active TB incidence and TB-related mortality in the last two decades in Japan. This is a population-based study using Japanese Vital Statistics and Japan Tuberculosis Surveillance from 1997 to 2016. We determined active TB incidence and mortality rates (per 100 000 population) by sex, age and disease categories. Joinpoint regression was applied to calculate the annual percentage change (APC) in age-adjusted mortality rates and to identify the years showing significant trend changes. Crude and age-adjusted incidence rates reduced from 33.9 to 13.9 and 37.3 to 11.3 per 100 000 population, respectively. Also, crude and age-adjusted mortality rates reduced from 2.2 to 1.5 and 2.8 to 1.0 per 100 000 population, respectively. Average APC in the incidence and mortality rates showed significant decline both in men (−6.2% and −5.4%, respectively) and women (−5.7% and −4.6%, respectively). Age-specific analysis demonstrated decreases in incidence and mortality rates for every age category, except for the incidence trend in the younger population. Although trends in active TB incidence and mortality rates in Japan have favourably decreased, the rate of decline is far from achieving TB elimination by 2035.
We present recent observation results of Sgr A* at millimeter obtained with VLBI arrays in Korea and Japan.
7 mm monitoring of Sgr A* is part of our AGN large project. The results at 7 epochs during 2013-2014, including high resolution maps, flux density and two-dimensional size measurements are presented. The source shows no significant variation in flux and structure related to the G2 encounter in 2014. According to recent MHD simulations by kawashima et al., flux and magnetic field energy can be expected to increase several years after the encounter; We will keep our monitoring in order to test this prediction.
Astrometric observations of Sgr A* were performed in 2015 at 7 and 3.5 millimeter simultaneously. Source-frequency phase referencing was applied and a combined ”core-shift” of Sgr A* and a nearby calibrator was measured. Future observations and analysis are necessary to determine the core-shift in each source.
We have conducted 1.1 mm ALMA observations of a contiguous 105” × 50” or 1.5 arcmin2 window in the SXDF-UDS-CANDELS. We achieved a 5σ sensitivity of 0.28 mJy, giving a flat sensus of dusty star-forming galaxies with LIR ~6×1011L⊙ (if Tdust=40K) up to z ~ 10 thanks to the negative K-correction at this wavelength. We detected 5 brightest sources (S/N>6) and 18 low-significant sources (5>S/N>4; they may contain spurious detections, though). One of the 5 brightest ALMA sources (S1.1mm = 0.84 ± 0.09 mJy) is extremely faint in the WFC3 and VLT/HAWK-I images, demonstrating that a contiguous ALMA imaging survey uncovers a faint dust-obscured population invisible in the deep optical/near-infrared surveys. We find a possible [CII]-line emitter at z=5.955 or a low-z CO emitting galaxy within the field, allowing us to constrain the [CII] and/or CO luminosity functions across the history of the universe.
The nearby radio galaxy M87 offers a unique opportunity for exploring the connection between γ-ray production and jet formation at an unprecedented linear resolution. However, the origin and location of the γ-rays in this source is still elusive. Based on previous radio/TeV correlation events, the unresolved jet base (radio core) and the peculiar knot HST-1 at >120 pc from the nucleus are proposed as candidate site(s) of γ-ray production. Here we report our intensive, high-resolution radio monitoring observations of the M87 jet with the VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry (VERA) and the European VLBI Network (EVN) from February 2011 to October 2012. During this period, an elevated level of the M87 flux is reported at TeV with VERITAS. We detected a remarkable flux increase in the radio core with VERA at 22/43 GHz coincident with the VHE activity. Meanwhile, HST-1 remained quiescent in terms of its flux density and structure at radio. These results strongly suggest that the TeV γ-ray activity in 2012 originates in the jet base within 0.03 pc (projected) from the central supermassive black hole.
We present the discovery of out-flow like plasma emissions with the Suzaku and ASCA data. Those plasmas have a size of ∼150 pc. Remarkably, the southern plasma is in a recombination dominant phase, which is not predicted by standard shock heating. A plausible scenario is either photoionization due to strong jet-like X-rays from Sgr A* or rapid cooling due to adiabatic expansion of a blowout plasma from the Galactic center about 105 years ago.
We examined the influence of momentary annealing on the nanoscale surface morphology of NiO(111) epitaxial thin films deposited on atomically stepped sapphire (0001) substrates at room temperature in O2 at 1.3 × 10−3 and 1.3 × 10−6 Pa using a pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique. The NiO films have atomically flat surfaces (RMS roughness: approximately 0.1–0.2 nm) reflecting the step-and-terrace structures of the substrates, regardless of the O2 deposition pressure. After rapid thermal annealing (RTA) of the NiO(111) epitaxial film deposited at 1.3 × 10−3 Pa O2, a periodic straight nanogroove array related to the atomic steps of the substrate was formed on the film surface for 60 s. In contrast, the fabrication of a transient state in the nanogroove array formation was achieved with RTA of less than 1 s. However, when the O2 atmosphere during PLD was 1.3 × 10−6 Pa, random crystal growth was observed and resulted in a disordered rough surface nanostructure after RTA.
Information about positions and velocities of stars that will be gained in the era of GAIA is crucial for determining dynamical structure in our Galaxy. The distribution function of all component objects in our Galaxy is fundamental for describing its dynamics. However, only the distribution function of observable stars is obtained from space astrometry observations, and it is therefore necessary to develop theoretical studies of how to construct the distribution function of all matter including dark matter and unobservable stars using astrometric data of observable stars. This procedure falls into three categories.
Directionally solidified alloys in the Ru-Mn-Si system exhibit a particular microstructure including columnar compositional variation due to the formation of many different chimney-ladder phases along the growth direction. Despite the existence of the compositional variation, the crystal orientations of the neighboring chimney-ladder phases are preserved. Over the compositional interfaces, the metal sublattice is considered to be continuous while the Si sublattice is not. Heat treatment of the directionally solidified alloy with the nominal composition of Ru0.10Mn0.90Si1.732 at 1100°C coarsens the compositional domains so as to reduce the density of the compositional interfaces. The values of the thermal conductivity increase with the decrease in the density of the compositional interfaces whereas those of the Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity are almost unchanged after the heat treatment. It is considered that the thermoelectric properties of the chimney-ladder compounds in the Ru-Mn-Si system can be enhanced by introducing a high density of the compositional interfaces.
Chimney-ladder compounds with the general chemical formula of Mn X2n-m (n, m: integers) possess tetragonal crystal structures which consist of two types of subcells; one composed of transition metal atoms (M) with the γÀ-Sn structure and the other composed of group 13 or 14 atoms (X) with a helical arrangement along the tetragonal c-axis. Since the chimney-ladder compounds generally exhibit very low thermal conductivity, presumably due to its long periodicity along the c-axis, they have been extensively investigated as promising thermoelectric materials. The high-temperature (HT) phase of Ru2Si3 is one of the chimney-ladder compounds with n=2 and m=1. Recently we have found that the HT-Ru2Si3 phase is stabilized by substituting Ru with Re so as to exist even at low temperatures in a wide compositional range of the Re content (Re: 14 to 73%), and that the thermoelectric power factor for alloys with high Re contents increases with the Re content and the highest value was obtained for the alloy with the highest Re content (73%), which is the solubility limit of Re in the chimney-ladder phase. In order to further enhance the thermoelectric properties, another ternary element which extends the solid solubility region of the HT-Ru2Si3 phase is favorable. We have chosen Mn as the ternary element because Mn4Si7 with the chimney-ladder structure exists as a counterpart of HT-Ru2Si3 in the Ru2Si3 -Mn4Si7 pseudo-binary system so that the solid solubility region of the chimney-ladder phase is anticipated to extend in a wider composition range than the Re case. Our study, in fact, shows that the Mn-substitution stabilizes the HT-Ru2Si3 phase in a wide compositional range of the Mn content; 12 to 100%. Compositional analyses indicate that the Si/M ratio gradually increases as the Mn content increases. This is considered to be due to the addition of Si atoms in the Si subcell in order to compensate the decrease in the valence electron concentrations (VEC) per M atom by the substitution of Ru (group 8) with Mn (group 7) with fewer valence electrons. The Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity of the Mn-substituted Ru2Si3 are explained in terms of the VEC deviation from the idealized value, 14, which is expected for intrinsic semiconductors with the chimney-ladder structure. The highest dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT=0.76) is obtained for 90%Mn-substituted alloy. The relationships between the microstructure and thermoelectric properties will be discussed.
Selective heteroepitaxial growth of α-Al2O3 thin films on a NiO layer was investigated using an electron-beam assisted pulsed laser deposition process. The epitaxial NiO layer was grown on an ultrasmooth sapphire (α-Al2O3 single crystal) (0001) substrate. The α-Al2O3 thin film could be grown epitaxially only in the electron-beam irradiated region of the epitaxial NiO layer at 300°C, while the amorphous Al2O3 film was grown in the non-irradiated region. The homoepitaxial growth of α-Al2O3 thin films could not be attained on the sapphire (0001) substrate at 300°C. This indicates that the electron-beam irradiation enhances heteroepitaxial growth of the α-Al2O3 thin films on the NiO layer at 300°C. When we annealed the epitaxial Al2O3/NiO bilayer film at 350°C in a hydrogen atmosphere, we could reduce only the NiO layer to an epitaxial Ni metal layer, allowing the fabrication of epitaxial Al2O3/Ni (insulator/metal structure) films. The fabricated Al2O3/Ni bilayer films exhibited a very smooth surface.
Future space mission of astrometric satellite, GAIA and JASMINE (Japan Astrometry Satellite Mission for Infrared Exploration), will produce astrometric parameter, such as positions, parallaxes, and proper motions of stars in the Galactic bulge. Then kinematical information will be obtained in the future. Accordingly it is expected that our understanding of the dynamical structure will be greatly improved. Therefore it is important to make a method to construct a kinematical and dynamical structure of the Galactic bulge immediately.
Three-dimensional electron motion in a linearly polarized tightly focused laser field is numerically calculated. A high-intensity laser pulse focused on the free electrons in vacuum generates relativistic electron bunches whose length is shorter than the laser wavelength. The extremely short electron bunches with low-energy spread less than 1% are generated for a wide range of the laser parameters.
We examined observational characteristics of multi-phase turbulent flows in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) by calculating atomic and molecular carbon lines. Radiation field maps of C+, C0, and CO line emissions were generated by calculating the non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (nonLTE) level populations and high resolution hydrodynamic simulations of diffuse ISM. By analyzing synthetic line emission, we found a high ratio between the lines of high- and low-excitation energies in the diffuse multi-phase interstellar medium. Our results shows that simultaneous observations of the lines of warm- and cold-gas tracers will be useful in examining the thermal structure, and hence the origin of diffuse interstellar clouds.
To obtain deeper understanding of the Ð structure, the formation of the Ð structure in the (bcc¨bcc+Ð) reaction at 873K and 1173K have been investigated by transmission electron microscopy. As for the orientation relationship between the bcc and Ð structures, as a results, both the common first relation of bcc//Ð and three second relations given by α=0°, 33°, and 64° were found in the 1173K annealing, where α is an angle between the [_110]bcc and Ð directions. In the 873K annealing, on the other hand, there was only one second relation with α=0°. Based on the α=0° relation found in both annealing temperatures, the features of atomic shifts in the Ð-structure formation were also discussed.
Shell-like supernova remnants (SNRs) are primary candidates for the origin of Galactic cosmic rays. However, among the known SNRs (about 220), only a small fraction has been known to exhibit the synchrotron X-ray spectrum, that is considered to be a piece of evidence for high energy particle acceleration. Synchrotron X-ray emitting SNRs are known to be systematically radio-quiet compared to the SNRs that do not emit synchrotron X-rays. Therefore, most synchrotron X-ray emitting SNR candidates may have escaped detection in the previous systematic radio surveys. On the other hand, hard X-ray surveys are effective to search for synchrotron X-ray emitting SNRs, because of its penetration power. Thus we have searched for SNRs in the ASCA Galactic Plane Survey data, the first Galactic imaging survey in $>$2 keV, and discovered 14 candidates. Deep follow-up observations with ASCA, XMM, or Chandra on 5 of them revealed 2 sources to be synchrotron X-ray emitting SNRs. Furthermore we confirmed non-thermal X-ray spectra from the other 3 sources, though the origin is yet unknown. We report the observational results and discuss the X-ray origin.