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This study characterized cremated bone to better understand isotope exchanges during burial, using archeological samples. The cremated bones of Jokei, a Buddhist monk (AD 1155–1213), found in an urn from the Jisho-in Temple, Nara Prefecture, Japan, were used for the analysis. 14C dates were determined for eight of Jokei bone fragments of different colors (black, gray, and white). The white fragments had the highest x-ray diffractometry (XRD) crystallinity index (CI) values (0.89–1.05), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) splitting factor values (IRSF) of 5.3–7.1, and the lowest Ba concentrations. The calibrated date of the white bone fragments is 1152–1216 cal AD, consistent with Jokei’s lifespan, showing these fragments yield reliable 14C ages. Meanwhile, the black and gray fragments, which probably experienced lower temperatures during cremation, had lower CI and IRSF values of 0.25–0.46 and 4.2–4.9, respectively, and higher Ba concentrations. The black and gray fragments tended to show unreliable younger 14C dates and higher 87Sr/86Sr values close to the soil value due to soil contamination. The results in this study indicate that it is important to check crystallinity of apatite and soil contamination using chemical indexing methods such as Ba capture, to clarify the reliability of 14C dates for cremated bone samples.
An outbreak of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157 occurred in multiple prefectures of Japan in November 2009. We conducted two case–control studies with trace-back and trace-forward investigations to determine the source. The case definition was met by 21 individuals; 14 (66.7%) were hospitalised, but no haemolytic uraemic syndrome, acute encephalopathy or deaths occurred. Median age was 23 (range 12–48) years and 14 cases were male (66.7%). No significant associations with food were found in a case–control study by local public health centres, but our matched case–control study using Internet surveys found that beef hanging tender (or hanger steak), derived from the diaphragm of the cattle, was significantly associated with illness (odds ratio = 15.77; 95% confidence interval, 2.00–124.11). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis of isolates from patients and the suspected food showed five different patterns: two in faecal and food samples, and another three in patient faecal samples only, although there were epidemiological links to the meat consumed at the restaurants. Trace-back investigation implicated a common food processing company from outside Japan. Examination of the logistics of the meat processing company suggested that contamination did not occur in Japan. We concluded that the source of the outbreak was imported hanging tender. This investigation revealed that Internet surveys could be useful for outbreak investigations.
Tensile fracture strengths of fine-grained compressed high-density snow, of compressed and metamorphosed high-density snow-ice, of fine-grained naturally settled snow, and of snow-ice artificially made from the settled snow by freezing with absorbed water, were obtained at constant deformation speeds (constant strain-rates) in a temperature range of 264 to 270K. No remarkable temperature dependence of fracture stresses was observed in this temperature range. A critical deformation speed in a tensile test above which all the snow samples, except settled snow, fractured, was 4.2 × 10–7 m s–1. The fracture strength ρ (in N m–2) varied with snow density ρ (kg m–3) as σ = 2.5 × 104 × 1.004 6ρ. In a power-law relationship between strain-rate and maximum stress, ∝ σn, the constant n obtained was 5.3 for all the unfractured snow samples.
In 1987 an ice core to the bedrock at a depth of 85.6 m was drilled at the top of Høghetta ice dome in northern Spitsbergen. Chronology of the ice core was examined by tritium and 14C methods showing time gap at about 50 m depth. The age of three bottom ice samples was determined as 4150–5670 year B.P. by 14C method done for frozen bacteria colonies and a frozen petal. This chronology and negative bottom temperature of −9.4°C suggest that glaciers in Spitsbergen shrank considerably during the hypsithermal. The pH of melt-water samples lower than 5.0 corresponds well to large northern hemispheric volcanic eruptions during the last 300 years. Increase of acidity from 30 m depth to the surface may reflect the spread of air pollution to the Arctic during the past 200 years. On the basis of ice-core analyses on electrical conductivity, pH, chemical composition and air bubble pattern, climate and environment in Spitsbergen during the last 6000 years are discussed.
The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
We discuss the fragmentation of primordial gas clouds in the universe after decoupling. Comparing the timescale of collapse (tdyn) with that of fragmentation (tfrag), we obtained the minimum mass of a fragment analytically as following way.
The observation of 8B solar Neutrinos in the Kamiokande-II detector is presented. Based on 450 days of data in the time period of January 1987 through May 1988, the measured flux obtained with Ee ≥ 9.3 MeV was 0.46 ± 0.13 (stat) ± 0.08 (sys) of the value predicted by the standard solar model. The detector and analysis methods were improved since June 1988 and the background level has been decreased by a factor of about three since then.
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.
More than 4000 stars observed in both MOA and DENIS projects showing periodic or quasi-periodic light curves are studied. Almost all Mira stars are located on the classical period-luminosity relation, and the multiplicity of the period-luminosity relation is confirmed for small-amplitude stars. The colour-magnitude diagrams based on the MOA red band, Rm, and Ks constructed for the sequences, form a single strip with small successive shifts.
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.
For improved establishment of the dynamical reference frame and tying it to the stellar reference frame, a method to observe close approach (CA) events between satellite and satellite and/or satellite and star is proposed here. The accuracy of measurements of angular distance is 0”.02 – 0”.03 for a single data point. We apply this technique fairly successfully to the CA events of the Galilean satellites and a preliminary orbital longitude correction to the E2X3 constants of J4 is obtained from eight CA observations ranging from 1987 to 1989.
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.
Knowledge of the groundwater age is indispensable for understanding groundwater flow in crystalline rocks. The present study is the first to discuss the radiocarbon ages of groundwater in Abukuma granite, Fukushima Prefecture, northeast Japan. The vertical profiles of 14C dates and δ13C are obtained from 3 boreholes (depths of 140, 230, and 306 m). Chemical and carbon isotopic compositions suggest that dead-carbon contamination of groundwater occurred during groundwater storage in the fractures. 14C concentration was corrected by using isotopic mass balance in which dead-carbon contamination of the groundwater was considered. The 14C dates ranged from modern to ≃16 ka. The relationship between tritium and 14C data in 1 borehole suggests the simultaneous inflow of shallow groundwater to deeper levels occur for the depths between 60 and 100 m. The vertical profiles of 14C dates indicate a relatively constant age of 10–16 ka for groundwater deeper than 100 m, which may have been influenced by rapid sea-level changes after the glacial period.
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.