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In Thailand, two species of rhizostome jellyfish, Rhopilema hispidum and Lobonemoides robustus, are commercially harvested. The cnidomes, nematocyst size and toxicities were compared between these species. Rhopilema hispidum and L. robustus each had four types of nematocysts on their oral arms. For R. hispidum, these nematocyst types included two types of isorhiza and two types of rhopaloid, while in L. robustus, there were three types of isorhiza and one type of rhopaloid. For R. hispidum, tubule lengths of the largest nematocyst type (large round isorhiza; mean ± SD = 313.8 ± 62.2 μm) were significantly longer than those of L. robustus (large ellipsoid rhopaloid; 162.1 ± 38.5 μm). Using the freshwater shrimp, Palaemon paucidens, in a bioassay, we determined that the lethal nematocyst concentrations for R. hispidum and L. robustus were 5705.3 ± 1118.1 and 3408.3 ± 1032.9 unit g−1 wet weight, respectively, and that these concentrations were significantly higher in the former than in the latter.
A consistent description of the hydrogen permeation through metal membrane based on hydrogen chemical potential proposed has been explained in detail. The hydrogen flux is proportional to the PCT factor, fPCT, consistently, which reflects the shape of the pressure-composition-isotherm (PCT curve) of the material. In addition, in view of the PCT factor, fPCT, and the ductile-to-brittle transition hydrogen concentration, DBTC, a concept for alloy design with high hydrogen permeability and strong resistance to hydrogen embrittlement has been proposed. In this concept, it is important to design alloy composition with appropriate PCT curve under the given pressure and temperature condition. As an example, V–9 mol% Al alloy has been designed, which exhibits high hydrogen flux without brittle fracture under given condition. Thus, the new consistent description is useful not only for the understanding of the hydrogen permeation property but also for the alloy design.
The effect of arachidonic acid (ARA) intake on asthma risk is unclear. The objective of the present review was to systematically evaluate available observational studies on the relationship between ARA exposure and asthma risk in children and adults. A PubMed search was conducted on 22 October 2013 and seventy-three publications were checked against predefined criteria for eligibility. To identify additional eligible publications, potentially relevant articles were searched from bibliographies of articles on ARA and asthma. A total of 2924 citations were scrutinised. Finally, fourteen articles were included. A quality assessment was conducted based on the reporting and methodological quality. A meta-analysis was not conducted; therefore, a qualitative assessment is presented. Three high-, two medium- and ten low-quality studies were reviewed. Eleven studies, including two high- and two medium-quality studies, did not find a significant association between ARA exposure and asthma risk. In contrast, one high-quality study indicated a significant trend toward reducing asthma risk in children with decreasing maternal ARA intake (Ptrend = 0·025), and one low-quality study reported a significant trend of increasing asthma risk with higher blood ARA levels (Ptrend = 0·007). In two low-quality studies, asthma patients had significantly lower blood ARA levels than controls (both P < 0·05). These studies did not sufficiently demonstrate any relationships between ARA exposure and asthma risk because of the limited number of studies and their methodological limitations. They seem to suggest that ARA exposure is not consistently associated with asthma risk. Nevertheless, further evidence is required to prove or disprove the association.
Norepinephrine transporter (NET) plays important roles in the treatment of various neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Nortriptyline is a NET-selective tricyclic antidepressant (TCAs) that has been widely used for the treatment of depression. Previous positron emission tomography (PET) studies have reported over 80% serotonin transporter occupancy with clinical doses of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but there has been no report of NET occupancy in patients treated with relatively NET-selective antidepressants. In the present study, we used PET and (S,S)-[18F]FMeNER-D2 to investigate NET occupancies in the thalamus in 10 patients with major depressive disorder taking various doses of nortriptyline, who were considered to be responders to the treatment. Reference data for the calculation of occupancy were derived from age-matched healthy controls. The result showed approximately 50–70% NET occupancies in the brain as a result of the administration of 75–200 mg/d of nortriptyline. The estimated effective dose (ED50) and concentration (EC50) required to induce 50% occupancy was 65.9 mg/d and 79.8 ng/ml, respectively. Furthermore, as the minimum therapeutic level of plasma nortriptyline for the treatment of depression has been reported to be 70 ng/ml, our data indicate that this plasma nortriptyline concentration corresponds to approximately 50% NET occupancy measured with PET, suggesting that more than 50% of central NET occupancy would be appropriate for the nortriptyline treatment of patients with depression.
Antidepressants used for treatment of depression exert their efficacy by blocking reuptake at serotonin transporters (5-HTT) and/or norepinephrine transporters (NET). Recent studies suggest that serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors that block both 5-HTT and NET have better tolerability than tricyclic antidepressants and may have higher efficacy compared to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Previous positron emission tomography (PET) studies have reported >80% 5-HTT occupancy with clinical doses of antidepressants, but there has been no report of NET occupancy in patients treated with antidepressants. In the present study, we investigated both 5-HTT and NET occupancies by PET using radioligands [11C]DASB and (S,S)-[18F]FMeNER-D2, in six patients, each with major depressive disorder (MDD), using various doses of milnacipran. Our data show that mean 5-HTT occupancy in the thalamus was 33.0% at 50 mg, 38.6% at 100 mg, 60.0% at 150 mg and 61.5% at 200 mg. Mean NET occupancy in the thalamus was 25.3% at 25 mg, 40.0% at 100 mg, 47.3% at 125 mg and 49.9% at 200 mg. Estimated ED50 was 122.5 mg with the dose for 5-HTT and 149.9 mg for NET. Both 5-HTT and NET occupancies were observed in a dose-dependent manner. Both 5-HTT and NET occupancies were about 40% by milnacipran at 100 mg, the dose most commonly administered to MDD patients.
To describe outbreaks of nosocomial influenza infection with molecular methods and to elucidate the viral linkages among outbreak case patients including both inpatients and healthcare workers (HCWs).
A 180-bed acute and long-term care hospital in Japan.
Retrospective observational study of nosocomial outbreaks of infection with influenza A/H3N2. Together with information about onset dates and vaccination history, we obtained nasopharyngeal swab samples from individuals with cases of influenza or influenzalike illness (ILI). The hemagglutinin genes of the recovered viruses were sequenced and compared, along with those of community-circulating strains, for similarity by phylogenetic tree analysis.
The outbreaks occurred from February 26 through April 3, 2007, during the 2006–2007 epidemic season, and they involved 11 patients and 13 HCWs. The 2 outbreaks involved 2 different genotypes of influenza A/H3N2 viruses. These virus variants were closely related to the influenza strains that were circulating in the community during the same epidemic season.
This study showed the dissemination of highly homologous influenza virus variants among inpatients and HCWs within a short period, as a result of nosocomial transmission. These strains were also similar to influenza strains that were circulating in the community.
We developed a new microscale technique for evaluating the local interface adhesion in a thin film stack and we compared it with a conventional four-point bending technique. Using the microscale technique, the interface adhesion was estimated to be 3.0 J/m2 by comparing experimental results with numerical simulation results for interface crack propagation behavior. The four-point bending technique was applied to the same interface and the interface adhesion was estimated to be 4.4 J/m2 by experiment. However, this value is an overestimate because it includes the plastic deformation of epoxy resin used to fabricate the specimens. By eliminating the additional energy dissipated through plastic deformation of the epoxy resin close to the interface crack tip, the interface adhesion was evaluated to be 3.3 J/m2. This value agrees well with that obtained using the microscale technique.
This paper proposes a receiver that repeats iterative frequency-domain equalization (FDE) and decision-directed phase noise compensation (DD-PNC) to alleviate degradation due to the phase noise for millimeter-wave single carrier (SC) systems. High bit-rate SC-FDE transceivers based on the single-chip Si RF-CMOS IC technology in the 60-GHz millimeter-wave band have been extensively studied for wireless personal area network (WPAN) systems, and the relatively large phase noise in a phase-locked loop (PLL) synthesizer severely degrades transmission performance. In an initial processing of the proposed receiver, a cyclic prefix (CP)-based phase noise compensator (CP-PNC) removes the phase noise from a time-domain received signal by using CP, which is known to the receiver, and the channel is equalized by the iterative FDE using the conventional minimum mean-square-error (MMSE) weight. In an iterative processing, DD-PNC estimates the phase noise each symbol by exploiting an output of a channel decoder, and then compensates the time-domain received signal for the phase noise by using the estimate. In order to equalize the compensated received signal, the iterative FDE performs both the MMSE filtering and residual inter-symbol interference cancelation using the decoder output. Computer simulations following the 60-GHz WPAN standard demonstrate that in the 64QAM with the coding rate of 3/4, the proposed receiver with three iterations can drastically remove the phase noise of −85 dBc/Hz at 1 MHz offset, and that it can achieve excellent transmission performance.
In this study, the dense films of well-crystallized ZnO nanocrystals were successfully prepared by direct spin-coating of the colloidal solution of ZnO nanoparticles derived from the microemulsion method. The average grain sizes in the films were reasonably controlled in the range from 6.5 to 34.3 nm by simply changing the annealing temperatures. The increase in band gap energies was found in the size region less than 13.3 nm, finally resulting in 3.47 eV for the average size of 6.5 nm. The photoluminescence spectra at room temperature showed intense ultraviolet (UV) emission with faint green luminescence. The Stokes shifts of the films were estimated to be one or two orders of magnitude smaller than those of the conventional ZnO nanocrystalline films, suggesting the well crystallization and slight amounts of lattice defects in the ZnO nanoparticles. These excellent features may be favorable to make high-performance optical application such as UV emitting devices.
The neutron diffraction technique was applied to measure strain distributions in a rebar in a reinforced concrete. At first, absorption coefficients of several kinds of concrete with different compounding ratios of water, cement, and aggregate were measured, and it was confirmed that the absorption coefficient of concrete was affected by the amounts of water and aggregate. In addition, it was also clarified by measuring strain change of the rebar under tensile loading that accuracy of the strain measurement in the rebar in the reinforced concrete was not affected by the neutron absorption by the concrete. Second, the size of the anchorage zone was evaluated by measuring strain distributions in the rebar under pull-out loading. The length of the anchorage zone measured by neutron diffraction was shorter than that measured by strain gauges. Moreover, detailed strain distributions in the rebar around cracks in the concrete were measured under tensile loading, and it was confirmed that the bond condition between rebar and concrete around cracks could be evaluated using the neutron diffraction technique.
To examine whether an FFQ can be used for assessing exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) by estimating MeHg intake from seafood consumption using the FFQ and confirming the accuracy of the estimated value.
Seafood consumption of pregnant women was assessed using the FFQ. Total mercury (T-Hg) concentrations of maternal red blood cells (RBC) and hair were measured as exposure indices of MeHg.
A prospective birth cohort study, the Tohoku Study of Child Development (TSCD), which has been ongoing since 2001.
The subjects were 609 pregnant Japanese women who were enrolled in the TSCD.
MeHg intake was estimated from seafood consumption determined using the FFQ and the MeHg concentrations in each type of seafood. The accuracy of the estimated value was confirmed by comparison with T-Hg in RBC and hair. Estimated MeHg intake was 42·3 μg/week, and 43·0 % of that was from large predatory fish. Compared with the Japanese tolerable weekly intake, in total 12·5 % of the subjects exceeded it. T-Hg concentrations in RBC and hair were significantly correlated with estimated MeHg intake: r = 0·325 (P < 0·0001) for RBC and r = 0·305 (P < 0·0001) for hair.
Estimated MeHg intake based on the FFQ was significantly associated with T-Hg concentrations in RBC and hair. Although the estimated value involves uncertainties, the FFQ appears to be a useful tool for assessment of exposure to MeHg.
The electrospray of a colloidal microemulsion (ME) solution and subsequent on-line annealing were used to produce barium titanate nanoparticles (BTO-NPs). The solvent of the ME solution (cyclohexane) was replaced with a high-conductivity solution (solute: ammonium acetate, solvent: tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol, conductivity: 3.1 × 10−2 S/m) to generate ultrafine droplets during the electrospraying. Well-dispersed and well-crystallized BTO-NPs with a perovskite structure were successfully fabricated at an annealing temperature of 1173 K. The size distribution of the BTO-NPs was successfully measured by applying a differential mobility analyzer and condensation nucleation counter to nanoparticles in-flight. The average size of the BTO-NPs was controlled within a range of 15 to 25 nm by changing the feeding rate. The electrospray of an ME solution with lower conductivity (solvent: 1-octanol, conductivity: 7.0 × 10−4 S/m) yielded amorphous particles with larger particle sizes. Thus, the electrospray of a high-conductivity solution is required to fabricate well-crystallized and dense BTO-NPs with smaller particle sizes.
For a formation of metal hydride of MgH2 or AlH3 under room temperature and ambient pressure, the cathode electrodes of metal and lithium hydride are electrochemically charged with Li anode electrodes in the system of Li-ion extraction. For MgH2 formation, the VC (Voltage-Composition) curve of Mg + 2LiH during charge shows a plateau voltage at 0.6 V until the final composition of 1.05 Li extraction. After charge MgH2 phase is observed by the XRD measurement. Therefore MgH2 is produced by the electrochemical charge from Mg and LiH. For AlH3 formation, Al + 3LiH is charged until the final composition of 0.6 Li at a plateau voltage of 0.8 V which corresponds to the reaction between Al and LiH for the formation of AlH3. In the XRD profile after charge AlH3 phase is not detected although the intensities of Al and LiH decrease compared with these before charge, which suggests the reaction leading to the formation of AlH3.
Production of biodiesel fuel (fatty acid methyl ester) by use of conventional method (alkaline catalyst method) requires deacidification process prior to the reaction and refining process to remove the catalyst after the reaction. These processes increase total cost required for production of biodiesel fuel. In order to solve the problem, authors recently proposed a method called superheated methanol vapor method. In a process with this method, superheated methanol vapor is continuously bubbled into the oil in the reactor vessel and reacted with triglycerides to form fatty acid methyl ester and glycerol. The fatty acid methyl ester and glycerol formed flows out of the reactor together with unreacted methanol vapor and is collected using a condenser. Reaction using the superheated methanol vapor method can be conducted at atmospheric pressure. Production of fatty acid methyl ester by use of the superheated methanol vapor method does not require refining process after the reaction because no catalyst is used in this method and fatty acid methyl ester can be separated from glycerol simply by sedimentation. The method does not require deacidification process prior to the reaction because not only triglyceride but also free fatty acid can be converted into fatty acid methyl ester by use of the method. Therefore, both initial and running costs required for biodiesel production are thought to be reduced by applying the method. In order to estimate the cost required by a process based on the superheated methanol vapor method, a demonstration plant (design productivity: 400 L/d) was constructed and its efficiency was evaluated. The plant could produce 425 L of fatty acid methyl ester in a day from used frying oil. Energy consumed in each unit of the demonstration plant was measured (electrical energy and thermal energy). Based on the energy consumption data obtained with the demonstration plant, production cost required with a practical scale plant (designed productivity: 6000 kL/y) was calculated. The cost required by the practical scale plant with the superheated methanol vapor method was estimated to be 40.2 yen/L (about 40 cent/L) while the cost required by a plant with the alkaline catalyst method was 62.5 yen/L (about 62 cent/L). The estimated cost includes depreciation cost, cost of repairing, labor cost, methanol cost and energy cost (heat and electricity). Most of the energy consumed by the plant was thermal energy and the plant could be automatically controlled. Therefore, required cost will be further decreased by installing the plant next to an incineration facility because thermal energy can be supplied from the facility and the labor cost can also be supported by the facility.
Colonic fermentation products, SCFA, have various effects on colonic functions. Here, we found that physiological concentrations of SCFA immediately promote epithelial barrier function in the large intestine. Solutions of mixed and individual SCFA were applied to the caecal walls mounted on Ussing-type chambers. Transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) increased rapidly and reached a peak 35 % higher than that in the control specimen within 10 min post application of the SCFA mixture (80 acetate, 40 propionate, 20 butyrate (mmol/l)). The Lucifer yellow permeability, a paracellular transport marker, was dose-dependently reduced by the mixed SCFA, acetate and propionate solutions. Inhibition of monocarboxylate transporter-1 did not influence the increase in TER with acetate; however, lowering the pH (from 7·5 to 5·5) clearly enhanced the effect of acetate. Non-metabolizable, bromo and chloro derivatives of SCFA also increased TER. These results suggest that passive diffusion of SCFA is dominant and the metabolism of SCFA is not required for the promotive effect of SCFA on barrier function. We also observed that individual SCFA dose-dependently increased TER in T84 and Caco-2 cells, which indicates that SCFA directly stimulate epithelial cells. Depletion of membrane cholesterol and inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase and Gq protein attenuated the acetate-mediated promotive effect. Finally, we found that the mucosal application of the SCFA mixture dose-dependently suppressed [3H] mannitol transport from the caecal lumen to the mesenteric blood in the anaesthetized rats. We conclude that physiological concentrations of SCFA immediately enhance barrier function of the colonic epithelium through cholesterol-rich microdomain in the plasma membrane.
Siraitia grosvenori Swingle (SG) is a traditional Chinese fruit used as a folk medicine. Its extract (SG-ex) contains potent sweet elements with a sweetness several hundred times higher than table sugar. We investigated the antidiabetic effect of SG-ex in the type 2 diabetic Goto–Kakizaki (GK) rat. Diabetic 7-week-old GK rats were fed a diet supplemented with 0·4 % of the SG-ex for 13 weeks, and its antidiabetic effects were evaluated. SG-ex had no effect on food intake or body weight. In oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT), SG-ex supplementation improved the insulin response at 15 min (control, 63 (sem 6) pm; SG-ex, 107 (sem 20) pm; P < 0·05) and reduced the plasma glucose level at 120 min after the glucose administration (control, 18·5 (sem 0·8) mm; SG-ex, 14·8 (sem 0·7) mm; P < 0·05). The total amount of insulin in whole pancreas taken from fasting rats was higher in the SG-ex-supplemented group, which may explain the greater capacity to secrete insulin during the OGTT. Thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances in both the liver and the plasma were lower in the SG-ex-supplemented group, suggesting that an absorbable component in SG-ex has an antioxidative effect on lipid peroxidation, thereby counteracting the oxidative stress caused by a diabetic state. Excreted urine volume and urinary albumin level for 24 h were both reduced in the SG-ex-supplemented group, suggesting the attenuation of kidney damage that is caused by diabetes. These data indicate that SG-ex supplementation may prevent complications and attenuate pathological conditions for type 2 diabetes, along with its sweet characteristics.
Degradation property of aluminum due to hydrogen is studied. Hydrogen is introduced by electrolysis charge in aqueous solution with addition of 0.1 mass % NH4SCN as a hydrogen recombination poison. The amount of hydrogen and its existing state in the material is analyzed by hydrogen desorption curves measured by the thermal desorption spectroscopy. The hydrogen desorption curves of charged aluminum showed two peaks, one at less than 100 °C and the other around 400 °C. The existing state of hydrogen relate to each peaks are identified as weakly trapped solute hydrogen to vacancy and free hydrogen molecule located in cavities that exists in the bulk of the material. Tensile properties are obtained to determine degradation property of the material due to hydrogen. The effect of hydrogen on degradation of charged aluminum is analyzed in terms of interaction between hydrogen and vacancy or dislocation. Solute hydrogen and cavities are found to affect ductility of aluminum, whereas hydrogen molecule in cavities has no effect.
To evaluate the antibody response to influenza vaccines in nursing home residents and healthcare workers (HCWs) and its relation to residents' functional and chronic disease status during four successive seasons.
Nine nursing homes during the 1998-1999 season and two during the 1999-2000, 2000-2001, and 2001-2002 seasons.
Two hundred fifty-nine residents and 79 HCWs during the 1998-1999 season; 180 and 71, respectively, during the 1999-2000 season; 162 and 71, respectively, during the 2000-2001 season; and 153 and 79, respectively, during the 2001-2002 season.
Multivariate analysis indicated that the mean fold increase in the geometric mean titers (GMTs) of hemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibodies and the response rate (the proportion of vaccinées resulting in a significant, at least fourfold increase in antibody titer) were good and no significant differences occurred for almost all strains in both residents and HCWs. The GMTs of HI antibodies and the protection rate (the proportion of participants with HI antibody titers & 40) were increased in both residents and HCWs, but were significantly lower for almost all strains in residents than in HCWs. Furthermore, multivariate analysis indicated that subdivision of residents into three groups by level of daily activities and into four groups according to underlying diseases revealed only minor differences in immune responses.
Antibody responses to the influenza vaccine were lower in residents than in HCWs. However, residents showed similar antibody responses regardless of their level of daily activity or underlying diseases.
Sucrose is more lipogenic than starch, and the extreme ingestion of sucrose induces adiposity and obesity. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of the eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) leaf extract (ELE) on adiposity due to dietary sucrose in rats. In addition, in this study, the effect of ELE on intestinal fructose absorption was also examined. Rats were fed a high-sucrose diet (75 % in calorie base) with or without ELE (10 g/kg diet) for 5 weeks. Body weight was lower in the rats receiving ELE than in the controls (342 (sd 37·9) v. 392 (sd 26·0) g (n 7); P<0·05). Furthermore, ELE resulted in decreases in the triacylglycerol concentrations in the plasma (1·44 (sd 0·448) v. 2·79 (sd 0·677) mmol/l (n 7); P<0·05) and liver (19·1 (sd 5·07) v. 44·1 (sd 16·28) μmol/g (n 7); P<0·05). In contrast, ELE did not show any significant effects in the rats fed a starch diet. When rats were orally given ELE 10 min before fructose administration, the intestinal fructose absorption, which was examined by measuring the elevated concentration of fructose in the portal vein at 30 min after the fructose administration, was significantly inhibited in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, in rats fed a high-fructose diet, the plasma and hepatic triacylglycerol concentrations were significantly decreased by ELE. These results indicate that ELE, which inhibits the intestinal fructose absorption, can suppress adiposity in rats that ingest large amounts of sucrose or fructose.